What if I pick the wrong plan?

You can't. Tier 3 Support offers an "auto-upgrade" plan for new clients. For the first 3 months, if your actual minutes look like they will exceed the minutes included in your plan, we will call you and offer you the ability to upgrade your package, so you will be billed at a lower rate. This way, you never need to be worried if more calls than anticipated come flooding in, or of being billed at a higher rate than if you had chosen another plan.

I'm concerned about costs being higher than I budgeted (even if I upgrade to another plan to lower my rate). Are there ways to limit the number of calls you take?

Yes, there are several methods to limit call volume. The most straightforward way is to limit the hours we take calls. We can schedule our phone system so agents only accept calls during certain hours rather than on a 24x7 basis. We can also charge customers for support on your behalf and have this stated on your custom greeting; complete with a suggestion that they visit your website to avoid the fee. This will help reduce calls by having customers look for information and updates on your website prior to calling.

I'm not sure which plan to choose because we have never taken calls before. Is there a method available to project how many calls we may receive?

There are several industry and product specific factors which should be considered when estimating your call volume. Please refer to the following chart to see which considerations you may need to take into account:

INDUSTRY
FACTORS
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Software Developers · How stable is the product in terms of installation and application errors?

· How easy is the product to use?

· How well documented is the product?

· How technically savvy is the user base?

Once these items have been determined, you may anticipate, for example, that your call level may be anywhere from 2%-5% of users on the low end, or 10%-15% on the high end. The next item to consider is that some customers may experience an issue in their first month of purchase, but some will not call until the second or third month of owning your product. Normally, calls related to your first month of sales will be 10%-40% in the subsequent month; this is in addition to calls relating to new sales in the current month.
ISP's · How easy is the service in terms of setup?

· How often do you have service outages?

· How well documented is the setup process?

· How technically savvy is the user base?

Once these items have been determined, you can then project that your call level may be anywhere from 5%-10% of users on the low end, or 15%-20% on the high end. Calls will tend to spike during service outages, with a steady stream of regular setup calls and re-setups when people format their PC's or purchase new ones.
ASP's · How easy is the software in terms of setup?· How often do you have service outages?

· How stable is the hosted application?

· How well documented is the application?

· How technically savvy is the user base?

· Will customers need to call for lost passwords?

Once these items have been determined, you can then project that your call level may be anywhere from 2%-5% of users on the low end, or 10%-20% on the high end. Calls will tend to spike during service outages, with a steady stream of browser configuration and help related calls.
Hardware Manufacturers · How stable is the product in terms of installation, device conflicts, driver conflicts and errors with included applications?

· How easy is the product to use once it's installed in the system?

· How well documented is the software and product installation instruction?

· How technically savvy is the user base?

Once these items have been determined, you can then project that your call level may be anywhere from 5%-10% of users on the low end, or 20%-25% on the high end. The next item to consider is that some customers may experience an issue in their first month of purchase, but some will not call until the second or third month of owning your product. Normally, calls related to your first month of sales will be 10%-40% in the subsequent month; this is in addition to calls relating to new sales in the current month.

© 2004 Tier 3 Support, Inc.