Because your company is unique, you’ll want to find software that is compatible with your unique needs. The features that sell another company on a time clock software package may not be the features that are right for your company, and it may take some work to find which has the best features for the needs of your business. In addition to features, there are four important considerations in selecting a time clock software:
1. What kind of trial is offered?
2. What kind of technical support is available?
3. Is the provider reputable?
4. What are the costs of the software and support?
Let’s consider each:
1. Time Clock Software Trials
Free trials are a great way to get acquainted with new software. They give you an opportunity to explore the features and get a feel for the utility and ease of use of the software. This can be a great way to do side by side comparison of rival time clocks. Some companies only offer limited versions of the software to trial users. The most useful trials give you full access to the software, allowing you to explore everything it will allow you to do.
2. Time Clock Technical Support
Good technical support can spare you hours of frustration and lost time and ensure that you are getting the full benefits of the software you purchase. Because you don’t want to be bogged down with technical issues, you’ll want to purchase a time clock system that is backed by reliable technical support. When looking for technical support, there are several important factors to consider:
Format: What types of support are offered with the software? Common forms include email, live chat, and phone support. Having live support via chat or telephone can get you real-time solutions and ensure you get minimal frustration and maximum usefulness from your time clock software.
Hours of availability: You’ll want to know when support is available and if the hours work for you and your company. If a company’s live technical support is only available from nine to five in the Philippines, but you operate in the North America or Europe, the support might not be very compatible with your business.
Availability during trial period: Can you access technical support during the trial period? This access can help you determine whether the technical support is going to meet your needs and can allow you to make an informed decision on the software and support package that you purchase. The trial period is a great time to learn how easy it is to contact technical support, whether you get to talk to an actual person, how timely technical support is in responding to your communications, and how helpful the people are to you. These factors will all make a big difference when you run into questions or issues down the road.
3. Reputation of Time Clock Provider
The legitimacy of a company is important to consider in any kind of purchase. While the internet allows you to compare thousands of options before making a transaction, the ability to purchase remotely comes with certain risks. Among these is the difficulty of distinguishing reputable companies from pop-up companies or scammers.
One determinant of credibility is the length of time a company has been in business. If the company has been around for years, it is likely to be a legitimate company. It is also more likely to have reviews from external sources that support (or detract from) its claims, and these can help you to make an educated buying decision. A company that has sustained success over a long period of time is likely to have the skills and infrastructure to remain a viable company in the future. This means they’re more likely to be there to support you and stand behind the time clock software you purchase.
External software reviews come in various forms, ranging from customer reviews to professional reviews. Customer reviews can be found on company websites, personal blogs, and throughout social media. These can give you an indication of the satisfaction of current or past customers with the company, its products, and the customer service it provides. Professional reviews can be found on industry websites or professional review websites. These often review multiple products or services in the same category and can help you compare one company or product to another. Such reviews are a great way to compare time clock features and support plans side by side and determine which software package is best equipped to meet the needs of your business.
4. Time Clock Software and Support Costs
When it all boils down, costs can largely determine which time clock program will meet the needs of your business. You’ll need to consider how much you are willing to pay for a time clock software package. The nature, structure, and size of your business will determine the savings you can expect by purchasing an electronic time clock, and this can help you decide on a price that is right for you.
Comparing prices of similar time clocks can help you get a feel for the range of reasonable prices. You should also consider the payment method and structure. Will the purchase require monthly or yearly payments or a one-time fee? Will you be charged per number of computers or number of users? Are there additional fees?
One additional fee that’s important to consider is technical support. Support is often available on a per-incident basis, but it can be much less expensive in the long run to have a support plan that will cover all of your needs. You will want to ensure that you have access to good tech support, so you’ll want to know what it costs and what the support plan includes.
When you know what features you’re looking for and what you are willing to pay, download a free time clock software trial and find out how well the software and technical support will work for your business.