Phone support is no less valuable as the time you spend on-site; still, many computer consultants charge differently for phone support, viewing it as less expensive to clients than on-site attention.
Charging Less for Phone Support is a Mistake
Computer consultants often charge less for phone support because they think about the fact that there is no travel time, gas, mileage, tolls or parking costs involved. They also think phone support is more convenient for them, so it should not be as expensive for clients.
This rationale is a mistake and leads to losing money. The types of issues most people will call about through phone support are typically things that should be dealt with on-site. Walking people through fixes over the phone is not always a good idea.
The service you offer through phone support is best completed by you remotely or at the customer’s place of business. If you start offering services through phone support and charging less for them, you create an incentive for clients to use phone support more often than other types of support. Maintain control by doing the work yourself.
Phone Support: A Complicated Billing Process
Using different charging policies for phone support creates a very confusing billing situation. You don’t want to offer a second rate of billing for a client because this will make proposals, accounting and invoicing more difficult for you and your clients.
Value phone support as you would any other type of service you offer. Just because phone support offers reduced overhead does not mean it is worth less; phone support gives you a bonus that you don’t need to pass onto clients.
Added By: Computer Consulting Kit