Take Care for your business's sake

Posted 7 years ago

The “It’s never let you down; it’s bullet proof, bomb proof!  So, do you want the extended warranty?”

That’s Lee Evans describing the paradox facing shoppers at consumer electronic stores in the 90s.  Consumer opinion, then and now, is generally unanimous that the natural conclusions to these purchases are largely unwelcome and subject to an inevitable rejection.  Businesses are incredibly reliant on their IT and telephony infrastructure and we must ensure our conditioning to declining the extended warranty when buying for our homes, doesn’t extend into our businesses.

Does failing to take the extended warranty on a Morphy Richards mini kettle open your life up to an array of crippling ills, each one more menacing and terrifying than the last?  Broadly speaking, no.  However, we can’t be nearly as relaxed when planning a business continuity strategy; plenty have suffered the disastrous consequences of poorly planned maintenance and recovery plans.

Businesses must first ask questions internally – who in the business is responsible for ensuring key IT and telephony equipment is regularly maintained and kept up to date?  What is the plan should there be a loss of service? How is the plan implemented? 

Next, we must ask questions to ensure adequate cover is in place externally– who is the nominated maintainer for the critical equipment in question? What does the maintenance agreement cover? What hours is the business covered under?  Are parts and labour covered? How are requests for additions and changes dealt with?

Gil Gunderson from the Simpsons (frantic googling at this point is permitted) is the greatest television character of all time.  That’s a fact; you’ll have to rearrange previous thoughts and opinions around it.  A desperate salesman, Gil is the sort of hapless, partial-wit that gives salespeople a bad name.  That being said, it wouldn’t be funny if there weren’t elements of truth.  Speaking as an employee of an organisation providing the businesses asking the questions above, we must ensure our salespeople and reseller partners are embracing the conversation about appropriate levels of maintenance and care. Moreover, care that actually fits a business (and not peddling a one-size-fits-all approach without thought).

Recently, my colleagues and I were challenged with simplifying a maintenance proposition – that is, how do we make this easy for businesses to understand what they have covered? How do we make it simple enough to sell? Can it be tailored to a businesses’ needs?  There was a general opacity throughout that we attempted to cleanse. 

There are challenges at all angles but this is a vital part of running a business that must not be neglected.  Businesses must ensure they have adequate care, as well as an understanding of exactly what they have covered.  By the same token, IT and telephony providers must ensure they are offering a simple, transparent and thorough service.

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