If you provide ad hoc remote support to clients who aren’t subject to a contract or MSP agreement, you’ll need to work out how to charge them fairly.
Remote support jobs are often quick five-minute fixes. As it’s not really practical to send out piles of low-value invoices, here we provide a few tips related to effectively charging for ad hoc remote support:
An “hours bank” – If clients are amenable to the idea, you could suggest that they pay for a block of support hours up-front, perhaps offering some kind of discount incentive to do so. This is probably the best possible arrangement from the provider’s perspective. You guarantee yourself up-front revenue, and then simply need to track the time you spend on client remote support until they run out of banked time.
Time logging – Time logging is basically the same as the “hours bank” but in reverse; your business keeps a note of the time it spends on client remote support and then generates an invoice at a certain point—perhaps when a full hour or day is reached.
IM Transcripts – Using Instant Messaging transcripts is a very handy way of proving the time spent on remote support, and can work together with the tips above. Essentially, when you’re providing remote support, you’re not necessarily moving the remote mouse and clicking away for every moment. A lot of the time, more of the remote “session” is spent gleaning information about the problem(s) and providing general help and advice. By communicating within an instant messaging session, using a program like Skype, you not only have a full record of all of your advice, but you also have a timed transcript that you can use as the basis for your invoice. Nobody can debate how much of your time they took up if it’s all there in black and white!
How do you charge for ad hoc remote support jobs? Share your methods in the comments box below.
And to follow through on the tips introduced in this short article, especially if you also support SaaS and IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.