This wide-ranging examination of the power of remote access concluded it could offer businesses new opportunities for empathy and problem resolution that could change the quality of typical customer service interactions for the better.
In allowing help desk personnel to ‘take control’ of a client’s device, the adviser can literally see a problem from a client's point of view, while the client can see their problem being dealt with in real time.
Remote access IT support, then, is part of a whole ecosystem of solutions that are seeking to solve problems more quickly, directly and effectively, making people happier and their lives easier as a result.
Remote access supports happier workers
Flexible working makes people happy, and remote access can make it happen.
Millennials want it, and so do those with young children and family commitments. Just a few years ago, giving people the flexibility to work from home was something only the most progressive employees considered, now the right to ask for it is enshrined in UK law.
And the statistics show that it genuinely does make us happier and more productive. A YouGov poll in 2017 found that 89% of all workers considered flexible working to be a key motivator to their productivity. At the same time, the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers Report, concluded the majority of workers - 60% - feel happier when working from home.
For younger people, when it comes to deciding where to work, not being given the flexibility to work in other settings beyond the office is a deal breaker. As Emer Timmons, recruitment specialist and CMO of Brightstar, puts it:
“This is one of those evolve-or-die moments for many businesses. The millennial generation now entering the workplace has demonstrated a willingness to vote with their feet when they encounter technology, working practices or both that don’t meet their expectations.”
With these cultural and now legislative pressures on employers to allow more home and remote working, there is a parallel pressure to make this process as efficient, stress-free and secure as possible.
And if, as predicted, 50% of workers will be remote workers by 2020, there will clearly need to be an investment in the best and most flexible support structures to facilitate it.
Service desks empowered by remote access technology will be more important than ever in solving issues arising when no physical IT presence is available.
Historically, it’s been a challenge for employers and their IT function to support the broad range of activities required for home workers to maximize productivity.
Now, with key work activities being conducted away from the office and shifting to a range of devices including tablets and mobile as well as laptops, the remote access technology you choose has to be sophisticated enough to encompass this.
Real support through a virtual help desk
The reassurance of ‘real’ - albeit virtual - IT support is psychologically significant for the home worker, for whom the risk of feeling disengaged and unsupported is always present. Seeing their desktop being physically taken over by an IT worker, whilst they’re on the phone with them, will give them more confidence that resolving their issues is a priority to their employer.
But ‘in attendance’ IT support is only half the picture. Support when devices are not being used and not in the office, is equally important. Service providers and IT need to have the ability to access remote systems and devices to keep them continuously updated, maintained and resistant to downtime risks.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies have also brought huge efficiencies and benefits to both workers and employers, while presenting new challenges for IT support.
In this new ecosystem, being able to gain access to devices where software hasn’t been previously installed, is an important feature. With the right solution, instant access can be gained on any device, widening the scope of help a service desk can provide.
As workers adopt more flexible hours, they’re going to need to be supported around the clock too. But if remote access solutions mean that workers don’t need to be present in the office or even the same country to have their IT issues resolved, then neither does the IT function itself. This paves the way for more efficient and cost effective 24/7 IT support, reflecting the ‘always on’ needs of the modern, flexible workforce.
IoT and the future of help desks
The internet of things will make new levels of customer support possible too. The huge range of devices that are internet enabled in the office, the factory floor and elsewhere means there is even more scope for targeted and efficient, remote access help when things go wrong.
We’ve talked before about the IoT leading to smart factories, farming, business and buildings being managed and serviced via remote access. In the future it’s possible to imagine problems which now take days to diagnose being fixed in a matter of seconds from thousands of miles away. There may be no need for field visits, no need to wait for experts to arrive on the scene, if software glitches can be solved remotely by the best and most appropriate specialists in real time.
Help desks should always seek to make us happy by resolving our problems. But argument is that a help desk powered by remote access technology makes for a more empathetic approach to customer service.
By ‘teleporting into a device’ (wherever and whatever it might be) help desk personnel can literally experience a problem first hand and report back to a customer with the kind of insight that can inspire real trust and confidence.
As the scale of the solutions they can offer will increase, the level of customer satisfaction they can deliver will, no doubt, increase, too.