3 Reasons Why a Good IT Provider and a Good Auto Mechanic are Similar
I admit it: I’m not a guy who really likes cars. No NASCAR for me, no Porsche poster in my garage. I want my car to get me from A to B and have a reasonable level of comfort getting there. Although those needs are simple, they are very important to me. When my car breaks down, I can’t get to work, run errands or do most of the things I need to do on a daily basis. What’s under the hood of my car? Don’t ask me! When it comes to maintaining and repairing a vehicle, I definitely need a mechanic.
Finding a good mechanic is hard to do. We all have had bad experiences with mechanics, or at least heard of nightmare stories of others who have. Why? There are really two factors that come into play here:
- My car is important to me.
- I don’t understand how it works.
That’s a bad mix! Do you have a sinking feeling when you visit your mechanic? Because your car is important to you, and you don’t understand it, you are highly exposed to one thing: dishonesty. It’s very easy for a mechanic to oversell you, misrepresent problems, and ultimately overcharge you. You need your car to be working properly, and you have a hard time arguing with the mechanic about his area of expertise.
If you think about your IT systems, you will see the very same situation. Again, your IT systems are very important to you. Your daily productivity relies on them. Do you know how they work? Probably not. Once again, you are at the mercy of another company: your IT provider. Your IT solutions provider is also in a position to take advantage of you. Just like the dishonest mechanic, your IT provider can very easily over-charge you. In a sense you are even more exposed, because you don’t see your mechanic every day, but your IT provider could be working for you on a daily basis for many years.
A good mechanic or IT provider takes ownership of your issues. If some proactive work today can provide a savings in the future, they will recommend it to you. Even though this means less revenue for them overall, they take ownership of the issue as though it were their own. They want to solve the problem on your behalf in the most efficient way possible. They treat your car, or IT system, as if it were their own.
Your Best Interest
Acting in your best interest involves:
- Asking questions to understand what you want
- Making recommendations that help with your needs
An honest mechanic asks “how long you intend to keep your car?” and “what do you use it for?” before they decide what the best parts are for you. A good IT provider does the same thing. They are not doing technology for technology’s sake; they are always working in your best interests.
Intermittent problems occur when the symptoms of the problem come and go with time. They are a pain for both IT pros and mechanics to solve. I recently had one of these with my car. My mechanic told me, “This work may or may not fix your problem. We talked to a number of experts and we all agree that this is the most likely solution.” This was great, direct communication. My mechanic had set my expectations and let me know what might happen. A good IT provider should do the same thing: be a straight and clear communicator.
I’m very grateful to have an auto mechanic that I can trust. No-one likes to pay for auto repairs, but I know that mine are necessary, well-priced and in my best interests. Can you say the same for your IT provider? Do you trust them to be honest with you and not take advantage of you?