When purchasing management software to assist with the day-to-day operation of your self-storage property, not only will you have high expectations of the software, you should have certain expectations of your provider’s technical support. Without tech support, you would eventually encounter numerous hurdles while using the program—hurdles that could easily prevent you from accomplishing the objectives behind your purchase.
While discussing the features and costs for the software you’re considering, remember to ask the provider how much technical support comes with the original purchase. You can expect anything from three months to as much as a year. Within this “warranty period,” you’ll be entitled to tech support and, with most providers, any software updates released within that time frame. But, as with any costly purchase, your warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it.
The need for tech support rarely ends once the “free” period is over. To ensure your staff has ongoing support, consider purchasing an extended tech-support agreement. This is a great way to provide employees the assistance they might need down the road.
The issue of long-term support also will help you determine which software is right for your company today—and tomorrow. Before talking to vendors about tech support, consider these questions:
- How computer-savvy are your managers?
- Do you have a lot of turnover in personnel?
- Are you seldom available to help your managers when a problem arises?
- How complex is your operation?
With an unlimited-support agreement, there’s no per-call or per-minute charge for phone support. If you choose the alternative and pay for the assistance as needed, you can expect to pay with a credit card at the time of the call, or will be billed once the call is completed.
Whether you purchase a support agreement or pay for each individual call to the tech-support team, it’s important that your employees never be reluctant to seek help from professionals. There’s no better way to avoid costly, unnecessary mistakes and inaccuracies in your financials than to let the people operating the software get the help they need from the people who wrote the program.
As an added bonus, some software providers show extra appreciation to their customers by providing a toll-free number for technical calls. Considering the length of a productive, in-depth, problem-solving call, the money saved will go straight to your bottom line.