Costs

Even though keeping your customers happy is vital, it comes at a cost, as Table 17-1 shows, where 0 = Nothing, $ = Low, $$ = Medium, $$$ = High.

Table 17-1 Support Cost Comparison

Item

None

E-mail

Newsgroup

Web

Phone

On-Site

Cost

0

$

$

$

$$

$$$

Personnel

0

$

$

$

$$$

$$$

Realistically, the most effective combination of support for most software programs includes the following:

♦ A comprehensive built-in Help program

♦ A scheduled e-mail and newsgroup

♦ A Web site constantly updated with development issues

♦ Telephone support where appropriate

♦ Site visits reserved for fact-finding or sensitive or valuable installations

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