Edition 65
8 Questions You Should Ask About Support before Buying Field Service Management Software
by Leah Merrill, Software Analyst , Capterra

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If you are a field service business, you know how crucial good customer service is to your company. You expect good customer support in the same way that your customers expect good service from you. When you’re looking for a field service management software system, the vendor that you choose should be the same—they should be able to deliver high levels of support, because that’s what you need to run an effective business.

But is it even possible to determine whether or not the software company can provide the type of customer support that you need if you haven’t purchased the system yet? As you’re narrowing down the list of potential software vendors, here are some must-ask questions to find out if their customer support will live up to your expectations:

1. What type of support do you get when you purchase the software (phone, email, etc.)?
Lots of solutions offer all different types of support: phone, email, online training, onsite training, online chat, and customer support forums. Some solutions offer all of these; some only offer a few, so make sure you know what type of support is available to you.



2. Are there any extra charges for the support?
Oftentimes certain types of support are free and included in the package that you purchase, but sometimes you have to pay extra for the support. Find out what is free and what you have to pay extra for, otherwise you could get hit with big support costs. This is why you need to make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting.

3. Is live support an option?
Having your software provider come onsite for live assistance and training can bring you huge benefits, like more personalized assistance, clearer explanations, and a more hands-on approach. If this is important to you, make sure you find out if this is possible for the software vendor that you choose.

4. What are the operating hours?
For your business, it’s crucial you receive immediate assistance whenever there’s a problem, so it might not work if you go with a system that only has support between certain hours. Identify how strong your need is for 24 hour support, and then do your research to find out if the systems you’re looking at can meet that need.



5. Where is the support team located?
See if the system you choose has a support team that is close by, as having a support team that is close to you means they are in the same time zone, and that they can come onsite to help you out if need be. Often software companies will travel for onsite training, but they may charge extra for the travel costs—this means that the closer your vendor is, the cheaper the overall cost will be.

6. How long does it take on average to respond to issues?
If you have an urgent time sensitive issue, you need to know that the support team is on it and there is a quick turnaround. Do some research and ask the vendor how long it takes them to resolve problems. If their average turnaround time is too long, you might want to look at a different solution.



7. What kind of support is available online?
Sometimes you just need to look something up quickly and do a bit of research without having to contact a customer support representative. Many vendors have FAQ pages, customer forums, and help desk chat options where customers can post issues, feedback, and answers to questions.

8. Is a designated support representative assigned to each customer?
Find out if you will have one point of contact for customer support who will manage your account and help you with all of your issues, or if you just submit a support ticket and it is taken care of by any person on their support team. Often it is preferable to have the same person managing your account, as they will be familiar with your past issues and questions and have knowledge of your support history, which translates into more efficient service.
Know of any more questions to ask vendors about support? Add them in the comments below!
RLM
Leah Merrill is a Software Analyst for Capterra, where she specializes in helping field service professionals find field service management software. When she’s not helping businesses find the right software on the Capterra Field Service Management Blog, you’ll find her reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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