So why do I need a maintenance retainer?
- With a retainer in place, we are able to schedule your development time into our monthly workflow and you effectively jump the queue of any other ad-hoc projects. Our retainer clients also benefit from a reduced hourly rate!
OK, and how will my retainer be used?
- A retainer is intended as a pre-booked slot of time each month. Depending on the project type, your retainer time can be allocated to regular software and security update tasks as well as other essential maintenance or support tasks, or general upkeep and content management tasks. In fact some of these maintenance and security updates are mandatory for the general upkeep of a website so we’ll schedule these ahead of other tasks when necessary. Regular project admin relating to the retainer, such as project management tasks, phone calls, email communication and meetings are also covered. In some cases, development tasks are also covered, unless the complexity warrants that a new project be set up.
Right … so how do I ask for edits?
- We use the world-class Trello online project management tool and we encourage our clients to interact with us there. Of course we’re happy to chat in person, on the phone, or email, etc – but we find that initiating queries and tasks directly in Trello is far more effective and also makes more efficient use of your retainer time.
And what are the benefits of using Trello?
- Interacting with our clients directly within Trello allows us to involve clients in all project communication and promotes project transparency. Clients are able to communicate directly with the project manager and team, and are able to gain an overview of task status.
Nice! So how do I get Trello?
- Its free to register at trello.com – Once your account is set up, we’ll invite you to join your project ‘board’ and assist with getting you set up.
Err… hold on, I’m not sure about this Trello malarkey?
- No sweat! You are welcome to contact us by email and telephone, but remember that we’ll be logging the time for us to transcribe your requirements into Trello anyway, with the added risk of adding our own typos – although we’re pretty good at not doing that!. Of course, some requirements are best discussed in person, or translated into ‘developer-speak’ anyway. In those cases we ensure we log tasks efficiently on your behalf and in a way that the requirement is clear to our team.
What if I don’t use all my retainer hours in a month?
- When the retainer agreement is initiated, we’ll help you to choose the correct allocation of monthly hours, depending on the complexity of your project and likely support time that will be required. We’ll work with you to identify and define ongoing retainer tasks as well as scheduled regular maintenance tasks. It may transpire that we’re up-to-date on all tasks and admin with retainer time remaining – unfortunately that time is not transferable to the next month.
Also, what if I run out of retainer hours in a month?
- We’ll work with you to define retainer tasks and then estimate and prioritise tasks for scheduling within your retainer to help avoid this happening. But occasionally there is just more to do than the retainer allows. In these cases we’ll help you to break down tasks into more manageable pieces that can be distributed over months or suggest alternatives. If that is not possible then it may be necessary to handle the excess as ‘out-of-retainer’ tasks which are billed at full rates and without priority scheduling. If that happens we’ll assist to manage that as efficiently as possible.
And if I need some heavy lifting development?
- Although we do accommodate some minor development tasks within retainers (at our discretion), your retainer is really there to allow us to support the development already in place. Generally, we recommend that new or additional functionality for existing projects are handled as individual projects on their own with the benefit of comprehensive estimations and planning. Once the new development is in place we can adjust the retainer to accommodate any additional support tasks, in agreement with you.
How does the payment work for SLA Retainers?
- Maintenance retainer contracts are initiated for an initial 12 month period and automatically renewed on a monthly basis thereafter. Retainers are billed on a monthly basis in advance, on the 25th of the preceding month, and payment is due by the 1st of the month. Retainers can be cancelled at any point after the initial 12 months with 1 month’s notice.
That’s really all there is to it, but if you have more questions, please contact us below :
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- SEM – Search Engine Marketing
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization
- PPC – Pay-per-Click advertising
- Placement Advertising
- Online Copy-writing
- Media Plans / Buying
- Social Media Marketing
- ORM – Online Reputation Management
- CM – Community Management
- Growth campaigns
- Bulk Email Marketing