It’s as old as communication technology itself. The importance of following best practices is undeniable – certainly anyone who has seen the movie Apollo 13 will recall that it saved the lives of the failed mission’s astronauts 50 years ago. In the decades since, with the ever-more-rapid pace of life, there is an increasing demand for companies that really know how to provide successful remote support and can provide faster response to customer support issues.
This demand, along with unprecedented safety concerns borne of the 2020 pandemic, has driven companies throughout the world to adopt advanced remote support models that can enable them to meet the wide-ranging needs of customers today and survive in the new business environment.
Businesses around the world have adapted to the new normal of being unable to dispatch technicians to their customers’ sites, as well as to having their support staff located remotely at home. Fortunately, the advancement of new IoT diagnostic technologies, as well as video, have kept pace as well, providing innovative tools to ensure that organizations have the capability to fulfill growing customer demand while ensuring employee safety, using remote support best practices.
How to Provide Remote Support Successfully
How can you ensure that your company is ready to meet today’s expectations? Here are 6 crucial habits practiced by organizations with successful track records in providing remote support:
Habit No. 1: Resolve more issues remotely while eliminating unnecessary site visits
The first habit of an organization successful in providing remote support is to establish teams of remote technicians. Many of these teams were created as an ad-doc response to the pandemic, but as their effectiveness became clear, these remote teams have become an integral part of the customer service organization. This new way of working with remote support created an emerging KPI, the Remote Resolution Rate, defined as the total number of service tickets divided by the number of service tickets that did not require dispatch, resulting in a significant reducing in the need to dispatch engineers to a customer’s location, and nearly eliminating wasteful no fault found technician dispatches.
Habit No. 2: Collaborate between different support teams
Facilitating collaboration between contact center agents and field service technicians is central to resolving customer issues remotely without dispatching a technician. When contact center agents and field technicians are able to collaborate as a team, not only do problems get solved more quickly and efficiently, but customers benefit from a more efficient and effortless service experience. Customers appreciate an agent who already understands their problem, as well as any history of technical issues, so there is no need to repeat themselves. Even better is an agent who is ready and able to seamlessly join a technician into a triage support session to ensure the fastest, most efficient response possible.
To encourage this kind of collaborative culture, organizations can implement collaborative KPIs that encompass the efforts of multiple departments, such as Total Time to Resolution.
Habit No. 3: Proactively resolve customers’ issues
Organizations successful at remote support understand that it is not enough to react to customers’ issues; they must also be more proactive to prevent issues from happening in the first place. Towards this desired result, a wide range of predictive tools are available, such as . These tools enable the organization to anticipate probable future issues and to preemptively solve them before they even occur. This practice of Next Issue Avoidance is fast becoming a major KPI for organizations in providing customer support.
Habit No. 4: Make remote support interactions available as part of a journey
Successful customer service organizations avoid providing remote support in silos. Instead, remote support is available at every channel and at every touchpoint of the customer’s journey – from purchase and setup through warranty activation, and all the way to troubleshooting issues. Customers have access to remote support during waiting times while interacting with IVR, when speaking directly with the agent or while using self-service technologies.
A unified collaborative remote support platform creates a clear understanding of customer issues across the organization and ensures a warm and seamless transfer between channels when necessary.
Habit No. 5: Reduce customer and employee effort
The most effective organizations today recognize that providing remote support is not enough – they must also take into account the level of effort required by both their own employees and their customers in resolving the issues.
Using KPIs such as Customer Effort Score (CES), organizations can evaluate the efficiency of any given tool and ensure that their remote support operations are making the lives of both customers and employees easier. Reducing customer effort allows service organizations to ensure not only effective resolution process, but also support customer and employee retention as a strategic objective.
Habit No. 6: Encourage self-service and automation
A best practice of remote support is to implement call deflection, a practice that ensures customers receive the help they seek in the most efficient self-service manner, while at the same time reducing the number of inbound calls routed to human agents. Inquiries may be deflected to self-service channels, such as FAQs, live chat, community forums, and chatbots.
Organizations providing advanced remote support ensure that simple, repetitive cases are deflected, while the more complex cases are handled by human experts. When the case needs to be escalated to a human agent, there is a warm transfer to a remote support session that doesn’t require the customer to repeat himself. Human personnel are empowered to resolve these issues faster using automated decision support tools that suggest next-best-action steps determined by a vast knowledge base.
Looking Ahead with these Best Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic has indelibly changed the way businesses throughout the world support their customers. Whether you have already made progress in implementing your remote support process, or have only just begun to consider first steps, adopting these six habits is a smart move towards aligning your practices with the current times. Appropriately implemented, they will ensure that your organization can provide an efficient, effortless remote support process that prevents customer attrition while making optimal usage of your technical support teams.
This article was first published on the TechSee blog.