Commercial Director at Fathom Business Solutions Limited
11 August 2009 07:44am
Really a question for anyone working for a web development company. Do you offer your client retainer / maintenance services, and if so how are they structured? How can clients be encouraged to buy a retainer (e.g. discounted hourly rates, free monthly hours, value added things included such as mailing systems / analytics, etc.)?
Any thoughts / insights would be good to hear.
Managing Director at Cranmore Digital Consulting Ltd
12 August 2009 21:35pm
I have just set up something for a client that works as follows:
they pay a fixed amount each month for a fixed number of hours at a fixed (lower than usual) hourly rate. We estimate any new request in terms of hours and we have a target (not guaranteed) turn around time for fixes of five working days. The hours they pay for are a bank, if they go a bit overdrawn one month they can eat into the followoing month's allowance, if they don't use all the hours they roll over.
We are at very early days so I can't say if it works but, like all "my" good ideas, I pinched it off someone else and they have been using it for a few years with a range of clients.
feel free to email direct if you want to discuss it further. firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Manager at Boss Cart
15 August 2009 09:48am
We are not a regular web development company, since we provide and support a software for a one time fee. The technical support is free in the first year, which means that if the client faces with some issue we direct them to right way. Regarding design and/or coding related custom needs we have our hourly fee which we apply. The fee is based on the quantity, we regular give discount if the client bind or capacity for longer time.
I think this 'pay if required' system is easier to undersand and accept by the clients.
Director at Codehouse
17 August 2009 12:02pm
A support option or retainer is our incentive to maintain in-house knowledge about the solution. If a staff member moves on, we have made sure we have invested the time to retain the knowledge. The idea of a block of regular hours which can be used up over time works but needs active management to make sure they are actually being used up and the client is getting the added value. It depends on the pace of new feature development.
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