I've found myself more and more in the situation where I need to offer some kind of monthly support plan to my ongoing clients. Up until now, I've always done things either ad hoc with hourly pricing, however it's getting to the point where I need to formalize this more.
Some ideas that I had as offerings were:
- Phone support hours with time limits
- Email support hours with time limits
- Uptime monitoring (leveraging a service like node ping) with SLA's for outages.
- Error monitoring (leveraging a service like sentry) with a set amount of hours for fixing critical bugs and errors and a discounted pro rate after exceeded.
- Managing their DNS and hosting
- Analytics reporting
- Lighthouse reporting with a set number of hours dedicated to making performance enhancements when applicable.
- Discounted hourly and project rates for all work of support plan subscribers.
Previously I didn't want all the headache that comes with hosting and managing websites. However, I've come around to the idea that I end up being the first call anyway when something goes wrong so it would be better to catch these things early and be empowered to just fix them. I also want to be fair with pricing and offer the most value so my recurring pool of customers stays happy.
I'd love to hear how other people have handled and/or priced this type of service. Do you add on monthly retainers? Do you allow rollovers? What are the pitfalls that one should absolutely avoid when doing this? Any horror stories?