Whether you’re receiving phone support from Schulz Consulting, another consultant or Sage – I believe the worst thing you can do is cancel your MAS90 or MAS 200 phone support contract and pray nothing goes wrong.
I’ll take our own support plan as an example.
Enrollment in an unlimited phone and remote support plan costs you $2,800 per year.
That’s about $250 per month.
We don’t offer pay as you go telephone/remote support (read below for the primary reason).
Shortly we believe you will also have trouble finding a competent consultant who provides support on a pay as you go plan (see below for reason).
The most common argument that we hear against paying for a support plan is the old standby:
We don’t call that much
Ok. I’ll buy that.
When you DO call – how fast do you
want expect the response?
Is it helpful that the person can also log in immediately to control your desktop and make changes (with your permission)?
Is one, two or even three day response time acceptable? That’s our estimate of the average “pay as you go” response time.
That’s one, two or three days of your staff staring at blank computer screens. Your staff sitting idle not able to process any computer transactions.
Most consulting firms (Schulz included) reserve their fastest response times for those customers enrolled in a prepaid plan. The reasoning for this is simply – they reserve this time for the clients who’ve prepaid and have indicated a future need for services.
The other common argument we hear against support is:
That was a quick question – don’t bill me
I’m paraphrasing the above but when we used to offer hourly telephone support (which we don’t any longer because all of our clients are on prepaid fixed cost plans) a huge number of clients would call expecting that if their question could be answered quickly that they would not receive a bill.
How insane is that logic?
Let me rephrase the logic of the quick question from a consultant’s perspective:
“If you can get me back up and running extremely quickly I want to pay you nothing”
Just this morning I received a call from a former support customer. Their normal internal staff person who supports their MAS 90 is out sick. They have 5 people unable to process any transactions until a MAS 90 issue is corrected.
Guess why they had cancelled support?
Correct! — they hardly ever needed to call.
Now the owner’s in a situation where his entire staff has to stop working until they can get a MAS 90 error condition corrected.
We are increasingly seeing these types of support issues where a company has cancelled their support due to perceived lack of need.
Guess what they’re discovering?
It’s only a lack of need — until you need it.
At a future point – they suddenly have a need again. And they’re stuck waiting in line for a consultant who offers lower priority hourly support.
We urge you – think twice before giving up your support. If having MAS 90 or MAS 200 shut down in the middle of the day would be a hardship for your company – then you need to be on a support plan with a qualified consulting firm. It’s important to establish these relationships ahead of time because shortly as the market contracts you will see more consulting firms that do not accept “quick question” type support for which they ultimately won’t be compensated.