We offer our clients a per seat or per ticket model, depending on their needs. This makes for easier pricing and budgeting and of course they can add whatever markup they want. Some clients use our services to save a client relationship or to seal a deal. Out-of-hours is so important to some end users that they might not charge anything else.
Wise investment will help you to run a smooth IT operation. However, when you're starting out, it takes a little time to balance customer needs and over-investment.
Here are our tips on what costs you need to factor in from the get-go:
1) Determine your IT offering
Our IT support centres around four blocks: NOC, Helpdesk, Network Administration and VITD. For our standard white label IT support services we offer NOC and helpdesk. However, some clients need third-line and even bespoke support. This is where our NetAdmins and VITDs can help. Watch our video on the four blocks of managed services to work out which ones you want to incorporate into your white label offering - and where the lines of demarcation are. Of course, you'll need to make sure your clients know exactly what you can and can't do for them - if you're not clear from the beginning you might be spending time solving problems at a cost to your business.
2) Do you need an office?
Do you want people in an office available to answer calls professionally or are your customers happy to deal with people rolling out of bed? We don't recommend the latter, but of course the former will have additional costs. Still, think about when you call a 24/7 helpdesk - you don't want to feel like you're interrupting someone's sleep, but you still want your problem solved. Consider how much better your team work in an office, where they're awake and ready to take calls. And how reassured your customers will feel with that knowledge.
3) Are you genuine out-of-hours or only on-call?
They're not the same. If you have staff on-call, factor in their next day costs. If they’re woken up at 3am, do you expect them in the next day? What do you think their productivity is going to be like? When we started out, we had on-call staff on rotation and we soon had to determine a system. Make sure your customers know the standard to expect. Genuine 24/7 service is far more reassuring and professional. Your client know they're not getting someone rolling out of bed with a woolly brain and cranking up the human error risk.
4) Make sure your phone system can handle it
You'll need a phone system that can handle various shifts and time groupings. It also needs to have reporting and monitoring features to help you track progress and productivity. We use 3CX, which does everything we want it to do. It support our out-of-hours review so we can look at any issues that come in overnight and see how to prevent them. Basic out-the-box solutions will only do a single open and close time, so make sure you have an advanced system that's working with you. For a monthly fee of £15 a user for the first ten users, 3CX is our number one choice.
Here's why we love it.
5) For every three people you think you need, add one more.
Staffing will always cost more than you think in but it will be worth it in the long run. Cushion for a worst-case scenario - one person off sick, one person on holiday, one person gets woken up and has to start late the next day.
6) Let us kickstart your white label IT support
We've managed to offer white label IT on a scale that's profitable to us and affordable to our clients. We've gone through the hard graft to reach a point where we offer the most affordable white label service. If you're just starting out, there's nothing stopping you from using ours first until you reach a point where you can make the switch to offer it yourself.