Digital Signage Support – Avoid Hidden Fees

Jan 22, 2018 | Support

Lee Gannon

Lee Gannon

When researching a project, digital signage support cannot be an afterthought.

We completely understand the appeal of cheap or free digital signage when you are working on a budget but you need to know the facts.

To help digital signage investors save money, we want to make everyone aware of the hidden support costs that can sometimes be involved with ‘cheap’ or ‘free’ digital signage.

Digital Signage Support - Avoid Hidden Fees TrouDigital

What kind of support will I need?

When researching your project, this is an important question to ask yourself and your potential provider.
First of all, be sure to find out how you are covered for hardware support. If you are buying a signage display with built-in software, how are you supported if the screen itself goes wrong, and how are you supported when it comes to the software inside? You can expect the display to be covered for the duration of a warranty but what about the software?
At TrouDigital, we personally try and stay away from displays with in-built media players. You pay a lot more, there’s a lot more to go wrong and the software itself is inferior because there’s no license fee to cover it.
The screen itself might last for a few years but the media player will almost certainly become outdated and this is a problem when it’s built into the monitor (as opposed to using a plug and play device.) Be sure to know whether future updates to the software will be included and supported too.
If you are using an external media player (we take this approach), you’ll want to know what set-up is required and whether support is included as part of the price for this. Can you pick up the phone and have someone talk you through getting it out the box and connected to your screen?
Being slapped with a support call fee for this would be a sour way to start your project and the relationship you have with the supplier.
In an ideal world, you would never have to think about digital signage support. But given the public nature of customer-facing screens, the reputation of your business could depend on having strong support in place. No one wants black screens or outdated content playing. It reflects badly on you.
Digital Signage Support - Avoid Hidden Fees TrouDigital Confusingly, software support can mean different things to different signage companies. If your software starts malfunctioning, you’d like to think that any level of support would cover this. But what about support when it comes to learning the ropes, acquiring design templates to get started or scheduling your content?
There can be a fine line between what a company describes as ‘complementary support’ and ‘training as an additional service’ that is charged on an hourly basis. Make sure you know the difference. 

What does ‘free support’ actually mean?

On this note, we wanted to deconstruct the concept of ‘free support’. A number of popular providers use this as one of their incentives. It sounds great but what does it mean?
Without naming any of the companies, ‘free support’ most often extends to email support – occasionally a live chat over the web. But often even this is a stretch. In reality, it often only means supporting documentation online – maybe a downloadable guide that was created years ago and relates to an old version of the software.
With digital signage, we would strongly recommend having access to call support – or better yet, remote support through a software like TeamViewer. If something goes wrong with your network, you don’t want to have to submit a support ticket and then wait days before you get instructions back over email, that might not even help you to resolve the issue.
Digital Signage Support - Avoid Hidden Fees TrouDigital
Can you pick up the phone?
You need to be able to pick up the phone straight away and speak to someone in your own language, without jargon or waiting on hold for 30 minutes.
Free support should extend to a friendly and helpful human team on the other end of the line. If you’re paying something like £15 per month for signage software, be wary of being hit with £30 support calls or your cost-effective choice will have been for nothing.
Nine times out of ten, digital signage issues are quick fixes which is why we’re even more resentful towards the approach of fixed support call charges. What might have been a 60-second conversation and resolution can, unfortunately, be dragged out in an effort to make the support call seem worth the expense. It’s a lose-lose situation.

How does TrouDigital approach support?

Precisely because we discourage the conventions described above, at TrouDigital ‘free support’ means free support. (Part of the reason we can offer this, without restrictions, if you were wondering, is because our platform is so user-friendly and intuitive – our support calls are few and far between.)
For signage license costs that still come in under budget, you have access to a free support call team between 8:30am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Leave us a message outside of these hours, and we’re often still able to jump on and assist you. 
Hardware and software
Digital Signage Support - Avoid Hidden Fees TrouDigital
Not only do we include Android media players as part of our all-inclusive monthly fee, we support your hardware for as long as you have a contract with us. Should a media player become faulty through no fault of your own, we’ll replace it free of charge. 
If you ever run into difficulties using our signage studio, you can equally pick up the phone and get some help. No question is too silly – which you might have been wary about had you been paying for each and every call.
We love talking to clients and assisting them to get the most out of our platform. You might feel like calling us for reassurance when you are first getting to grips with it, but the chances are we sadly won’t hear from you after that!
Free set-up and training
We want you to get off to the best start with your digital signage network. That’s why we make getting set-up and the learning process as easy as possible. All media players are programmed in-house by one of our team, delivered ready to play, so all you need to do is connect to power and the internet. Feel free to give us a call and we can talk you through this while you do it.
Equally, we are happy to provide an online training session to help you familiarise yourself with content creation and management. This unique offer ensures all our customers can really utilise what they are paying for. While you are getting the hang of it, we will even organise the scheduling of your content for you, so you can set and forget about it.
Digital Signage Support - Avoid Hidden Fees TrouDigital Effortless remote support
Finally, our support is superior to all the other signage companies around because we have invested heavily in TeamViewer remote support on each of our media players.
This allows us to login remotely to a player from our offices and control your screen. When it comes to diagnosing and resolving issues, this capability has truly revolutionised the way we support our customers. Why settle for a support call where we have to describe the solution to you, when we can jump on and fix it ourselves in no time?

The key takeaway is that digital signage support is important and should not be an afterthought. When working on a budget, make sure your cheap provider isn’t hiding hidden fees that will soon add up and leave you out of pocket.

At the very least, you need to be able to speak to someone on the phone, and you shouldn’t be charged for the privilege.

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