Support Operations

Mark West
Ten Tips for Maximizing Your Remote Support ROI
Written by Mark West Mar 16, 2012

Recently, an attack script on how to crash the PCAnywhere remote control tool was posted online, prompting many IT organizations to evaluate the software they’re currently using for remote support. In addition to assessing the security of your remote support tools, you should also take this opportunity to determine whether you’re using these products to their maximum potential, and getting the biggest bang for your buck. Remote support tools are generally easy to implement and maintain, so many organizations simply set ‘em and forget ‘em. But today’s robust remote support solutions offer far more than simply accessing and controlling an end-user’s computer. By applying the following tips, you may be able to double or triple the return of your remote support investment with very little effort.

  1. Training: Many remote control vendors have significantly enhanced the capabilities of their products with advanced features, such as support to and from smartphones and tablets. Most organizations are only using about 20 percent of their systems capabilities, simply because their reps are not trained on these new features. Make sure your support agents know how to take advantage of these capabilities and are leveraging them to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  2. Deploy an “easy button”: Give your customers quick options for initiating a remote support session, such as deploying “instant remote support” request buttons on their desktops or embedded into your support portal. If end-users can reach an agent in just one click, they’re more likely to avoid picking up the phone. Because agents can simultaneously support multiple users when using chat and remote control (versus the one-to-one nature of the phone), this will greatly improve the productivity of your help desk.
  3. Take the “desk” out of “help desk”: Some remote support tools now work on iPhones, iPads, Android devices, etc. By arming your support team with these apps, they can work on support sessions even when away from the help desk, also greatly increasing productivity.
  4. Tie remote support to your tickets: Many remote support vendors offer easy integrations with service desk ticketing systems. By integrating the two, your technicians can automatically launch remote support sessions directly from the ticket and feed session information back into the central issue record. This not only saves time, it gives management one centralized view of the issue and everything that occurred during the support process.
  5. Consolidate and centralize: It is very common for support organizations to accumulate a number of different remote control tools to support various different devices and operating systems. Standardizing on one will provide abilities to support multiple systems, save costs and more efficiently utilize support team skills.
  6. Standardize operating procedures: Reducing variability in manufacturing processes has proven to be one of the important ways to help improve efficiency. The same rules apply to the use of remote control tools for support organizations. Analyze the types of issues that prove to be the best candidates for remote support, and create standard use cases for when and how to use the solution. As the variability in remote control usage and AHT decreases, your productivity and resolution rates should improve.
  7. Encourage collaboration: Support costs are lowered and CSAT is improved when issues are resolved by the first contact, typically the lowest and cheapest resource in the organization. Yet many organizations continue to push 20 percent or more of their tickets to the next tier. Some remote support tools allow multiple technicians to simultaneously work on a problem, so your tier one techs can observe tier two experts as they resolve issues; an excellent real-time training opportunity. Over time, tier one techs will learn to solve these issues themselves, improving CSAT and reducing resource costs.
  8. Centralize scripting: Many support requests are repetitive. If your remote support solution supports scripting, centrally create and manage scripts to use for tickets with similar or identical issues. Organizations that take this approach are able to reduce AHT and improve CSAT because there is a centralized process and standard approach for fixing repetitive tickets.
  9. Chat with end users: When you combine chat with remote control, you further increase customer satisfaction and improve technician productivity because techs can handle multiple sessions at one time, resolving more issues in less time.
  10. Measure the results: Everyone’s heard the expression, “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Many current remote support systems have fairly extensive reporting and management capabilities. Take advantage of the data provided to measure things like CSAT by support tech, first call resolution rates, average length of support session, remote control usage by technician, remote control usage by call type and other important indicators of quality and performance. When you create standard operating procedures for remote control usage and then measure the performance, you can improve both compliance and performance.

If you can successfully implement these ten suggestions, your organization will be able to maximize the ROI on your investment in remote control, reduce AHT, increase CSAT, and improve FCR.

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