If you offer IT maintenance contracts to your clients, it is important to decide exactly how to structure them. This will provide your clients with clarity as to what they can expect.
This article details three popular ways of structuring an IT maintenance contract. You may wish only to offer one type, or perhaps you want to offer your clients a choice of all three.
All-Inclusive: An all-inclusive contract usually covers every facet of IT support for a fixed monthly or annual fee. You agree to do whatever it takes to resolve IT problems. This includes anything from remote and on-site support to dealing with third parties when necessary. While an all-inclusive deal guarantees consistent revenue, long hours may be necessary with no additional reward when serious problems occur.
Retainer: A retainer-based IT maintenance contract generally requires your clients to pay you a nominal monthly fee to be on hand to answer queries and fix small problems. Major support issues and system projects are charged separately. Retainer arrangements can benefit you and the client, as the monthly bill should always reflect how much IT work has been done. The downside for the computer business is that month-to-month revenue is less consistent than under all-inclusive arrangements.
Pay As You Go: “Pay as you go” IT maintenance contracts are popular with clients who only want to pay when something goes wrong. Typically, computer businesses advertise higher hourly or daily rates for this kind of reactive work. While this kind of work can be lucrative in the short term, it is hard to predict the staff resource you will need when there is no way of predicting the work that will come in next.
What is your preferred style of IT maintenance contract? Do you provide clients with a selection of options? Please share your experiences in the comments box below.
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