Looking for the right PE software to meet your needs can seem like a daunting task. There are so many features to consider—cost, functionality, training, integration with other systems, and the list goes on.
One factor that sometimes gets overlooked but is extremely important is the level of support you get with your platform.
For example, you want to work with a company that provides great training. But if their support is outstanding, it might be acceptable that their training only ranks as “good” not “great.” The same goes for integrations. Maybe the solution isn’t fully “plug and play” with other systems, but the company’s support team can walk you through any difficulties you encounter.
What You Need to Know About PE Software Support
Answers to the eight questions below will tell you all you need to know about your PE software provider’s technical/user support.
- Do you offer in-house support?
If the company outsources its support, that’s not a point in their favor. Too often, outsourced support suffers from the natural disconnect the support reps have with the company’s development, sales, and implementation teams. In-house product support reps are almost always better trained and given better access to subject matter experts that can provide assistance when needed.
- What is included with our PE software purchase?
Is support included in your license agreement or is there an additional cost? Even quick questions can add up to a large bill if you’re paying extra to talk with a support rep. A company that believes in its solution really should prove it by making support part of the base cost.
- How is support metered?
Most companies allot a certain amount of support time for each client and if you exceed that limit you may have to pay for support at that point. It’s important to find out whether there is a limit and if so, what that limit is before you get on the phone to address a serious issue you’re having.
- What are the hours for support?
Is ‘round the clock support offered? Or is support only available during business hours? And whose “business hours” are we talking about? Needless to say, 24-hour availability is ideal. You hate to have team members working late on a project with no way to get assistance if a problem arises.
- How can you contact support?
Are support reps accessible via email? On the phone? Through the software itself? The more ways you can reach them the better. In some instances, you may want and need immediate assistance over the phone. In others, it may be more convenient to send an email with the expectation that it will be replied to in a reasonable time frame.
- Is the support team multilingual?
Can the company support users who speak languages other than English? If you have non-English speaking users and the answer to this question is “No,” that’s a problem. Maybe not an insurmountable one, but one you should be aware of.
- Does the support team understand the industry?
Find out if the support team is knowledgeable about both the product and the industry. While some of your questions may be technical in nature, others may have to do with how the system can help you perform an industry-specific task. In some cases, a provider will offer two different types of support: technical support and user support. That’s fine, but it’s helpful to know that before you need assistance.
- What is the average response time and the average case time?
Most organizations will track these stats and can tell you how long you can expect to wait for someone to get back to you and also how long it typically takes for an issue to be resolved. Obviously, both are important.
You Deserve Answers When Investing in PE Software
You’re investing time, effort, and capital in the platform you ultimately choose. Consequently, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask the questions above and any others that come to mind. If you’re not satisfied with an answer, you should get whatever clarification is necessary. A reputable company should be proud of its support services and eager to talk about them.
For example, you’ll find that at Altvia, our customer support team members are experts both in our solutions and in our industry. They can assist you with any questions you have, and you can reach them in whatever way is most convenient for you. We give our clients multiple ways to get help throughout their technology implementation journey.
So, don’t settle for mediocre support. You deserve and should expect timely, attentive assistance from your software provider.