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SoftwareSupp customer service, project and platform guidelines

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupp

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupport. Several years of experience in advisory, finance, and marketing for international businesses.

5 min read

written by

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupp

After running hundreds of projects, we’ve noticed that there are a few main challenges for companies working with freelancers, consultants and agencies supporting them with development and other services:

  • Recruitment and execution — recruitment takes a lot of time and resources and execution of the professional hired directly cannot be guaranteed, with SoftwareSupp, you hire in 24h and make sure you always get continuous service
  • Communication, project owning, settlement — When hiring directly, settlement rules are often not clear up front. Working with freelancer or agency there is often a mismatch of communication, due to different time zones and differences in availability, often there is no actual decision-maker owning the project and aligning technical implementation with business expectations. SoftwareSupp provides a simple and straightforward way of billing and acts as a party coordinating the service and hiring process
  • Technical setup’s quality — in every project, the technical delivery part is crucial and companies are not able to ensure proper quality of delivered implementations if they hire directly, SoftwareSupp ensures quality through recruitment process and delivers high quality service

Let me show you how we address these problems at SoftwareSupp by managing the network of certified freelancers and what kind of guidelines we follow when working with customers, by:

  • Delivering the right expert and launching the project in less than 24h, saving time and resources on recruitment and project organization
  • Guiding the customer through the details of the project and liaising between the customer and developers/experts
  • Ensuring quality by NPS monitoring, escrow mechanism, dedicated platform, task system

Customer service guidelines at SoftwareSupp

Important! SoftwareSupp is an elite network of freelance professionals and we always deliver highest quality work and services to customers, aligning to customer's demands and expectations. Experts need to organize their time and engagement (either full time, part time or hourly) to meet the standards required by SoftwareSupp's customers and are required to deliver actual relevant work for the customers. Certified SoftwareSupp Freelancers need to represent highest standards both in terms of communication and skills and shall properly represent SoftwareSupp.

Work and updates
We work in weekly sprints, meaning:

  • Tasks planned and executed for every week
  • Weekly summary calls with the customer if requested by the customer (at customer's preferred time/convenience) and/or email summary
  • Weekly summary reported in SoftwareSupp system with hourly measurement

Key work is planned and reported through a dedicated platform available for experts and customers for free.

Reporting and communication

SoftwareSupp project board


Key communication like milestones updates and additional work need to be reported through SoftwareSupp project board.

Regular communication is conducted through a preferred customer's communication channel.

For email communication, SoftwareSupp delivers a dedicated mailbox under domain expert.softwaresupp.com for every member of the network.

All the tasks that are in progress or are completed need to have a number of hours spent reported.

All the tasks that are on the to do list, need to have an estimated number of hours to complete, indicated.

The above are required for a proper settlement, remuneration process as well as to ensure top quality service for our customers.

Query replies
We provide 1h response time to the customer. For every query handled we deliver:
a) an answer to the customer question (the real and actual one, once we don’t know something and need to check on this, we say this, if we require more time to work on the job/problem, we communicate it transparently)
b) estimated time to complete the job, delivery time
(in hours or a deadline when it can be delivered, preferably by reporting in SoftwareSupp project system)

Every query (if it requires action on the developer/expert side) should be followed by:
a) Actual action/activity taken by the expert/developer, work delivered
b) A task created in the system (this can also be done in weekly summaries)

If we don’t know the answer:
a) if it can be checked quickly (e.g. by asking our community/partners) we 1. Inform the customer that we’re checking on this, 2. check with other experts/developers. An internal SoftwareSupp team or a community of expert can then come back with the answer to the question and support a developer/expert in solving the issue)
b) if it requires research (e.g. dev issue) we 1. Inform the customer that we’re checking on this and that it might take a while and 2. check on this by running research.

Password submission
Any access to the software should be collected by using one of the below process:
a) Adding your email under domain expert.softwaresupp.com account as admin, or:
b) Adding support@softwaresupp.com account as an admin, or
c) Submitting access through a secured form:
https://www.cognitoforms.com/SoftwareSupp/SecuredAccessUpload

Dev work/release
Any dev work is performed according to the following process:
a) The solution is always first implemented on the freelancer's or company’s staging environment
b) The solution is tested for proper setup/implementation
c) The solution is released on the production or is simply duplicated for the company’s production in the same way it was implemented on staging

Meeting (or remote sessions) guidelines:

  • Customer can book a meeting with an expert/developer at their convenience using a SoftwareSupp meeting system available to customers and freelancers or with the help of the below link:
    https://calendly.com/softwaresupp/software-consultation
  • An expert/developer needs to attend the meeting with the customer
  • If the expert/developer person due to unusual circumstances is not able to attend the meeting, he must send the message to the customer that he/she is not able to attend and propose an alternative time to meet (reschedule)
  • Every meeting should be followed by a 3-point summary sent to the customer. Any additional tasks following the meeting should be submitted through the task system (this can also be done during weekly reporting)

Hourly tracking at SoftwareSupp:

For projects with hourly tracking, we do hourly tracking for every completed job and item, reporting the time spent in the dedicated project board.

