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What is remote support software?
Remote support software allows IT professionals to provide remote computer support to both customers and internal network users. By making use of tools like screen sharing and text chat, IT support staff can assist users with technical support issues as if they were sitting at the same workstation or mobile device as the end user. Remote support sessions can then be recorded in their entirety in order to be used at a later date for customer service, training, or compliance purposes.
The benefits of remote support software
- Improved customer service: By placing the IT specialist and customer in the same virtual space, remote support software allows companies to decrease the turnaround time needed to solve customer service issues. Remote support software apps also utilize call-logging, customer survey generation, and integration with customer relationship management software to provide and record critical customer service data.
- Powerful training tools: Most remote support software apps provide a session recording feature. By allowing you to record the entire customer support transaction, support staff can be trained for potential troubleshooting sessions by using real-life examples of how customer service instances should (or shouldn't) be handled.
- Internal IT support: Remote support software also allows your IT staff to support internal employees. By allowing you to access mobile devices and desktops within your own organization, IT staff can install, troubleshoot, and update software remotely. IT specialists can also use remote desktop control to train users on how to use apps vital to your organization's operation.
Typical features of remote support software
- Remote access/control: Allows support staff to control client screens remotely.
- Screen sharing: Shares the current view of a client's screen with other remote users.
- Real-time chat: Allows users to chat with remote clients and other users.
- File sharing: Transfers files between remote devices during support sessions.
- Session recording: Records active support and chat sessions for auditing and training.
- Diagnostic tools: Allows support personnel to access a client's system information, such as hardware and software configurations.
The remote support software directory lets you filter by feature(s) to view only options that meet your business needs, which can help narrow your software shortlist.
Considerations when purchasing remote support software
- Remote support vs. remote access: Although many remote support software offerings provide tools to communicate directly with an end user or customer, others are solely designed to allow IT staff to remotely control desktops and mobile devices for the purpose of maintaining your organization's software and hardware. In these cases, customer service features like real-time chat and session recording may incur additional costs.
- Security concerns: Depending on the type of information being shared via remote support apps, it's important to consider industry standards for what can and cannot be shared between users. Using a desktop sharing feature may violate personal or corporate privacy regulations (e.g., HIPAA, DOD) as it could inadvertently expose data between the screen sharer and the remote viewer.
- CRM integration: Many CRM offerings currently have built-in customer support functionality that allows support staff to communicate directly with customers via chat windows and record these transactions as part of a customer service transaction. In many cases, this functionality may eliminate the need for remote support software.
Relevant remote support software trends
- Remote support software will increasingly depend on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to automate customer service: AI is already being used to communicate with users via automated chatbots. Considering that 68% of small businesses will adopt AI in some respect over the next one to two years , expect to see an expansion of its role in the remote support software space. Not only will we see AI engaging with customers to diagnose serviceable symptoms, we will also see AI accessing remote devices to automatically resolve issues in a more efficient manner.
- Remote employees means remote support: Employers and employees are increasingly seeing the benefits of working remotely . As a result, the coming years will see more and more companies of all sizes shifting to a decentralized workplace, bringing new challenges to the remote support sector. Companies must continue to find reliable ways to support a mobile workforce that has become more reliant on the use of integrated mission-critical apps.