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Though it’s often well hidden, any digital signage solution will weaknesses, which, in bad conditions, can sometimes provoke substantial incidents. After all, these solutions are developed by humans, the same humans that sometimes build rockets that fall from the sky and crash…
Do we have to go looking for the perfect solution?
The one that has no faults?
The one that does also make coffee?
That one, probably doesn’t exist… (Santa hid it well!)
It is however possible to take interest in the reactions of digital signage providers to these incidents, in terms of pricing, human relations, preventive tools, transparency…
Though certainly not an exhaustive list, these questions offer a good basis to predict the quality of the given support system.
What is the transparency policy of the provider?
Does the provider try to hide the incidents that happen with their solution or are they transparent when it comes to problems? Even better, do you know in which way the provider deals with these incidents? Do you have any guarantees about how long it will take?
Does the solution come with a user manual?
Can you look up the help section of a document to see if there are some reparations that you could do yourself, thus maybe even solving the incident? Does this documentation exist for all the versions, is it easily accessible, does it have a search engine, and is it written for people with technical, and people without technical skills?
Is there a customer support that you can get your hands on?
Does the service provider give you an interaction channel, whether it be by mail, chat or phone? Are you systematically redirected to a help page, an answering machine or a bot, who may sound very nice, but will continue to show you your way to the help page? Do you have the possibility to explain your problem to an actual person? How many intermediaries are necessary before you get to the highest level of tech support? Do you have to wait, like with a phone operator, for 3h at 10 cents a minute and go through 5 intermediaries before speaking to the person in charge?
Is there a follow-up after the resolution of the problem?
If you’ve signalled a problem, is the resolution followed by the provider? Do you get access to a recap and the date of the solution? Do they leave you in the dark? Do you have to call them back yourself to get answers? Are you informed about the work done and the relaunching of the service?
What is the cost of the maintenance?
All solutions don’t have the same billing policy (flat rate, every intervention, included…) or pricing for tech support. Often overshadowed during the initial negotiations, you have to quickly shed a light on it, at the danger of getting a nasty surprise.
What is the reactivity of the customer support?
After alerting them about the incident, how much time does it take to get in to touch with you? To confirm the problem? To tell you the solution date? What’s the average time it takes to solve a problem?
Does your service provider have partners?
A digital signage project is often realised with a certain amount of partners, that all work in their own field of knowledge. Do you have one specific person to talk to? The possibility to create a discussion between these partners? Are you left stranded with your problem between those islands of partners who throw around the problem between each other?
What are the limits of the provider?
After a problem, does a provider try at first to save himself or to solve the problem with you? Do they only take care of problems that are at the heart of their business or do they offer a more complete expertise, going beyond their specific domain if necessary?
A digital signage project can be expensive, and not give any results if it’s not working. Though it’s true that the cost of the hardware (screen, player…) and of a potential license will weigh in the balance, this is also true for the cost of maintenance, certainly in the long term. It is thus necessary not to neglect this aspect
Of course, even with the best tech support and maintenance teams, too many problems can’t be easily compensated… But can such teams exist without the support of competent development teams and a good and trustworthy product?
CityMeo offers a powerful digital signage solution that offers many possibilities but that’s nevertheless easy in use.
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