Managing Support and Maintenance, A Crowdsourcing Post

Managing Support and Maintenance, A Crowdsourcing Post

Today I want to throw something out there to discuss, I’m hoping we can get some useful dialogue going around one of the most tricky subjects for business owners in tech businesses – that of maintenance and support. This is the first crowd-sourcing post I’ve tried so let’s see how it goes :)

In my industry (web design and online marketing) this is a particularly difficult topic to cover. Do you charge for bugs or problems that arise in websites a year after they were built? When Microsoft bring out a new browser and a site changes in appearance who covers that cost? If something isn’t picked up at testing stage, (because let’s face it you’re never going to be able to test something so extensively you can guarantee you’ve picked up everything) who pays then? Should web companies offer warranties? These are all questions businesses in the web game have to deal with. I’m sure that in any tech based industry where you provide a product you have to ponder similar issues.

Perhaps the easiest model to relate to is that of the car industry and how they deal with their new car sales. In talking with a number of business owners recently I’ve seen lots of other business models, all with slight nuances. It’s been fascinating and if I could share them all with you I would but many were offline conversations. So I thought the next best thing would be to build a useful post of advice and help from influential business owners around the globe who can add their two pennies worth on this topic.

If you’re not in a business that has to worry about this topic but have sat ‘the other side’ perhaps you’d like to give us your opinion on how you think business in these industries could deal with these issues – that would be just as valuable.

So let’s hear your ideas. Please share this post if you know others that might be able to add their advice and let’s discuss.

Photo courtesy of Em2me