Category: Customer Service, IT Support.


My Brother is a Bit of a Whizz…

… and he tends to help out if I have a problem – so I don’t really need IT Support.

I have heard that phrase (and its slight variations – after all it’s sometimes a cousin) so very often that my heart goes out to all those ‘Bit of a whizz’ relatives out there!

Being married to one such ‘whizz’ I know only too well what it’s like for them.  Friends, relatives and neighbours alike will call whenever there’s an IT panic on for them and, more often than not, expect him to give up some spare time to get them sorted out.

The trouble is – not all computer support problems can be sorted really quickly – and they might happen just when he’s settling down for some hard-earned time off with the

PCSG-Engineers-helping-small-business-compressedSo – on behalf of those ‘Bit of a Whizzes’ everywhere AND to help YOU avoid unmitigated business disaster, here’s what you might want to consider before saying you ‘don’t need Computer Support’:

Think about your PC-savvy relative or friend …

  • Is he/she highly qualified and experienced?  It’s a highly specialised area, and all their hard work over the years is surely worth remuneration – should they REALLY be giving it away FOC?
  • When he/she has put in a full day of Techie Support for businesses – do they REALLY want more of it at home?
  • Are you the ONLY person who calls on them?  They may get a bit swamped with these sorts of requests and be far too polite to say anything!
  • What if something goes very wrong and you lose everything on your PC – which results in the loss of your business.  What’s that going to do to your relationship with your ‘whizz’? Is it really fair to put that level of responsibility on them in the first place?

Think about YOU and YOUR BUSINESS …

  • Is your friend or relative doing PRO-ACTIVE maintenance work on your IT system to ensure things have less chance of going wrong in the first place; saving you time and money?
  • Is your technical friend monitoring your back ups and anti-virus?
  • Do you know what qualifications and experience your ‘whizz’ truly has? Are they currently working in computer support?  If not, how are they keeping up with industry changes that may affect your computer systems?
  • Do they have server experience?
  • Can you get hold of them every minute of the working day?
  • Do they never get sick or go on holiday?
  • Is the software they have installed legitimate? Not only does pirated software pose a threat to you and your business from a legal perspective, it also can’t be updated which means it is vulnerable to virus and malware attacks which could bring your IT system to a standstill.

There are certain things that make a lovely addition to your business – a coffee machine, a water cooler, a good photocopier … but your Computer(s) are not one of these ‘nice’ additions.  They are ESSENTIAL.  Without them you may not have a business.  You may be able to ignore the dust if the cleaner calls in sick – but you’re going to need ongoing maintenance and reliable IT support to keep your business in operation!

Pam Case is the Brand Ambassador at The PC Support Group and loves letting people know how we can help them with their IT systems

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Category: Cloud Computing, Customer Service, IT Support.


In today’s business world, you and your workforce need to be able to access your computer systems at any time in any place from any PC, laptop or mobile device.

You need the flexibility to match your IT needs to your business and the marketplace, and you certainly shouldn’t be investing in expensive server hardware or software for the privilege.

That’s why Cloud Computing makes absolute sense for any SME interested in a dependable IT solution that costs less when business is slow and only adds extra cost in line with your business growth.

Putting it simply, Cloud Computing means you can store and access the data and programs that are critical to the success of your business over the internet instead of your computer or company server. This includes your documents, emails, customer information, business applications and other assets.

