There’s much more to a business relationship than figures alone. Your experience with service providers is defined by their price and their services, but perhaps more impactful is the personal experience that you have with individual staff. After all, a business can’t exist without every day interactions. Your IT consultancy is no exception. When it comes to help desk experiences, setting up new offices or exploring ways to make your company more secure, you’ll meet the staff that make the consultancy what it is. Here is a checklist of the qualities we think are important for IT consultants, and therefore, IT consultancies to have. You’ll be able to spot these characteristics in staff interactions and the overall experience you have with the consultancy. You might also like to use this list of qualities when formulating interview questions if you’re trying to find a new provider. Don’t hesitate to bring up these so-called soft skills and ask for examples.
Does your IT consultancy show persistence?
When faced with a challenge, a committed IT consultant should do everything they can to solve the problem. It can take patience to establish the root of an issue. The team should also be comfortable relying on each other to share experiences and advice when a challenge arises. Good IT consultants build on their experience by seeing a problem through to its conclusion and then recording their experience for others to learn from.
Does your IT consultancy demonstrate problem solving skills and creativity?
IT consultants are usually assigned to multiple clients that each have their own unique requirements. Consultants need to be able to creatively address issues that businesses face. Problem solving skills are vital when there is an urgent issue and a client needs a workaround or a way to get back to trading. It can also apply to coming up with workable, cost-effective solutions for client requests. They also build on their experience. Lessons they learn while dealing with one client will be brought over to any new situations they face. This raises the quality of work across the board and benefits everyone. Find out if your consultancy supports an environment of creativity in the workplace, because it will improve how they work for you.
How flexible is your IT consultancy?
IT consultants have a surprising amount of customer service experiences. Phone calls and on-site assistance can take up a significant amount of time. Every client has different needs and expectations, not to mention personalities. An ideal IT consultant is able to provide cheerful and quick service to everyone, particularly when under pressure or facing a challenging situation. Their personable approach can help to build trust and establish good relationships with your staff. Flexible IT support teams can adapt to new challenges and clients and get across new situations and issues quickly. Calm and focused support can make a world of different during technical crises.
Does your IT consultancy encourage skill building?
An IT consultancy should foster a culture of education. The world of IT is constantly evolving, and it’s dangerous to believe that a person has finished learning. The team should never stop learning. They should always keep up with the latest developments in security and technology. You might find that staff are regularly sent to undertake additional training and certifications. People who are truly passionate about IT will study topics of interest or pursue specialist training on their own time, too.
How does your IT consultancy demonstrate confidence?
Confidence can take many forms. A confident IT consultant is able to act promptly because they have put in all the effort outlined above, to have a firm grounding in the latest technology and a good relationship with the client. They can happily work with others because they can check their ego in order to achieve the best outcomes for the client. Confidence can also manifest as honesty in the face of a challenge. If a problem will take longer than expected to fix or an issue is too complex, a confident consultant will honestly work with the client and their own team to solve the issue, while being open about timeframes and expectations. They can be confident because there should be action plans and support networks in place to deal with those situations.
Does your IT consultancy act with discipline and focus?
Discipline is another trait that can manifest in different ways. A consultant should aim to turn up on time to any job and fulfil commitments. They should always manage their time well and achieve what the client needs in the shortest time possible. Discipline shows up with completed paperwork, invoicing on time, and clear notes left for the next staff member or engineer to find. It also looks like staying focused on the task at hand, working through time billed and not being distracted by their personal devices.
Does your IT consultancy value diligence?
IT consultants should have the approach of looking over everything with a fine-tooth comb to check for discrepancies and make sure the best research is brought to bear. Their attention to detail means they can choose the correct software or hardware as the client needs. This includes probing to understand the future needs of the business and combining those needs with experience to offer straightforward solutions.
Finally, it’s a good idea to get a grasp of the overall team culture. Ask about the hiring process and how the consultancy brings new team members on board. Seek out a company that is happy to talk about what makes them different, or what going the extra mile means to them. You should be able to chat with individual staff and get consistent stories about what the company values.
About Mustard IT, your IT support partner
Mustard IT provide the design, build, and installation of secure IT servers and networks, and provide value-driven, round-the-clock IT support for small and medium businesses. Our trusted team are experienced and able to explain complex issues to you in a language you’ll understand. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.