When you’re looking for the best I.T. solutions, it only makes sense to take an objective, fact-based approach. Yet, sometimes people fail to go beyond a generally good feeling about a managed services provider. Instead of weighing the evidence fairly, they tip the scales in favor of someone they like. It’s called the halo effect, and it can cause your business significant harm.
What Is the Halo Effect?
The halo effect is a type of perception error, also called a cognitive bias. It’s a way of thinking in which you have an overall high opinion of someone or something and generalize that good feeling to everything they do.
That great first impression is often based on physical attractiveness, but it can also be based on any quality, behavior, or attribute that you see as positive. That one great impression becomes like a glowing halo over their head, shining beautifully over everything about them.
The halo effect can happen when you get a great first impression of someone. Then, when you find out more about them, you fit that information into your positive view of them. But it can also happen if you’ve known someone for a long time, and they change, or you learn something new about them.
You’ve always seen them as good, so you interpret new information in whatever way you need to in order to retain your positive regard for them. The halo effect applies not only to people but also to products and services.
How the Halo Effect Can Impact Your I.T.To make the right decision about who to hire or keep as your I.T. provider, you need to look beyond general impressions. Otherwise, you may find yourself working with someone who puts on a good show but provides very little substance. Here are some examples of the halo effect in action.
Daniel runs a company that manufactures custom work trailers. As business expanded, he realized that in order to keep up with demand, he needed better technology than the old computers and legacy software he had been nursing along for years.
So Daniel met with an MSP to discuss the I.T. problems his factory was having. The person he talked to was very friendly. This I.T. guy seemed confident in his company’s ability to do the job right. Daniel was extremely impressed with the way this guy presented himself, so he hired the MSP.
Over the course of the next year, there were many problems with his technology. At first, Daniel assumed that the problems must be unfixable if his great MSP couldn’t handle them. But, when the problems began to disrupt production, he decided maybe it was time to reevaluate the situation. He switched to another MSP based on their record of providing high-quality I.T. services. Soon, Daniel’s technology was working better than ever before.
Sean is the junior partner at a small law firm. When their I.T. guy was hired away by a SaaS startup, the partners decided that a larger managed I.T. services provider would be a good idea, so they wouldn’t have to risk going through the same problem again with another single-man I.T. service. Sean was given the task of reviewing and recommending a replacement.
Sean wanted to make a smart decision about what MSP to hire. So he set up consultations with several I.T. services companies. The first one blew him away. The sales guy was just so passionate about technology. Sean did talk to the other candidates, but he couldn’t get that positive impression of the first one out of his mind.
The last MSP Sean talked to presented him with a detailed plan for managing his I.T. and helping him meet his business goals. But the presenter didn’t seem as excited about it. Sean decided the first was the best, so he hired him.
However, after the new MSP took over, there was a noticeable dip in reliability. Not only did the help desk take a long time to respond to calls, but the new provider never suggested any ways to improve the firm’s I.T. and plan for the future. At first, Sean told himself that they were going to propose changes soon, once they “got the lay of the land.” Yet, they never did.
Eventually, Sean and his partners realized that passion wasn’t enough. As soon as they could, they signed on with the MSP that had a concrete plan. Soon, their I.T. was on the cutting edge, running smoothly, and enhancing the firm’s work.
Sam had known Garrett since high school. They stayed in touch even after Garrett moved away after college. Sam took over his family’s trucking company, while Garrett built up a managed I.T. services company.
When Garrett bought out a rival and opened a second office in Sam’s city, Sam thought it was the perfect time to change providers. He couldn’t imagine that his friend would ever fail him in any way. After Garrett’s company took over, Sam’s technology went downhill fast. When it got so bad his office couldn’t function and deliveries were being delayed, Sam decided it was time to move to a new provider. Before long, his technology was up and running well. After sorting out his cognitive bias, Sam realized that Garrett was a great friend, but not a great I.T. provider.
Self-Awareness Is the First Step in Making Great I.T. Decisions
It’s critical that you examine the facts, statistics, and evidence when making a decision about who handles your technology. Yet, you can’t evaluate that data objectively if you’re swayed by the halo effect. Be aware of what it is that’s behind your decisions. Is it a general good impression, or is it real, concrete information? When you look past the halo, you can see more clearly the facts that matter in that choice.
Are you ready to get the information you need to see what truly great I.T. looks like? Set up a consultation with our I.T. experts at JMARK to get the straight-up details from a company with decades of experience and a long reputation as an excellent managed services provider. Call us at 844-44-JMARK, email us at jmarkit@JMARK.com, or leave us a message at our Contact Us page. With headquarters in Springfield, Missouri and additional locations in Arkansas and Oklahoma, we’re here to provide the I.T. services you need now and in the future.