I've found myself more and more in the situation where I need to offer some kind of monthly support plan to my ongoing clients. Up until now, I've always done things either ad hoc with hourly pricing, however it's getting to the point where I need to formalize this more.
Some ideas that I had as offerings were:
- Phone support hours with time limits
- Email support hours with time limits
- Uptime monitoring (leveraging a service like node ping) with SLA's for outages.
- Error monitoring (leveraging a service like sentry) with a set amount of hours for fixing critical bugs and errors and a discounted pro rate after exceeded.
- Managing their DNS and hosting
- Analytics reporting
- Lighthouse reporting with a set number of hours dedicated to making performance enhancements when applicable.
- Discounted hourly and project rates for all work of support plan subscribers.
Previously I didn't want all the headache that comes with hosting and managing websites. However, I've come around to the idea that I end up being the first call anyway when something goes wrong so it would be better to catch these things early and be empowered to just fix them. I also want to be fair with pricing and offer the most value so my recurring pool of customers stays happy.
I'd love to hear how other people have handled and/or priced this type of service. Do you add on monthly retainers? Do you allow rollovers? What are the pitfalls that one should absolutely avoid when doing this? Any horror stories?
Top comments (3)
It depends on what type of customer you are supporting if it's a enterprise level might need SLA, escalation process & man hours based upon support packages they purchase.
Try to limit the amount of support packages you offer to simplify your operation process and headaches when dealing with a customer.
For sure, so what size would you say you start needing those things? What's the smallest support package that you think is doable without becoming a massive headache? Even if it's hypothetical I'm curious what the line is since developing these things feels like 33% guesswork and 33% hard lessons and 33% shooting yourself in the foot and course correcting :)
Yes your correct and there's something called ITIL or a similar framework of delivering IT services for big companies.
To start off so far, I had seen is that you could offer monthly support packages with just email support and basic reports of activities you had done for lowest tier support.
When it is the highest tier requires more human touch like response time of a specific level of the incident to resolve it within x number of hours or 24/7 on call.