As many of you know, I offer a lot of my Pastel support via remote desktop (using TeamViewer), which has allowed me to extend my client base across the entire country and beyond.
Apart from the benefit of not being geographically bound to a particular market, remote support has other benefits for both me and my clients, including the saving of travel costs and more immediate support.
However, I still have a sizeable client base in the greater Durban/Pietermaritzburg area which I support in the traditional manner, i.e. I drive to their premises and provide support onsite. Even many of these clients have accepted remote support and they can see the benefits, but there are some clients that prefer me to visit them personally.
Up until now, I have not charged for travelling when visiting these clients (although clients in outlying areas of KZN get charged a rate per km).
In the light of recent petrol price increases, I am reviewing my approach and considering offering a carrot and stick to these clients.
This is what I am thinking of: I will henceforth be charging a rate per km from my office to any client to which I need to travel, no matter where they are located. If a trip involves visiting more than one client, I will spread the cost of the travel across those clients. The only way in which I can eliminate those charges is to offer them remote support.
Any thoughts, suggestions or criticisms on this approach?