Six meerkats grouped together and hugging each other.
Calendar   27 July, 2023 //

Aren't retainers just a big waste of money? …and why we love meerkats

#User experience
Barry Fisher, Founder and CEO at Pivale Drupal agency - a man with dark hair, a neat beard, moustache and glasses.

Written by

Barry Fisher

Founder & CEO

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Retainers. They’re a common occurrence in many industries - and yet, they’re often met with an eye roll, a shrug of the shoulders, or a face being flung into a palm.

For many business owners and marketing departments, this is because they’ve been stung by a bad deal before that’s still giving them flashbacks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them around.

There are plenty of people out there who believe retained support is simply a big waste of money. The value isn’t high enough to warrant the investment, therefore it doesn’t get signed. Or, retained support is like a ream of paper - a necessary cost for their business, but it’s hardly going to deliver day-to-day impact.

A retainer is about SO much more than just the bare necessities (don’t sing it). Here’s what we think about retainers and why they’re of immense value for organisations.

Why your business might consider a retainer

Many of our clients need tailored, expert support on demand. That’s guaranteed with a retainer.

Retainers offer you access to a knowledgeable professional whenever you need them, at a fraction of a cost of a salary. This on-demand expertise also removes the HR and payroll headaches associated with hiring a new staff member or employing an entire team.

Pivale’s retained clients have often worked with us on the initial build of their website or digital infrastructure. That means the same team is on hand every month to offer support on the systems we built - a service no one else can rival. Plus, our business is built with a commitment to supporting your activity as you grow. No changes, or unexpected surprises you might be used to with ad-hoc support.

If you’re reading this as a marketing manager, you might be working within restrictive budgets and thinking “Yes, a retainer sounds great, but how do we afford it?”

Well, you’ll be delighted to know often our retainers can come out of the IT security budget - not the marketing budget. This is because the service includes security updates, backups and maintenance of the site. Without proper maintenance, your website will pose a security and compliance risk. It’s worth finding out if there are alternative budgets available in your company so your day-to-day operational budgets aren’t affected.

How to ensure you’ve got a retainer that works for you

So the value of retainers is now a bit clearer. But that’s not all you need to consider. How do you know your retainer is going to work for your organisation?

Get the support you need. Lay out what your business determines to be essential to a retainer and don’t settle unless you get it. Most companies will work with you to find your pain points and guarantee they’re covered within your monthly retainer - as well as offer their guidance on what you need to succeed.

Is it fit for purpose? Can you trust the supplier? Is it actually going to deliver results for your business? Most of these questions will be answered before you sign up with a supplier, but getting this stage wrong can cost you down the line.

Get the security you need. Find the retainer that offers everything you need, in terms of delivery as well as room for extras where they may be required. Minimise the risk of unexpected costs and you’ll be able to budget more effectively in the long run.

Adequate response times. For reactive work as well as proactive work, agree on response times that work for your team whilst reducing the negative impact of unforeseen events on your organisation.

Your desired outcome is essential. Keep the end goal in mind. Retainers should not only achieve the day-to-day outcomes but help your organisation stay on target to achieve long-term goals.

Our website retainer packages (and why they’re the best)

Well, now you’ve asked…

Our retainer packages consolidate the strong relationships we have with our clients. When they need us, we’re here.

The standard ‘Gold’ Pivale support package offers 8 hours of support per month with the option to boost it to the level your business needs. Within those 8 hours, you’ll be able to phone a real, live person. Even more importantly, that person is a web developer, not a call handler. This reduces the risk of “lost in translation” conversations, delivering great results, faster.

For this same reason, we don’t use a ticketing system. We believe personal support is much more important - and you deserve access to the same people who built your site on the end of the phone, not a digital system.

Our Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a 24 hour response time at the absolute most for critical issues (subject to T&Cs). This covers your website and agreed related assets. We offer a simple service agreement that’s free from complicated clauses and long notice periods (ours is only 3 months). All of which is in line with Pivale's values of delivering quality and simplicity.

If you’re wondering about the cost - our minimum ‘Silver’ website retainer starts from just £480 per month that covers you for security updates and support. Our most popular is the ‘Gold’ retainer package, priced at £960 per month, which includes up to 8 hours of support, development work, campaign planning, etc. Our retainers can be supercharged and customised to suit your needs and tick all the boxes you need to achieve your goals.

Retained support that goes above and beyond

Heard enough?

Get in touch today and chat to the team about how we can help your organisation stay secure, optimise your digital footprint and deliver truly great customer support.

And in case you’re wondering, we love meerkats because they support each other, they’re cute, and definitely not a big waste of money!

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Barry Fisher, Founder and CEO at Pivale Drupal agency - a man with dark hair, a neat beard, moustache and glasses.

Written by

Barry Fisher

Founder & CEO

Barry is our founder and CEO, responsible for delivering on our mission statement and ensuring return on investment for our clients. Barry oversees the majority of our software projects. Barry is a Business degree graduate of Middlesex University London.

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The Pivale team from left to right - Pri Scarabelli, Julie Manning, Barry Fisher, Darren Fisher, and Daniel Johnson.

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