Building your service package

Following on from our in-depth read about maintenance contracts, Jason Griffing, director of product at OneVision Resources, shares some of his tips with integrators on how to build their own packages.

You can read the in-depth article 'Always be prepared' here

How does a maintenance contract benefit an integration business? 
One benefit of service (aka maintenance) contracts that often gets overlooked is how they help filter for the right types of clients. What I mean by this is not that you're looking to filter for only clients that are willing to pay a premium for better service. Rather, you are looking to filter for clients who understand that the need for ongoing service and support is a fact of life when owning one of these systems. Rather or not they want to pay for premium service is less important than the fact that they've been presented with a well-defined set of service plans (including a free option) to choose from and have been required to make an explicit decision. If a client is turned off by this process, there's a good chance that you don't want to work with that client anyway. 

Should it be offered as a fixed price or various levels of maintenance? 
We believe it is really critical to offer multiple levels to choose from, including a free option that provides a base level of service. Too many people fall into the trap of believing that the primary goal of service plans is to generate recurring revenue. That is a goal, to be sure. But it is little more than a byproduct of consistently meeting or beating client expectations. Not all clients are equal in this regard. Some are perfectly content waiting for the next available appointment; others want to skip the line every time. By offering various levels of plans, you provide your clients with the ability to choose the level of service that is appropriate for their unique wants/needs. 

What are the most important things to include in a service contract? 
There are lots of ways to approach creating a service package. But at the core of it all, there are a few principles that most clients want. These include guaranteed access to service during clearly defined hours, extended hours of access for premium members, guaranteed response times, prioritised scheduling, and hourly discounts. 

What do you think shouldn't be included? 
For most companies, the inclusion of bundled labour is a bit risky. The reason being a lack of predictability/data. This is not to say it can't be done. But if you're going to go down the path of bundling labour, it is paramount that you have robust systems to monitor and measure usage. This usage data needs to be continually fed back into the system in order to validate whether or not you are actually profitable on these hours. This is deceptively difficult to execute. For that reason, we do not advise the inclusion of bundled labour in plans. 

Article Categories