Maintenance contracts are an important part of any computer business. They allow you to create a steady stream of income in the relatively unsteady business of computer repair. In this article we will talk a little bit about maintenance contracts and how to get them.
There are two types of service contracts, business and residential with business ones being the easiest to obtain.
A typical business maintenence contract would be a legal contact specifying what a “service call” is, what is covered and what is not. Accompanying the contract is a maintenance plan outlining the tasks that you would do on each visit. These tasks may include:
- Checking the Antivirus and Windows Updates are up to date
- Running a scan for viruses, adware and Spyware
- Running a scandisk/defrag
- Clearing out any temp folders, cookies, cache, recycling bin etc..
- Clean dust out of airvents, fans and heatsinks to prevent possible problems
You may also have a clause in the contract that you will offer repair work at a discounted rate should any tasks fall outside the bounds of the maintenance plan.
The best way to define a maintenance plan is to do an onsite survey taking note of the amount of computers they have, the type of network and what peripherals are connected. You then can determine the amount of hours the job will take on each visit and adjust your prices according.
Once a month is a good interval to visit businesses, and every other month is good for residential contracts.
The downside of service contracts is that you will have to be available to call your customer back and get onsite in a reasonable amount of time. If you have a few technicians working for you then you may be able to offer same day service, but for most of us, offering next day service is probably best.
For emergencies, you may even offer the option of remotely connecting to their computers using Windows Remote Desktop or one of the many other remote desktop applications mentioned in the Technibble forums.
The best way to get businesses and homes to take you up on a maintenance contract is to pitch it right after you do a callout for them. In the same way people only get backup solutions right after they lose all their data, they will be much more open to hearing about your maintenance plan after something goes wrong. On top of this, once you fix their current issue they know you better, trust you and have seen what you can do.
For those of you who are just starting out and are yet to get to the callout stage, you can send out a sales letter to businesses outlining what is in the maintenance plan and how this can give them piece of mind. Although this is alot less effective (as it is essentially cold calling) you can pick up a few new businesses with little cost to you.
For those who are after some samples, you can find a service contract, maintenance plan and sample maintenance contract sales letter in our Computer Business Kit.