Any IT Product or Solution requires certain amount of additional services and consultancy to make 100% use of the same. The reason is simple, the Client or user is not supposed to know most of the features and also might not know the “best practices”.
Consider a client buying normal desktop PCs, how many services are required for this to perform 100%. Lets try to list them out:
1. Installation of OS.
2. Installation and configuration of Anti-Virus.
3. Implementing Company security policies into it. (domain etc)
4. Printer & Other device configuration.
5. Migration of existing data from old PC to this new PC.
6. Configuring other software and tools on the same.
7. Training on use of particular feature or use of software.
But many times Customer as well as service provider, both do not understand this. The Service provider thinks that the Customer will not pay for the services so tries to bundle it the product. Now the real problem starts, his competitor not knowing that the services are bundled, give another quote without services for a
lower price. Now the worst part, customer falls for it. Remember, Its not that customer is always aware of the pitfall.
Moreover, when Purchase officers (procurement dept) comes into picture, they try their maximum efforts to justify their salaries and thus suck everything drop out of seller, but ultimately its the customers lose.
I think this is one of the main reason for problems in IT Industry. As my per HIGH-FIVE strategy, I will give 5 reasons why every service provider should maintain and give “Service Catalogue” to his customer with his every quotation or proposal.
1. Capacity Demonstration
a. When a service catalogue is provided it a perfect way for the service provider to demonstrate the capacity of his team.
b. eg: Client might have never imagined that branch to branch connectivity is possible by doing port forward, until he saw “Port forwarding Charges” in the service catalogue.
2. Easier to let customer know that these things are EXTRA.
a. A Perfect way to list out things that are not FREE.
b. Its found that when things are free, people tend to ask for more, so if we make them chargeable, demands become reasonable automatically.
c. This way there would never be any kind of stress about after sales services.
3. Anyways it needs to be done.
a. If you don’t give Service catalogue, even then you have to do that extra work
b. But for ZERO cost, and then it creates bad relations and decreases the profitability of the seller.
c. So, better quote the customer for what can be done @ what price, rather than doing it for free.
4. Helps in Bargaining.
a. Lets face the fact, people like to bargain, as it is margins in hardware business are wafer thin, we require some buffer to protect us.
b. Service catalogue becomes “THE PERFECT BUFFER”
5. Differentiates us from others
a. In today’s world, we have to be different than others, Services offered differentiates us from others.
Reasons or excuses by Partner for not giving Service catalogues, and their solutions.
1. Its ok in your city, but here customers are special ?
a. There is not a single location in India, from where i have not heard this dialogue.
b. Everywhere people are same, everybody likes to bargain, no one likes to pay.
2. Customer will not pay.
a. Why ? – if you think he cannot afford, just think which car / mobile he uses.
b. You might not be able to convince them ? Not a problem, atleast try.
c. You might fail in first few tries, but I bet, in 4/6 weeks, your earnings will improve.
3. Competition will take the order.
a. I suggest, let both of them have that experience.
b. Few customers may go, I strongly suggest let them go, they did not deserve you.
4. Relations will get hurt.
a. If we consider our customers to be our friends, don’t we want our friends to be happy.
b. How can they be happy if we don’t provide them good service.
c. how can we provide good services, without money?
5. Its not practice in our Industry
a. When most of (us) System Integrators came to business, we were innovators, now what happened?
b. Why are we now afraid to lay down new system.
Lets try this, we have nothing to break, but the mindset.
Penned by Mr. Limesh Parekh, CEO, Enjay IT Solutions Ltd., leading solution provider for ThinClients, Smart Enterprise class Storage, Telephony, Linux on Desktop , Cloud, Desktop Monitoring.