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Rethinking customer support in a connected world

Remote Control in Today’s Connected World

businessman holding a tablet computer with system smart houseThere are dozens of ways to provide tech support to today’s savvy customers. When everything else fails, though, customers typically fall back on Old Reliable, the telephone. Unfortunately, support over the phone, as straightforward as it seems, still involves all sorts of limitations. Most obviously, there is a great gulf separating the support agent from the device he’s trying to support.

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This is where tools like remote control come into play. Agents can resolve issues more quickly and efficiently when they can connect directly to customers’ devices. It’s incredibly useful and the experience makes for happy customers.

Here are a few things to think about if you’re contemplating taking advantage of this powerful technology.

Connectivity

Today’s customers have multiple devices in addition to computers — refrigerators, thermostats, even light bulbs — that are all connected to the open Internet and to each other. How does all of this interconnectivity affect remote support?

For one thing, agents can now interface with more and more customer devices and provide a broader range of service. As an example, your agents can connect to customers through video chat, like FaceTime® or Amazon’s Mayday™, to see for themselves what may be going on with a connected appliance. Still photos and instant messaging can help, too. Because of all this connectivity, your agents can use the functionality of one device to provide support for a different one.

Remote control makes it much easier to accomplish most tasks. Setting up email accounts, downloading and installing apps, and configuring Wi-Fi connections are all easier due to tools that let agents carry out the tasks directly instead of painfully talking users through the steps.

Multi-Platform

Before smart phones became ubiquitous, we all thought that customers would manage their connected home devices through one central hub—their personal computer. But when it comes to managing things like a home security system, it’s so much easier to pull a phone out of our pocket than it is to sit down at the computer. And if you’re not at home, mobile access becomes a necessity, not an option.

So one of the things to keep in mind when designing your remote support program is to make sure your agents can connect to and operate more than just a PC.

Security

Security is a concern in any remote support environment, but it’s an even greater worry in light of recent developments.

In an article on Security and the Internet of Things, Dave Lewis, contributor to Forbes, said, “It is not too far of a stretch to think that problems could be in the wings when you have devices that can monitor environmental controls, critical infrastructure such as smart grid, medical devices and transport systems.”

The interconnectivity of devices has the potential to create security vulnerabilities that are concerning for any customer. As the number of devices sharing information increases, so increases the risk to the privacy of that information. Add to that a spate of recent negative publicity and a customer’s fears concerning a remote support experience can be significant. One of the biggest problems in modern contact centers occurs when a customer is so worried about security that he refuses to give permission for his device to be remotely accessed.

To do their jobs effectively, agents need to take steps to allay their customers’ security concerns. One of the best ways is to hit the issue head on, by having the conversation and advising the customer to take precautions like closing desktop windows that contain private information. And if the customer is still skittish, the agent can opt for a compromise solution short of full remote control that lets him simply point to areas on the screen where the customer himself should click or enter data.

Remote Support and Support Interaction Optimization

There’s no doubt that remote support is becoming more complex. Greater connectivity, a multitude of devices and increased security risks present challenges for all support centers. Support Interaction Optimization (SIO) technologies like remote control help simplify and enhance the support experience, but it takes a little more thought and planning than simply “plugging and playing.”

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Remote Control in Today’s Connected World
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Remote Control in Today’s Connected World
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Agents resolve issues fast when they connect direct to customers' device.
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Support.com
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