We are down to the contract stage in evaluating CRM solutions for our business and it surprises me the difference between what the software providers propose in terms of a support relationship compared to what we provide for our small business customers.
For example, we charge a support fee based on the cost of providing the service. The CRM companies charge based on a percentage of software purchase cost.
Our support coverage is 24/7, theirs 8 hours Monday to Friday.
We take all manner of calls. They have a list of exclusions.
We allow people to make mistakes and to call for guidance. They will charge if we ask the same question more than 2 or 3 times.
We support any user in the client company. They support three people.
We advise the owner if any service is likely to be billed. They reserve the right to charge without warning.
We quote for changes and only bill if the work is done. They will bill us if we decide not to accept a quote.
While I appreciate our two businesses are quite different, I did not anticipate such expensive and onerous support provisions for CRM software. These extra costs for us put pressure on the prices we charge our small business clients. They also say something about the attitude of software companies playing in the big business space compared to the small business space.