Support is a word that can be used to mean a number of different things. For example, you might need a shoe that provides good physical support for running long distances. You might need emotional support when you call a friend and vent about a frustrating day. And, of course, there’s always the technical support you always need to be able to contact when something you use doesn’t work the way it should, like your computer or your phone.
But it’s not always enough to just have any support. At the end of the day, it’s critical to have good support. Think of the earlier example of the shoe – good support can make or break your running experience, and in the worst cases, a lack of good support could permanently ruin your feet. And when it comes to anything remotely technical – computers, phones, software – support is vital, especially when it comes to your job. Anyone and anything can offer support, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the kind of support you want or even need.
And when it comes to software, especially estimating software, the reality is that there is no program in the world that will ever be 100% perfect. There will come a day when the program crashes, or encounters an unexpected error, or doesn’t perform a feature the way you were told it could. While it’s definitely important to make sure that a program is as bug-free as possible, it’s equally as important to make sure that when something does go wrong, there’s a team that you can trust for help.
This ultimately begs the question: what does good support look like, then? Here are a few things to watch out for when you’re evaluating an estimating software’s support team.
1). Make sure they have one!
Believe it or not, a real live on-demand support team may not come with your purchase depending on what estimating program you’re looking at. Sometimes, support may only mean a few PDF documents describing a couple of common problems that may or may not be what you’re experiencing.
2). Look at how responsive they are.
Does this software’s support team respond quickly, or do they take hours – or even days – to get back to you regarding an issue, much less resolve it? Do they take time to work through specific problems that might be unique to your team, or do they frequently brush you off with pat answers?
3). See if they have a place where other program users can discuss questions.
Support doesn’t just have to come from a dedicated team – other users of the estimating software can also provide valuable input and help brainstorm solutions to difficult challenges. It’s important to be able to have a forum where users can come together and collaborate.
4). Find out what other users have to say about the support team.
There’s no better voucher for what the software’s support experience is really like than people who actually use it. Don’t be afraid to ask for client references – and when you get them, ask what their experiences have been like, what they would change, and what they’ve been impressed by.