If Cloud Computing with its flexibility, accessibility and affordability sounds like an IT solution you’d like to explore, here’s how you can master the Cloud for business in five easy steps:

  1. You Need Guaranteed Internet Connectivity: If you cannot connect to the internet, most Cloud Computing solutions simply won’t work. Since, in most instances, you use the Internet to connect to both your applications and documents, if you don’t have an Internet connection you can’t access anything. Also, web-based software can require a lot of bandwidth, as do large documents. If you’re suffering from a low-speed connection, it might take seemingly forever just to change from page to page in a document. If you cannot guarantee regular, sustained access to the internet, Cloud Computing is not for you. There are, however, some hybrid solutions that might be perfect for your business. Speak impartially to our experts at The PC Support Group about what your other IT options may better meet your needs.
  2. Transition to Microsoft 365: Microsoft Office 365 is a Cloud-based service hosted by Microsoft themselves. It brings together familiar Microsoft Office desktop-based applications with Cloud-based business email, shared calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing and file sharing. If you’re already familiar with Microsoft Office tools such as Outlook and Word, Microsoft Office 365 can be a smooth transition to using Cloud technology. One of the key benefits, especially if you’re a business that does not have an internal network, is the ability to share calendars; to message each other and to access the system via the web. If you already operate on an internal network you can still benefit through reduced support costs; reduced licence replacement costs; improved security and improved resilience. Learn more here.
  3. Define your IT Strategy: Cloud Computing is one of the world’s leading enablers for business. It brings overseas marketplaces closer to your doorstep; supports agile and paperless working, and makes running a virtual team a reality – saving you overheads like business premises and utility bills. Discuss how and where Cloud Computing will fit into the ‘bigger picture’ for your growth strategy with one of our experts who can explain and recommend options for all different sizes and styles of business and make sure that common pitfalls are avoided. At The PC Support Group we can provide various Cloud-based solutions and Non-Cloud solutions and so can provide you with the best independent advice
  4. Future-proof Your Business: Be careful when you’re choosing a Cloud Computing vendor that you’re not locking your business into using programs that are the exclusive property of their developers or publishers and bound by specific formats and licensing agreements. Also make sure that you can add and subtract Cloud Computing users as necessary as your business grows or contracts.
  5. Trust a Managed Service Provider: You’ve opted for Cloud Computing; you’re all set and ready to go. Now what? Too often, computing solutions are implemented and only revisited when something goes wrong. A Managed Service Provider will monitor your Cloud Computing set-up – taking pre-emptive action to mitigate against potential problems and ensuring your set-up continues to run at its optimum. Not convinced you need ongoing support? What would you have done if any of these IT disasters had befallen your company? The PC Support Group is proud to be one of the top 500 Managed Service Providers in the world.

Got a question about Cloud Computing for your business, contact us today.



Category: Computer Maintenance, Customer Service, IT Support.

New-support-contract-photoIf any of these sound like they might apply to your IT Support Company… then it might be time to consider switching to a new provider and starting afresh with a new business relationship

  • “… we never used to have problems but since we/they got bigger….”
  • “… it take ages to get through by phone and even then it’s often an answering machine or someone that just logs the call…”
  • “…we have no way of knowing if and when they have completed a task…”
  • “…why are we always at the end of the queue?”
  • “…I have to assume our data back-ups are working, no-one ever tells us…”
  • “… they never seem to be able to just fix stuff. There’s always an excuse …”

I’m sure you can add more scenarios to that list! I think that covers the WHY.

So now the HOW…

If there is a problem – first try to resolve it amicably – especially if you are locked in to a contract. If those discussions fail, then you will probably want to seriously consider making the switch.

Check the conditions of the contract with your existing IT support company. You may find you are tied in for a set period and you may also have to give notice a number of weeks or even months before the end of that period. Make sure that if you switch you don’t get tied in again.

Before choosing a new IT support supplier, think about what did/didn’t work for you with your current one. Take a look at the list above and add your own thoughts about how your support company struggled to cope with your needs

You may be the person responsible for choosing a new IT Support Service… but it’s well worth canvassing the opinions of all the IT users in your workforce. What frustrations have they been encountering with the current support service? What do they think would make for a great relationship with a new supplier? Is there any immediate work or any improvements to the system that are needed? You can then use all this feedback in selecting a new IT support company.

Take all your thoughts and the comments from your workforce and craft them into questions to ask when interviewing alternative IT support providers.

