So in the last blog we talked about warranty and dispelled some of the myths surrounding that level of cover. Today I wanted to talk about what you can do about that and this comes in the shape of a “Comprehensive” support product.
These are normally purchased as a “Pack” for each and every device you own and they can cover your device for 12 to 36 month periods at a time. most of these can be renewed at the relevant time to lengthen the support you get even more.
So what does a “Comprehensive support pack” give me?
Support pack benefits
1. Faster repair times
Although SLA driven, scratch beneath their terms and conditions of any support pack and you’ll find no true SLA, no penalties for missed ones and that they’re best endeavour, however even under this scenario the speed of repair is certainly faster, from 24 hours to 3 or 4 days.
2. Accidental damage cover
This is where this type of cover really comes into it’s own. You also get covered for anything at all so any wear and tear item or damage you cause such as a cracked screen will be repaired as part of the deal too. Basically if the device is repairable, then it gets repaired giving your business a far more TCO style of cover.
3. Access to expertise
There’s usually the ability to be able to ask engineers for some help, however our feedback about this with manufacturer lead support is often poor and we always have to end up helping.
4. Access to tools and updates
Free access is given to enable you to run, update and address any issues on your rugged mobile kit for however long it’s covered.
Support packs gotcha’s
Some support packs are run by resellers but many brands simply get the reseller to resell their own manufacturer lead support product. Here’s some gotcha’s to look for on that one:
1. Be careful who you buy from
Anyone can resell a support pack and often not make any money from it. Just be careful of that as many webshops are selling products they have no idea about and you never know when you might need your reseller (See below).
2. Non-UK support
Many of the larger brands outsource their support or run it in cheaper countries and this is always for their own means not your’s. If it’s not in the UK then accept that you have all kinds of culture and processes to get through no matter how glossy the brochure is!
3. Spending money does not mean great service
You might have bought a process but don’t forget about the people who are always the ointment you need in a time of need.
To underline this with a real life situation. I had a Gold level service call attendant from one of the most well known brands we sell laugh and giggle at me during a call 2 weeks ago. For some reason the fact that I had a customer with 200+ devices that were struggling and the fact that I was getting stressed out on the phone due to her inability to help me was all rather funny to her. More serious than that was when I complained to the supplier as a “Valued” reseller I have so far heard nothing back, despite asking 3 times now, tweeting and all!
If this is how the supplier treats a company who turns over a fair bit of product with them, then how do you think they’ll treat you?
4. Losing good people and relationships
Many manufactures like to take the relationship with you and they do this with their support packs. However forget about your reseller at your own peril! A reseller will have a lot of experience and expertise across multiple platforms, multiple customers and multiple device types so they have a wealth of expertise and practicality
5. Mergers and buyouts
Sorry to add this one in but from actual experience with all kinds of mergers and acquisitions going on in the market right now, it’s playing hell with support. Sure the standard stuff gets done but anything out of process has become very difficult. Management don;t seem to realise how much relationship and people make things work! Take them away and it’s like pulling the bandage of a wound.
Remember support is not a money game, it’s about keeping your mobile devices and in turn you business running. Get the right people, processes and products in place and you’ll be fine!