With remote customer assistance, field service organisations can deliver service from anywhere, keeping both workers and customers safe writes Eric Jacobsen, VP Product Management, Salesforce...
No matter what’s happening in the world, customers still need service. Internet connections still go down, homes still need refrigerators, and washing machines still require maintenance. Customers still want fast and complete service the first time.
What has changed today is how customers feel about in-person service. Even with safety requirements for the pandemic in place, some customers are hesitant about having technicians on-site. Businesses are also concerned for employee safety and well-being.
Along with best practices, the right technology mitigates today’s safety concerns surrounding in-person service. That’s where visual remote assistance comes in to help customers get the service they need, while prioritising safety and maximising experiences for both customers and employees.
Support customer safety with remote support software
Provide visual customer assistance with remote support software to enable service or support from anywhere, anytime — without physical contact or high bandwidth connections. Remote support empowers contact centre agents and field service technicians to solve a customer’s problem through virtual real-time, guided interaction. It also allows experts to help on-site technicians resolve issues.
With advanced remote support software, an agent or technician sees a customer’s physical environment in real time through their smart device. They can guide customers using augmented reality (AR), which displays on-screen graphical information over the object that needs service. They provide targeted, step-by-step directions with annotations on their mobile screen to resolve many issues. And at the completion of the job, the service organisation has a visual record for future reference.
Depending on the service request, visual remote assistance can be used to solve customer problems on its own or in combination with in-person service as a hybrid approach.
Here are three examples of how remote support software can be used:
- An agent resolves a customer’s issue: My washing machine sprays water all over my laundry room. I speak with a support agent, who determines there is a loose connection. The agent can guide me step-by-step on how to correct it using a visual remote assistant.
- An expert helps an on-site technician solve a problem: A month later, my water heater starts making a funny noise. The agent can’t resolve the issue with remote assistance, so they schedule a visit. The on-site technician also can’t figure it out, so they use a visual remote assistant to get expert help to troubleshoot the issue.
- A customer gets visual remote assistance and in-person support: In the winter, my furnace stops working. Using remote visual assistance, a technician determines two parts need to be replaced. The technician leaves the new parts outside my home and then uses a visual remote assistant to guide me through the repairs.
No matter how it’s done, using a visual remote assistant streamlines service delivery while boosting safety with access to knowledge and expertise in real time. Not having to always send an on-site technician also provides cost savings. Safe, complete, and efficient service leads to happier, loyal customers.
Boost worker safety, give back, and create employment opportunities
Addressing employee concerns about safety is equally important. This creates peace of mind and builds employee loyalty through mobile workforce engagement. In addition to keeping on-site workers safe, using a visual remote assistant also drives sustainability, creates jobs, and supports accessibility.
Stay safely off the road and support sustainability in field service
In some cases, using a visual remote assistant reduces or eliminates on-site service visits. This limits the time mobile field service workers spend on the road where they can encounter hazards. It also helps preserve the environment and infrastructure. For example, fewer trucks rolling means less emissions and wear and tear on roads — contributing to sustainability.
Retain and attract talent through job creation
Field service technicians work in remote locations and are exposed to heavy machinery, electrical equipment, and other hazards. Unfortunately, there are experienced and knowledgeable technicians who leave field service due to physical conditions, health concerns, and travel requirements.
Visual remote assistance enables technicians to provide field service in a setting more comfortable to them — helping retain mobile workers who otherwise may have left. This provides opportunities around accessibility and equality by opening up field service jobs to people who have strong technical skills, but are unable to do the on-site work themselves.
Get started quickly with remote support software
From an implementation standpoint, remote support software is quickly integrated into your existing service console. With a simple button click, agents can easily set up a virtual assistance session with a customer within the service console. Technicians can do this from their smart devices.
In a short time, you’ll provide visual remote assistance in real time from anywhere in the world — even if you’re in a remote location during a blizzard. It is designed to scale down and work even on low variable bandwidth connections, reducing the quality of the video and downgrading it to still frames, if necessary.
For customers, it’s also easy to use. Visual remote assistance can be launched from a mobile web browser and doesn’t require an additional app or software download. Customers simply click a link in a text message to start a remote service session.
Scale service with visual remote assistance
Today’s world has changed the way we conduct business and interact with one another. With remote customer assistance, field service organizations have more flexibility to deliver service from anywhere while keeping both workers and customers safe. See how Salesforce’s Visual Remote Assistant empowers your field service team, no matter what’s happening today, tomorrow, or beyond.
This article first appeared on the Salesforce corporate blog www.salesforce.com/blog/remote-virtual-assistance-service/
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ www.fieldservicenews.com/digital-transformation
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- Connect with Eric Jacobsen on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/esjacob/
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