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“Surprises” in billable hours can be avoided

surprised-woman-in-redMost of us didn’t wake up to discover we won the lottery today, but I think we can agree it would have been a nice surprise. And while an unexpected birthday party or a Valentine’s Day surprise for your significant other – I know, I have to make a stop on the way home, too – would usually be the kind of surprise one would welcome into their life, it’s the other kind that concerns us.

Let’s face it. No one likes a “surprise” from an auto mechanic if he informs you that your hopes of a quick and easy fix have been dashed. The same is true for clients of lawyers, accountants, consultants and anyone who deals in billable hours – including IT service providers – if their client is getting charged more than they expected.

I had that experience recently when I dropped off my car for an oil change. When my mechanic, Mike, approached me I knew by the look on his face a “surprise” was coming. The feeling is similar to the one I get when any woman in my life says, “We need to talk.” Uh-oh.

The conversation about billable hours can cause this kind of reaction in clients and problems for you. If they’re concerned about how much time their service will take and how much that time will cost, they may go to great lengths to reduce the bill: Attempt to do it themselves, tell you to provide a temporary solution or maybe even ignore the problem until it gets worse.

This is a challenge for anyone who wants to do the best job they can for their clients. Today’s temporary solutions are tomorrow’s disasters, and ignoring the problem… Well, we know what happens then. We know that when you’re the client, you want the company you hire to do the best job they possibly can without restriction, and you want to know in advance what at what cost.

We can do that.

This may not be necessary if you can cruise along with you current IT infrastructure and just give us a call if something minor goes wrong – we’re always here for you when someone walks by the computer and accidentally knocks something offline or if you need our help to desk walk you through clearing your browser cache.

But what happens when you have a serious problem? What if your email crashes? What if your security is compromised or if you need data recovery? What if someone inadvertently launches a virus that cripples your system? The more serious the problem, the longer it takes to fix, the more expensive it’s going to be.

(I’m again remembering my feelings when Mike at the shop told me about replacing the entire fuel assembly due to the leak near my exhaust pipe that could possibly cause the car to catch fire. Uh, SURPRISE!)

Mike doesn’t offer fixed fees for maintenance. But we do. And the benefits to you are obvious:

Save time: You won’t feel the desire to attempt to fix something yourself in order to save on cost. It will also save you from having to review your bill.

Stress less: Whatever problems arise, you’re covered. When it’s time for an upgrade, we’ll let you know.

Easy budgeting: You know exactly what your cost is going to be and when.

Peace of mind: We are more able to prevent your problems, so you don’t have to call us to solve them.

Call or email Edge Solutions Group and find out how we can help you manage your business more efficiently and effectively. I can also give you Mike’s number if you need an oil change… or worse.

 

What would you like to read about in our blog?  Let us know! Email CK@EdgeSG.com

 

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