For the purposes of this article we won’t get too deep into how valuable good service is. However anyone who’s experienced poor, slow, and unprofessional service knows how valuable quality and reliable support is to a business. We’re going to assume the support you’re getting is good and the service people are good and the response is good. Even if all those things are good, there are two approaches to service that POS companies will take which can make the world of a difference. We’re going to talk about the differences in these two support models.
There are two main types of support models you’ll see in the POS industry break/fix(unmanaged) and managed support. The most common type of support model you will see is the break/fix model. As the name suggests this type of support is provided after something breaks and then the service is provided in order to fix it. This type of support model requires someone to reach out to support in order to receive help. Most of the time you will receive service only when you ask. One weakness with this type of support is that the support person may only address the problems the customer is aware of at the time. The break fix model can be quite profitable for a POS company(and costly for the customer), especially if the POS company installed cheap equipment and buggy software because the customer will need constant service to get the system working again. The true nature of this support model is that service providers wait for something to break in order to provide help.
Another common scenario with à la carte break/fix support models is often times customers don’t want to pay to have something fixed or professionally setup/ configured. Over the course of time the system isn’t well maintained and eventually it may lead to larger issues that will cost even more time and money to remedy.
The truth about any technology is that it’s never a matter of IF it will break or fail, but a matter of WHEN. This is why good support is so valuable. The most important part of a support plan that is often missing is the maintenance aspect.
The break/fix model is the most common approach because it typically(assuming the products are good) requires less resources for the POS company to provide this type of service. In many cases you’ll have a support plan in which case break/fix models may be more cost effective. However, if you’re paying for support à la carte, a few support sessions could end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.
Time is Money
I don’t think anyone will argue that wasted time is wasted income. This idea is especially true of down time. When your POS system is down your pizza business can grind nearly to a halt. One of the major benefits of managed support is that it’s proactive rather than reactive. True managed support is designed to help prevent problems and issues before they happen. This type of support approach will minimize the amount of down time you’ll experience year after year. It’s common knowledge that older the system the more prone it is to failures. The key to good managed support is how the service is proactively is executed. Typically fully-managed support involves some form of monitoring, testing, upgrading, updating, and improving the system on an on-going basis. Another key factor is that all of this monitoring, upgrading, updating, and improvement is handled by expert professionals. Experienced professionals will check up on your system to make sure everything is running optimally. If it’s not, they will take the necessary steps to get you back to optimal performance. This is on-going maintenance at its highest level. Dollar for dollar it’s well worth having a professional manage your technology.
The nature of technology problems can be very wide ranging. Of course not every issue can be prevented, however there are problems that can be easily prevented if a technician were to perform a diagnostic or look into error logs regularly. These types of situations are often not addressed in a break/fix model because that would actually minimize the amount of support calls(income). In a managed model, it’s the opposite income model as well. The more someone calls, the less the POS company will earn. So it makes sense that the managed service provider would do their best to minimize problems.
Less support calls. Managed support by design is to help minimize your need to call support for major problems. Since you’re experiencing less downtime you should expect to call less about emergency issues. Less downtime means more efficiency and productivity for your business.
Ok managed support is better, but how does that help my business?
At the end of the day, the most important benefit you will receive from managed support is to save time and money. Time to focus on growing your business. Money because you know what it will cost to keep everything working. Even if you’re fully capable of programming menus and setting up computers, it’s actually unproductive to focus your time on those things. Managed support frees your resources. You can focus on the most important thing which is growing and managing your business.
Pizza is a simple food, however the recipe and technique in making them is vastly different from one store to another. In the same way, support can be drastically different. If you’re looking for the best support, I’d suggest looking for a company that can provide you with a managed solution.