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IT Emergencies: Be Prepared

You want to be prepared for IT emergencies with checklists, the ability to access online resources, telephone support lines, and tool kits ready to go. Begin with matching your abilities to their basic needs. Find out what kind of hardware your customer has, what the operating system is, what applications are involved, and how is it impacting their business operationally and financially. Failure to assess the situation before you are on-site can quickly get you into quicksand. Make sure that your clients' most probable IT emergencies are things that you think you can fix. or things for which you can provide a quick workaround. IT Emergencies: Can You Fix It? For example, if they have a major problem with Linux and you don't have that kind of experience, emergencies and cleanups are NOT the place to start the learning curve. The more the problem impacts the company, the better the opportunity, IF you are prepared for it. At the same remember it is not possible to know everything. Preparing Your Company for IT Emergencies With a new client, there's a good chance that even if their hardware and their operating system, are familiar, that they may be using an oddball hub, switch, or router. If it is going to cost you more to learn how to fix this sort of item, it is better for you and the customer to replace it with something that you are comfortable supporting. You can get the customer up and running faster and you are building a common installed base, "cookie-cutter"-style, to make any future support burden easier. In this respect, it is simply the same approach you are working toward with your regular clients. You can provide better service in less time when you focus on one type of server, one backup software program, and one anti-virus solution. than having to keep up with all the upgrades and renewals, or replacements for a broad range of quickly changing products. Remember that in the customer's eyes, if you can handle taking care of the emergency priorities through triage and cleanup, they are going to be EXTREMELY receptive to anything else that you recommend. The Bottom Line on IT Emergencies IT emergencies are great opportunities for you to strengthen your long-term client relationships. Done right, you'll build incredible client loyalty. However, IT emergencies done wrong will just about ensure that you lose the client. Use the IT emergencies tips in this article to be better prepared. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 10

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