To mitigate the impact of crises such as natural disasters, epidemics and terror attacks, leading companies are adopting innovative remote assistance methods to address the safety concerns of their employees and customers. Organizations will often ask staff to work from home in order to minimize physical contact and because transportation is limited. In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, these safety protocols have led the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter – among many others – to encourage workers to carry out their duties remotely. As COVID-19 becomes even more widespread, more companies are likely to follow suit.
Video is emerging as a key technology that enables companies to conduct business as usual during crisis events when physical proximity is impossible or strongly discouraged. For example, corporate executives can hold virtual board meetings, medical specialists can examine patients via live video streams, insurance agents can meet with clients online, professors can teach classes via webcast, and customer service reps can provide visual remote assistance.
Visual Remote Assistance rescues contact centers in times of crisis
Visual Assistance allows an agent to see the customer’s physical environment through their smart device, and visually guide them to issue resolution using Augmented Reality (AR) annotations on their mobile screen.
For example, if the customer is trying to set up a new device, the agent can help them with hardware assembly and installation, cabling, connectivity and configuration issues, and syncing the device with an app. If the customer is calling about a software issue, the agent can assist via remote sharing of the application or the customer’s desktop. The agent can then verify that the customer has followed the visual steps correctly and that the problem has been resolved successfully, at the first time of asking.
Visual Assistance helps contact centers reduce technician dispatch rates and enables customers to resolve more issues by themselves. It also allows companies to continue delivering effective customer service when technician visits are not feasible or safe due to epidemics like the coronavirus.
Visual Remote Assistance supports field service professionals in emergency situations
The field service industry relies heavily on highly specialized human resources. In times of crisis when travel restrictions are in effect and experts cannot easily make site visits, Visual Assistance enables local technicians to solve issues using video collaboration tools. By consulting with a remote expert via a live stream, less experienced personnel can benefit from AR-based visual guidance, helping them to resolve the issue. This enables companies to reduce risk, cutting machine downtime and Total Time to Resolution in the process.
Visual Assistance delivers clear cost savings and reduces the need for experts to travel by effectively extending their reach. For example, medical technicians in high-risk areas can be supported by experts via remote assistance and the onboarding of emergency infrastructure staff can be streamlined with this groundbreaking technology.
With confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in at least 70 countries, this epidemic – like previous public health crises including HN51, MERS and SARS – has demonstrated how a range of visual technologies enable staff to continue working as usual and provide vital remote assistance to customers. In the field service sector, video assistance reduces the need for specialist site visits by enabling experts to solve more issues remotely, overcoming travel restrictions and ensuring the safety of key personnel and customers alike.
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This article was first published on the TechSee blog.