Many IT companies are keen to persuade clients to sign up to monthly computer maintenance agreements. The trouble is, much of the work that goes into keeping an IT infrastructure running smoothly goes on behind the scenes. If you don’t tell the clients what you are doing, they’re likely to be unaware and take the reliable running of their systems for granted.
In this article, we list some of the routine tasks that go towards justifying the need for monthly computer maintenance. While we’re not suggesting that you attempt to charge for them individually, listing the tasks you perform regularly can help customers understand what’s truly involved in keeping a company IT system running quickly and reliably.
All kinds of software requires frequent updating, from server operating systems to individual applications on desktop PCs and laptops.
While it’s possible to automate the process to a significant degree (or almost completely, if you use the right utilities and services), keeping on top of software updates is still something that the IT team has to do – so clients should understand the work that’s involved.
Software logs often provide early warning of impending problems, and proactive IT professionals constantly keep track of them. Again, this is something you can automate, with the help of email alerts and specialist monitoring systems. Even so, clients must understand that this background task is essential to minimizing unexpected system problems.
Client PC Checks
Good IT people are aware that one of the most important parts of running a network is ensuring that the users have PCs that run smoothly and reliably. As such, including periodical PC checks as part of a monthly computer maintenance agreement is a worthwhile gesture.
Perhaps consider on-site or remote checks of a rotating selection of PCs each month. This way, clients will know and appreciate that you’re taking the user experience into account as part of providing your service.
Presumably you expect to be responsible for your customer’s backups as part of a monthly computer maintenance deal? It’s never enough to just assume that a “successful” backup is restorable without testing it, so implementing regular restore checks is both common sense and good practice.
Over time, PCs and servers alike become cluttered with temporary files and other superfluous data. Rather than allowing this to mount up over time, why not include a monthly clear out in your support agreement? Not only will this help systems to run smoothly, it will prevent you from ever needing to undertake huge housekeeping tasks in the future. Particular attention should be paid to server system volumes on Windows servers, which can quickly become home to large quantities of unnecessary temporary files.
There are plenty of other parts of an IT infrastructure that should be regularly checked to protect against unexpected issues. These include making sure RAID arrays are running optimally, checking that UPS devices have working batteries and correctly configured software, and verifying that essential hardware isn’t reaching the end of its manufacturer’s warranty period.
Finally, you should always include a reporting element in your monthly computer maintenance agreement. Clients need to know what’s been going on within their systems, so you should be tracking all user issues, helpdesk calls and background system problems. You can then present detailed reports to clients, which keep them up to speed with their systems. This also goes one step further to justifying your existence…and your invoice!
How do you make your clients aware of all the things you do as part of a monthly computer maintenance contract? Share your tactics in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr AndyBrii
Topics:- Managed Service Provider MSP