“Why does it have to be this difficult?” I said to myself.

My boss, a leader of a Vancouver based mining firm, wanted some pricing information.

He was considering replacing our current in-house IT tech (me) with someone else, and I was all in favour of that!

I’d had more than my fill of doing my work PLUS the maintenance of a server, six computers, and a dozen field mobile devices. (I was in WAY over my head and didn’t understand half of what I was doing.)

But what surprised me was how difficult it was to pin down these IT services companies to a price on an initial phone call.

There has to be an easier way. I thought.

But there wasn’t…and there isn’t…and that’s a good thing.

Let me explain.

My frustration with trying to gather IT services pricing for my boss hit a boiling point on a call with a company called Compunet InfoTech.

It wasn’t the Compunet representative’s fault. — Let me state that up-front.

It was my frustration.

By the time I had called Compunet, I had talked to ten other companies that afternoon trying to pin them down on general pricing for our company’s IT support needs.

I wasn’t asking for anything written in stone. I just wanted an educated “guesstimate.”

So, when the patient lady on the other end of the Compunet conversation told me that it’d be better if I spoke to a Compunet representative in person to get pricing, I LOST IT.

Looking back on it now, I feel SO badly for her.

I went on an on for about three minutes about how IT services companies in Vancouver were all the same and how none of them wanted the business of the little guy because no-one would give me pricing over the phone.

After I had spun my wheels for a while and dug a BIG hole for myself, the lady at Compunet quietly and calmly replied.

“I’m sorry you feel that way. To be honest, I felt the same way too when I started working for an IT services company. I thought, ‘Why can’t they just have standard pricing that they can post online to make it easy for everyone?’”

(“So she understands,” I thought. — I was settling down by the minute.)

The Compunet rep continued…

“So, I get where you’re coming from. But let me ask you a question.”

“Would you rather pay for exactly the IT support you need or would you rather have an IT services company charge you extra so you can have a price quote right now?”

I thought about it for a moment.

“Well, I guess I’d rather only pay for what I need.”

In a calm voice, the Compunet staff member replied, “That’s why IT services companies don’t give out pricing on the phone. If we had to guess, we would be forced to guess high. Each company is different with different makes and models of hardware, different goals, different workflows, different cloud assets, and different cybersecurity needs. Without an assessment, it’s impossible to give you a price that’s tailored to your company’s specific needs.”

Yep. That made sense. Now I understand how it works.

My boss wouldn’t want to pay for more IT support than what we actually need.

I was quick to apologize for my burst of frustration and made an appointment for my boss to sit down with the Compunet team the following day. – Fortunately, he had a hole in his schedule.

The next morning, five minutes before their appointment, two professional-looking people from Compunet showed up. Quick introductions were made, and my boss and I dived into answering their questions. They spent a lot of time – probably half an hour – asking about how we use technology, what we currently were using, and what the next steps of business growth looked like for our company.

It wasn’t until they had a firm grasp of where we were – both regarding technology and our organizational goals – that they took out a sheet of paper and began to describe their array of available IT services.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that these services were the tip of the iceberg when it came to what they had available.

But they didn’t focus on a dozen things.

They quickly narrowed it down to three services that were critical to our operation and gave us pricing on ongoing delivery of those three services. Other services, they said, would certainly be available to us as we needed them, but for now, they explained that these three services would get us to where we wanted to go.

My boss was happy because the pricing was around what he was hoping to spend.

I was happy because I didn’t have to stay late at night anymore doing computer maintenance, security updates, version upgrades, and patches!

Sure, I didn’t get a price in the initial phone call with Compunet. But that turned out to be the best thing for our company.

What I learned was that if you want to pay for exactly what you need, you need a team like Compunet to pay your company a visit and build a tailored IT support strategy just for you.

Want to discover more helpful things about IT services here in Vancouver? We have more outstanding articles for you HERE.