Quality monitoring guidelines:

A customer is sent a weekly questionnaire checking on the customer’s NPS score (how likely he/she is to recommend our services to a friend).

Link to the form is available in the dedicated project board.

Payment guidelines:

Payments for services are made based on reported hourly time and freelancer's hourly rate every 2 weeks to the freelancer's safe balance account.

To receive payment for your services to your bank account, please send the payout request to payments@softwaresupp.com, together with the bank details and/or invoice.

The payments to the bank accounts are made in 24h time.

Processes guidelines at SoftwareSupp

1. Expert lead acquisition

SoftwareSupp experts can participate in lead acquisition process.

By participating in lead acquisition process expert can earn:
- 25% of the customer's lifetime value if the lead is passed to the pool of other certified freelancers (e.g. no work capacity)
- priority in handling the customer as an expert

This process involves:
1. Introduction of SoftwareSupp network (SoftwareSupp’s values, mission and the kind of benefits SoftwareSupp customers get once they become the customer including network access, platform, etc.)
2. Presentation of the SoftwareSupp offer, pricing.
3. Planning and project drafting

The sales process involves 30-60 minute meeting showcasing how SoftwareSupp works and presenting the next steps in the process.

SoftwareSupp provides leads to be acquired through SoftwareSupp platform.

To launch the work with SoftwareSupp and hire a Certified SoftwareSupp Freelancer, the first step is always getting an hourly plan (up to specific amount of hours depending on the expert’s hourly rate), which starts at $300.

The minimum hourly rate is $50/h and the customer will always get the person with the right tech/software stack within this rate from EU / Asia, ready to start work in 24h time. In case the customer requires a US-located or Western Europe located person, the minimum hourly rate might rise to $100/h.

The minimum hourly rate is non-negotiable.

Every lead needs to receive a summary with planned work through SoftwareSupp Project system (expert creates an account for the customer if this hasn't been created by the customer and builds the project in the system), this acts as tracking for commission and remuneration purposes.

Once the hourly plan is launched, a customer instantly opens the communication with a certified freelancer, having access to the project board allowing to submit any tasks or items for realization.

Once a customer has an hourly plan active, they might decide to realize a larger project or regular engagement, get an offer and estimate for their project. For this a similar process applies (planning work through project system).

Expert should notify SoftwareSupp about every lead's outcome, both in case of success or loss.

SoftwareSupp notifies expert about the outcome shall it arises on the SoftwareSupp's side.

Important! Experts can earn by acquiring and processing SoftwareSupp leads but can also refer SoftwareSupp externally through SoftwareSupp Partner Program, earning 25% lifetime commission with the use of built in affiliate link system.

2. Expert matching

The information about the project is shared with the available pool of certified experts based on experience and skills in selected technology. Typical information indicated in the project include:

  • Job information/tasks
  • Budget (this is typically an initial budget for the work with most of the contracts set as hourly engagement)
  • Any other information on the job required

Experts can sign up for the the project providing most important information about their offer, including:

  • Remuneration for the service (you always get a full price indicated in your quote) - still most of the SoftwareSupp projects are hourly-based
  • Scope of the service
  • Any additional information like the project's schedule

Important aspects of sending your offer at SoftwareSupp:

  • The offer you send to the customer is valid and represents the final quote or hourly rate (you always get the full price quoted)
  • Please do not provide your direct contact information or pricing issues in the additional information field (direct contact is provided to the customer by SoftwareSupp on signing the contract with the customer)
  • If you're not able to provide exact price for the work/project, please provide the estimated price based on the provided scope or for hourly projects your remuneration for the indicated hourly work

The expert is then selected by the customer or suggested by SoftwareSupp team based on:

  • Matching the customer's needs
  • The availability and budget
  • The speed of response

The ultimate decision on the expert's selection/choice is always made by the customer.

Important! Contracting SoftwareSupp customers/projects outside SoftwareSupp and discussing the expert's remuneration issues between expert and SoftwareSupp without SoftwareSupp engagement/approval is forbidden and can result in immediate termination of co-operation between SoftwareSupp and the expert.

3. Project launch

After the customer's decision and start of the project, a customer and expert receive a welcome email that contains:

  • A welcome message with more information on the service
  • Introduction to the dedicated expert/freelancer at SoftwareSupp
  • Information on the next steps in the project (tasks shall be planned through SoftwareSupp project system)

4. Platform onboarding and collecting information

Once the customer is onboarded to the project, he/she is requested to share access to software tools through a secured password submission form. Together with the password, the customer should also be requested to deliver information about the company’s stakeholders (email addresses, phone numbers).

https://www.cognitoforms.com/SoftwareSupp/SecuredAccessUpload

5. Expert onboarding

An expert/freelancer is onboarded to the project, following the below process:

  1. Providing access to the SoftwareSupp application/marketplace.
  2. Presenting with the customer service guidelines we follow here at SoftwareSupp.
  3. Introducing the expert to the customer and planning the execution in SoftwareSupp project system.
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written by

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupp

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