So…. You’ve found a new IT Support Company. They’re approachable and seem proactive and professional. Their testimonials speak volumes about their customer service, and you really like the thought of switching to them because they ticked all the boxes when you interviewed them.

A smooth handover can help create the foundations of a long, happy partnership.

Take backups of all your data if possible …

If your IT support company maintains your website and network for example, some of your website files, shared documents, etc might actually be stored on computer equipment owned by them. At the very least, they are likely to have high-level access to your systems.  If your IT Support is provided by an unethical company with whom your relationship is quite poor, they may change vital settings – giving them the ability to lock you out of your own business IT! In effect, holding your data to ransom. So ask for all the access passwords and information about where things are stored before you give them the cancellation notice.

Help the new IT Company to hit the ground running…

If you don’t already keep documentation on your IT network… now is a great time to pull it all together – it can really pay off in terms of helping to minimise any level of disruption. This should include as much of the following as possible: network diagrams, usernames, passwords and log in addresses, plus software and hardware inventories. Also ensure you know where all your original software disks are. Do you have a support log? If you can let your new IT Support company have sight of this, they’ll be able to identify the main recurring issues you’ve been facing. They might even be able to suggest some better, and permanent solutions.

Will your outgoing IT support provider work with the incoming one to help smooth the handover? If they will (and ethical ones should) then this is an excellent way for the new team to understand how your systems work. Be aware that this may be hard to arrange and that you may have to pay the outgoing company for this extra help.

Be prepared – it’s almost inevitable that there will be some level of disruption – but remember that it will be very much worth it when you end up with an IT support company you can truly rely on.

And finally….

Once you have switched suppliers, change passwords so your old support company cannot access your systems.


PC Support



Category: Customer Service, IT Support.

By Guest Blogger Peter Dean of Debayne Web Design

When setting up a new business the emphasis is often on costs. Thanks to the recent re-emergence of EU funding, there may be some help available and many small banks are now onside offering free banking whilst you find your feet – even small loans to help you on your way.

Because the focus in these early days is often on watching every penny going in and out, there is a temptation to ignore or skate around some issues that, in time, could prove to be a huge blow to the business. One such potential issue is that of protecting the data stored on computers.

When you think of it, many business computers get rather a bad deal, every day they pop into life and perform all of the many tasks that you throw at them with ease and precision, day in day out, many for years at a time.

Read more »



Category: Customer Service, IT Support.

At The PC Support Group we’re always looking to improve the service we provide to our customers.

To achieve this we do a number of things:

  • we ask our customers what they like about our service and we do more of that and we ask what they don’t like and we try to stop doing that
  • we constantly review a streamline our processes
  • we measure certain key indicators and then look to improve on them

Recently we looked in detail at our average fix times for customer requests. I have heard various competitors refer to fix times in terms of 1 hour, 2 hours, etc so imagine my shock to find that our average fix time is over 3 days! I nearly hit the roof.

After I’d calmed down I started delving into why this was. We were measuring the average time from when a customer informs us about an issue or requirement to the time we close the call as complete.

The first and most obvious reason for such a long average was that these included requests for work that could take weeks such as setting up an entire office from scratch but that still didn’t explain everything.

The most significant point was that we train our staff to follow what we call our Service Excellence Cycle and this includes testing and checking that a problem is really solved and then asking the customer for a ‘declaration of satisfaction’.

What was happening was that our engineers where leaving the calls open for a few days and then calling back to ensure the problem hadn’t re-occurred and was really resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Our systems automatically prompt the engineers if the request is left open so this helps them when dealing with many issues.

After thinking about this I realised that this was fantastic customer service and that if we were to demand our average fix time to be in hours then our engineers would close calls as quickly as possible and wouldn’t perform the follow up. Why would I want that?

So our average fix time will remain in days and from our amazing customer feedback I know that’s what our customers want too.