Weekly Blog

When should you call Tech Support?


Posted on February 25, 2013

If you have an active Service Contract for your Innsoft software, services and hardware you can place unlimited calls to tech support during regular business hours and you also receive discounted after hours emergency support ($35 per call or issue).  The Service Contract includes the ability to download our monthly software updates and subscription to our Check-Inn Quarterly Newsletter.  The updates are essential so that you can download major software revisions, bug fixes, new features/reports, etc.  Also, if you have credit card processing, downloading regular updates will help you stay in compliance.

But when does it make sense to contact Tech Support?  And when is it worth paying the extra $35 fee for calling support afterhours?

Only you can decide whether or not your situation warrants a call to our support team.  However, I’d like to provide a few examples of issues where a quick phone call to support may be a good idea:

  • One or more of your reservation interfaces are not behaving normally.  For example:  You are receiving fax and/or email reservations when they should be booking directly into Check-Inn; errors occuring; you use the Direct Inn booking engine and see a system down message on your website, etc.).  Call our support team BEFORE calling your GDS/Expedia/Booking.com representative
  • Guests in the Guest Screen disappear
  • Multiple guests have unexplained balance issues
  • Error message saying your codes are invalid when you know that valid codes have been entered
  • Batch will not submit, duplicate batch numbers, other credit card processing issues
  • Any other issue that causes you to be unable to use the software

More information about Tech Support
Sometimes, your call to support can help us identify a bug.  But oftentimes the issue can be more nefarious, such as a slowly failing hard drive, virus or other piece of malware affecting your computer, network or internet issues, etc.  Calling support quickly can help you get ahead of the problem and avoid more serious, irreparable issues.

But what if you call support and they don’t immediately know what is causing the problem?

Our support personnel are software experts, but they are not omniscient.  I often compare software or hardware technicians to auto mechanics.  When something is wrong with your car, you bring it to your mechanic.  The mechanic may or may not immediately know what is malfunctioning.  Sometimes even if he can’t tell you why it happened he still may quickly know what will fix it.  Whether or not the mechanic can identify the root cause, he will work hard to provide you with a solution.  Sometimes, if the issue is only intermittent, the mechanic may need you to bring the car back in when it’s misbehaving so that he can troubleshoot the problem.

Tech support is exactly the same.  They will do their best to pinpoint the source of the problem and provide a solution but some situations are not cut and dry.

One thing to be aware of when working with any type of tech support team is that they are experts in their own specific field.  A good analogy is when you go to the Doctor about a skin issue, they may refer you to a Dermatologist, or they may be able to offer you treatment themselves, even though they are not skin experts.  Our technicians are software experts, but they may be able to offer you assistance with other computer issues, such as network problems, internet connectivity issues, etc.  But in some cases, they may refer you to an expert in that area.

Get Organized
I highly suggest organizing a list of support resources for your front desk.  A spreadsheet that details exactly what support teams are available for them, during what hours/days of the week for which part of your business.  Armed with this list, your front desk will be prepared for the times when they need help the most.

I would include the following technology related resources on your ‘Support List’:

  • Innsoft (Check-Inn) tech support contact information, including telephone number and hours of operation.
  • Local computer technician with contact information
  • Website Developer
  • GDS Provider
  • OTA’s (such as Booking.com, Expedia, etc.)
  • Credit Card Processor
  • Contact info for other technology providers, including (but not limited to):  Internet Service Provider (ISP), telephone company, Microsoft support, credit card processor

This is just a sample of the types of companies your property likely works with on a regular basis.  Organizing this in a way that is easily accessible and understood by your front desk is essential to keep your business functioning smoothly.