Having worked in retail and restaurant management, one thing that has bugged me over the years is why companies who support point of sale systems charge extra for support outside of "normal" business hours? After all, a product sold in a retail store sells for the same price whether it is 10am on a Monday or 7pm on a Saturday (sales/promotions aside). So why does support for a point of sale system cost more when that support is needed on weekends or after 5pm on weekdays?
One reasoning is related to labor costs in having a support on stand-by for after hours support. But, some minor scheduling adjustments can keep the labor costs inline. This also applies to the salespeople who sell point of sale systems - no one should have signed on thinking that they are going to be working an 8-5, Monday-Friday job selling cash registers and point of sale systems. Retailers sometimes only have time to chat before the store opens, once late afternoon/early evening part time help arrives, or after closing. In fact, most of the folks who contact me do so during the 4pm to 7pm hours - which is fine by me (assuming that I'm not traveling or engaged in other activities).
I'm going to be making a push that point of sale companies expand their support hours to at least extend in to the early to mid evening on weekdays but not be charging extra above the normal support rates. It's pretty easy to schedule a tech to work 10am - 7pm one day a week (and no technician supporting point of sale systems should have signed on thinking that they would only be working 8-5, Monday - Friday).
I feel that the companies that offer this added value will see an increase in sales and an increase in customer satisfaction. This should also reduce the need to call-back customers who have support needs but could not be reached (so more effective in reducing voice mail tag and email tag).
Feed back on this concept is welcomed and appreciated - you can comment anonymously below or use the contact form to the right to reach me as well.
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