Got a service plan? Here’s how to get the most out of it

February 3, 2012 - 0 Comments

Support contracts provide the ultimate peace of mind and help protect your technology investment

Running a small business without a support contract is like performing a high-wire act without a net. If you don’t have the expertise in-house to restore your failed network pronto, you could fall flat on your face with your customers. That’s why you need to be able to call on a team trained to keep your network running smoothly.

A service plan is much more than warranty. Your service contract goes above and beyond a warranty by entitling you to a variety of expert technical assistance resources and online tools to help you quickly solve problems. Certified engineers can provide advanced configuration and deployment support via telephone or online chat—or both—to get your business up and running quickly. Contracts also include ongoing upgrades so you always have the latest and most reliable software versions available.

Here are four ways to get the most out of your service contract:

1. Register your service contract right away. Before you can use your service contract, you have to register it. Be sure to have any registration code numbers or passwords that you’ve been provided before you start the registration process. Once registered, you’ll be able to receive technical support when you need it.

2. Join the online support community. Visit the vendor’s online support communities frequently to stay on top of the latest advice. You often can resolve basic troubleshooting and configuration issues by asking the experts directly. For instance, the Cisco Small Business Support Community encourages collaboration and sharing best practices among Cisco experts, partners, and customers who are knowledgeable about small business networking problems. Simply post your question on the forum; many support issues are resolved the same day. In addition, you can open a new ticket request—and check the status of existing service requests—via the service request tool.

3. Contact live technical support. If you need live technical assistance, highly trained engineers are ready to assist you and get you up and running quickly. They can help resolve networking, troubleshooting, and configuration issues. Make sure you have your service contract information readily available.

4. Request remote control. When a problem or configuration is taking too much time to solve, you can ask a support engineer to take over by establishing remote control of your computer. With your permission—and while you watch—the engineer often can quickly remedy the problem by checking the device’s settings. You can also ask the engineer to explain what he’s doing as he goes along.

What benefits have you experienced with a service contract?

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