However good your company is at delivering IT services, you will occasionally find yourself wanting to rid yourself of a troublesome computer support contract.
Some clients are simply too difficult to help, and while you shouldn’t make a habit of disposing of revenue generating customers as soon as working for them becomes arduous, there are times when waving a polite goodbye will free up time for “better” clients, and restore the morale of your staff.
In this article, we explore five signs that might indicate it’s time to end a computer support contract.
One client is taking up far more time than others. If one client is taking up far more time than another and is also PAYING you far more, then this point (obviously) does not apply. However, if you have, for example, five ten-user sites, and one is taking up as much of your time as the other four combined, then you have a problem. If it’s simply the case that the time-consuming client has more complex requirements, then your computer support contract fee should reflect that. If it’s more down to aging equipment, demanding users and a disorganized company culture (on the part of the client) it may be time to wave goodbye.
Your team is complaining. It’s important to keep your internal team happy. Ultimately their morale is more important that the morale of your clients. So, if the behavior of a certain client is causing your staff distress, you must act to resolve the situation. Poor morale at a client site can affect morale at your company if the users take out their frustrations on your staff. You mustn’t stand for this.
Payment is consistently late. Some degree of late payment is sadly endemic in the business world, especially in times of recession, but you need to make sure clients pay for their computer support contract at a speed and frequency that’s acceptable to you. If you find that you constantly have to chase a specific client for payment, you should take it as a warning sign, and perhaps consider some kind of credit “limit” to reduce your risk. Consistently late payment may mean that your client is in financial difficulty, or (at the very least) that they have little respect for their suppliers.
Nobody’s listening. When you’re running a computer support contract, you are usually working in a consultative capacity; therefore it is reasonable to expect customers to listen to your advice. If they fail to do so, they could end up with an increasingly unsupportable system. Obviously there will be times when a firm’s budgetary constraints mean you can’t always have everything on your “nice to have” list, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a system that you can support effectively. If the users can’t work effectively, they may take out their frustrations on you and your staff.
Your client is making unfair demands. Nobody should accept clients calling their cellphones during Sunday breakfast, or making demands during vacation times. When you’re delivering a computer support contract, you’re a supplier (or consultant) and not a staff member. If a client cannot accept that this is a relationship that requires mutual respect, the contract may not be worth the money it earns you. On this basis, if you ever feel like working for a specific client is causing you undue stress, think very seriously about showing them the door.
Have you ever felt the need to end a computer support contract? Share your experiences in the Comments box 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 HealthWyze.org
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business