Get The Most Out Of Your Hardware Support Contract
Tips to Maximize Your Hardware Support
Already have a hardware maintenance contract, or are you ready to finalize your post-warranty coverage? We've got the inside scoop on how you can further maximize your hardware support's benefits.
We've helped thousands of clients over the years and are always thinking about ways to streamline how we do things. So we put together a few tips tailor-made for the M Global experience that will help you be set for success on the front end and get the quickest resolution when you open a service ticket. Let's go!
Set Up Your Support Contract for Success
It might be a bit cliche, but it doesn't make it untrue — perfect preparation does prevent poor performance. Getting all your ducks in a row from the get-go makes everything much smoother later. When we onboard clients, it's a collaborative effort to get all the pieces set up in the most optimal way. Here are a few things you can do to help us help you.
Finalize Your Contract
Don't procrastinate on the paperwork. It could look like this — you're researching hardware support options but still have three months left on your current contract. You get through the quote process, make all your decisions, gather all your details, and then put it all on the back burner to deal with when it gets closer to time. Then things get busy, and before you know it, six months have gone by, and your coverage has lapsed. You search through your inbox, trying to remember the particulars. While you might not be starting entirely from scratch, there will be quite a bit of duplicate work as we try to pick up the thread where it was left off. Finishing off the details while it's at the top of everyone's mind is so much easier, and you won't have to worry about lapsed coverage.
Hint: If you need a future contract start date (say in three months or six) — no problem, we can make the start date whatever you'd like.
Be straightforward about what you'd like from your service. Don't be afraid to speak up if you prefer certain communication types and styles or have specific site requirements, service expectations, or personnel instructions. We can't speak for other providers in this area, but we can generally accommodate most requests and are happy to tailor the service experience accordingly.
Provide Information — Details Make a Difference
Configuration details are an important part of the setup process. We usually ask for these details in the quoting process to ensure an accurate quote with transparent parts stocking information. If you want to skip this step in the quoting process, we can usually make it work, but getting us these details once you're all set up helps us make sure the parts you need will be available when needed.
Depending on the model, configuration details such as the drive type can be crucial to ensuring the correct part is stocked. If you've never been asked for the config details in the quoting or contract setup process, it's reasonable to wonder what parts are truly being stocked. Providers are not stocking every single component for every single model and possible configuration at every single facility, so how can you be sure the parts for your devices will be on hand when needed to fulfill your SLA?
Confirm any onsite parts stocking information. Because the parts stocking strategy is crucial for your hardware support services, verifying that your provider has the correct contact and shipping address for parts logistics is a good idea. Confirming appropriate contact information can be especially important if parts are housed in a separate location and managed by other personnel.
Hint: If you have a contract with M Global, let us know where you plan to store spare parts at your site. We can put a note in your account with the exact location and remind you if necessary. The last thing you want to do is search in vain for parts in the middle of an emergency.
Tips for the Quickest Resolution From the Help Desk
It's never fun when a hardware failure happens, but if you have a support contract with M Global, you won't be going at it alone because we've got you covered. When it's time to open a service ticket, there are a few things you can do to speed things along to the quickest possible resolution. We've curated these tips straight from the M Global help desk to help us help you more efficiently.
Prep Before Opening a Service Ticket
Troubleshooting usually starts with the basics, and you can jump-start the first steps by prepping a few things.
- Have your system serial # on hand (this is crucial for getting the service ticket going)
- Collect logs if possible.
- Check for loose or unplugged cables.
- Take pictures or screenshots of component status LEDs or any physical indication of an error — it's quicker and more effective than trying to describe it.
- Make note if there is anything unusual you can think of — such as the server being in a position where it's in direct sunlight or if the environment could be causing an issue.
Hint: Do NOT power off the system before checking with the support team (it might not turn back on).
Start With an Email
When faced with a hardware failure, the first instinct for some might be to hop on a phone call to get things rolling, but opening a service ticket with a thorough email is the quickest and most effective way to boost the momentum of a service ticket. We usually respond within minutes, and if you've provided crucial details, we can eliminate the time-consuming back and forth that can waste time and be frustrating. It also allows key players to be in the loop from the get-go speeding up internal processes.
What to include in your email when you open a service ticket:
- Customer Name, Phone Number, and Email Address
- Site Contact’s Name, Number, and Email Address
- Site Address:
- Contract #:
- Model #
- Serial #
- Description of the problem
- Severity Level (Low/Medium/High)
Hint: Include screenshots and details of errors as well as logs, if possible. We'll be able to start troubleshooting immediately and get a head start coordinating with logistics.
Tell the Whole Truth
Give us all the details even if they are embarrassing — we promise we won't judge! We've all been there. Part of working in IT involves trial and error, and if you've tried to resolve the issue independently, let us know — especially if things haven't worked. That can help us identify issues and speed up the process. It's like getting treatment in the emergency room - to help effectively, we need to know all the dirty details.
It Would Be Nice to Know...
There are lots of things that might seem unrelated but could have an impact on the device experiencing a failure. Here are a few examples of information that could prove useful in troubleshooting.
- Power outages
- Configuration changes
- Anything that requires powering off the system
- Upgrades to the system
- Construction projects in the building that could affect your equipment
- Weather events such as flooding or a lightning strike
- Changes in the environment, such as a broken AC in the middle of summer or direct sunlight on the devices
Hint: Let us know ahead of time if you are planning any maintenance activities that could cause problems, such as disaster recovery exercises. This allows us to be ready to address any issues quickly if something goes wrong.
Need help with an issue, but don't have a contract?
No problem! We help people all the time with hardware issues, even if they don't have a contract with us. We're all about finding solutions and helping people out of a jam. But keep in mind that Time & Materials hardware repair projects will take longer and probably cost more in the long run than a support contract. Our TPM contract clients take priority, and we take on T&M projects on a first come, first serve basis. Even in perfect circumstances with straightforward issues, T&M projects will take longer than if you had a support contract. Not only do we need to get all the billing and customer information set up, but we also will need to source and ship parts once we have diagnosed the problem. If you fall in this category, the best tip we can give you is to get a support contract!
By Angie Stephens with contributions from experts at M Global.