MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

I Am a Name Not A Number

I’ll be honest, I have something of an issue with all the £9.99 IT support plans that are appearing everywhere at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not casting aspersions at the providers of such plans, nor am I refuting that they are excellent value for the businesses signing up to them. I’m sure they get a big tick on both counts.

It’s just that I know how much it costs to provide quality IT support and I don’t believe you can offer all-inclusive support for £9.99 per user per month.

I’m not daft - I realise the provider is playing a numbers game here. They sign up a large number of users at £9.99, enough to cover their costs and make some money, and then they can provide support on the basis that not all of those users are going to call up at once. A large proportion of the support provided will be remote or phone support and therefore the provider’s overheads are kept to a minimum.

So, why exactly do I have a problem with these plans? Well, it comes down to the quality of the support offered and the assumption that all your users won’t need support at the same time.

As an IT support provider we have peaks and troughs of demand as many businesses do. I know that at some points in the month I will be racing around making sure our clients are fully supported and at other times I will have some time to catch up on the admin. It’s the nature of the beast.

I also know that it matters not one jot to my client how busy I am - if their PC has stopped working, it is of paramount importance that it is up and running as soon as possible. That may very well involve a site visit, particularly if the PC has no internet connection for remote support. In fact, probably about 50% of our support is provided on site.

We offer top-notch support (and you are most welcome to ask our clients if this is true). But to do that for £9.99 per user per month would mean some cost cutting. Perhaps we could leave on site support as a very last resort and perhaps spend a bit too long on remote support to avoid incurring travel costs? However, that would impact the quality of support offered, something I'm not prepared to do.

In addition, if we played the numbers game and signed up large numbers of users, someone would have to sit it out at the busy times. In other words a client would be made to wait. Would you like to be that client? I know I wouldn't.

Perhaps it depends what kind of client you are. I think £9.99 support provides the greatest benefit to micro-businesses and smaller SME’s. Once the business grows, and particularly when the business begins to think about running a networked server, £9.99 support from a provider playing a numbers game is perhaps not the best choice.

So what's the solution? Taking all this into account, MonkeyPuzzle Computers does offer IT support for £9.99 per user per month (+ VAT), which provides all remote, telephone and email support with proactive monitoring of your PC system and a generous 15% discount on our standard rate for on site support. We aim to provide quality IT support where you are treated as an individual without compromise on the level of support offered. More details here.

Added By: Phil Wright on 10th May 2011 - 22:26
Last Updated: 10th May 2011 - 22:36

Number of Views: 4076
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