Remote Support Best Practices

If you are a network administrator or on a help desk job, you are aware how hard it is to offer on-demand remote support to an inexperienced user, who still may not know the basics to perform even simple tasks.  One of the best practices engaged by a vendor for providing remote support at this juncture is to determine the remote user’s comfort level and determine if remote control is necessary.

If the problem is minor and the user has a basic level of competency, it may be easiest and most efficient simply to offer troubleshooting instructions directly, or refer to the user to an online troubleshooting guide. Following are a few of the best practices in implementing a remote support environment.

1. Employee Support
To get the greatest return from your remote support system, it is essential to first gain the confidence of your support staff that will be using it. Rolling out a new technology always requires a learning curve, as well as the acceptance of the end users. If the support staff is reluctant to use the remote support technology, then the greater goals of improved support and faster average call time will never be realized. This requires careful change management, and involving the support staff in the initial decision-making and planning processes so as to capture their input, and their support in the overall remote technology rollout.

2. Customer Support
Besides gaining the support of the tech staff, gaining the support of the customers on the other end of the support call is also essential. There may be some initial reluctance to allow a remote control session, and so tech staff should be equipped to explain how it works and that there is no security risk involved. Prepare customers ahead of time with advance notice and discussion of the benefits of remote control, mentions in newsletters and email marketing campaigns, and on the corporate web site.

In the case of a technical support call, the customer may be trying to explain an unusual situation or reaction which is difficult to duplicate. The remote support software will be able to effectively capture that situation, and that will lead to a better solution. In addition, if the flaw is difficult to duplicate, your engineering department may not be able to remedy the flaw immediately. Capturing it by recording the session will provide the engineers with valuable information that can be used to create an update or patch.

3. It Must be Easy
Easy access and integration is essential to allow customers to easily enable to remote support session. Tech support staff must be able to launch a session easily with just a few clicks, without causing a long wait for the customer.

4. Optimize those “Teachable” Moments
The final best practice is to use the remote control tool as a teaching opportunity. The support staff person may well be able to easily remedy the situation at hand with very little interaction with the client, but this is missing an opportunity to instruct the client, and avoid future calls. During the remote control session, the staff person should explain the processes they are undertaking, and allow the client to actually see the process through the remote control interface.

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