Support & Community

At this point we should be evaluating the available support that is available for each tool. Although setup and configuration are important, and self-serve features a priority, buyers need to ensure that when they run into trouble, they can get timely and inexpensive support.

Corporate Support
If the company provides direct support, what are the available options? Are they including phone, email, and chat in their packages? You should also look at the average time it takes to respond and resolve any issues and if there is any additional costs associated with timely support.

Documentation & KnowledgeBase
Along with individual support, try to evaluate the availability and extensiveness of supporting documentation, including content prepared by the vendor and the user community.

User Community
Finally, you should look for and evaluate the activity of "user communities" for tools both on the vendor's website and on other popular sites for testers and developers. Consider the overall activity as well as the tone of the community as an important consideration to each vendor. Is the tool well supported? Can you find free information online to help you troubleshoot?

Evaluating a vendor's support capabilities should be something immediately considered. Don't leave it until when it matters the most.

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