I’ve decided to finally take the plunge with my company LandlordMax Property Management Software and try a test run of having our phone lines open for free support and sales calls for 1-2 months. Our main 2-3 competitors charge between $100-$350/hour for phone support, but I just don’t believe this is fair in any way. Although I say this, I can also appreciate their position. Being in a niche like property management software / landlord software does make offering phone support somewhat more costly because you just don’t get the same amount of traffic as say Microsoft (or any other software product consumed by the mass public). The only difference is that you do get the same development costs, it takes just as much effort to add in the ability to store pictures, or to sort table columns, in one software as any other. The downside is that the larger more mainstream products also get a lot more customers and therefore make it much easier to amortize their costs because of economies of scale. Not that I’m complaining, that’s business. And I should also mention that there benefits to being in a smaller niche market such as having less competition, a more highly targeted demographic, etc.
In any case, we’re going to do a trial run of offering free phone support for at least for 1-2 months to see how it affects LandlordMax sales. If we see a positive return, then we’ll keep them open. If we don’t, then we won’t (not that we might not try it again another time). My guess is that it will increase our bottom line and be worthwhile, hence why I’m willing to give it a try. I believe it enough that I’m willing to risk the cost of having the phone lines open to test if this is a viable option for 1-2 months . So let’s see!
And since I know a lot of you who read this blog (FollowSteph.com) are fellow entrepreneurs, I’ll make sure to put up a post when the trial is done about it’s success or failure. Hopefully my lessons learned in the next 1-2 months can also be applied to your businesses.