5 steps to introduce remote IT support to your service desk

Remote IT support is a powerful way to help mobile workers and staff in large premises.  Here’s the 5 building blocks to delivering effective remote IT support.    

The first thing to consider is that installing a tool doesn’t guarantee success.  Your starting point therefore is this: don’t buy a remote access tool, buy remote support tool that is suitable for your service desk and your business. 

This may seem relatively simple: after all, there are myriad tools available with similar functionality and price tags.  However, selecting remote IT support tools based on functionality and costs is difficult precisely because they are so similar – at least on paper. So you need to dig a bit deeper before making your choice. 

Here’s the 5 things you must consider before introduce remote IT support to your service desk.

Understand the real costs
Is there a start up fee? Exit fee? Do you pay for usage or per licensed user?  Can you plug and play or will you need to account for the time to install and configure on multiple machines each time you expand usage?  As with most enterprise-level software, the “ticket” price is meaningless compared to the actual and lifetime costs. Due diligence regarding true costs is vital before making a purchase.

Integration with your service desk software
Buying stand-alone remote support tools may appear to offer a viable support option, but isolation will cause major problems.  Most obviously, a separate tool will require your service desk staff to load and log into a new application each time it’s called into action.  It then won’t link with the customer record database, so the service desk operative will often have to ask for information again – frustrating the customers and slowing the IT support process further.  Finally, even if the ticket is resolved, the lack of direct link with the service desk means it’s too easy for ticket information to be lost or not completed, meaning the incident and problem records are incorrect.

Does functionality reflect current and future trends?
Most remote assistance tools were built for PC and desktop support only.  But today’s business customers spend as much – if not more – time using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.  Therefore, you need to deliver online remote support via mobile devices and to do so, you need a tool built for that purpose.  Ask to see a demo of this functionality before buying any software as the importance of mobile devices within the business will only grow.

Don’t forget training
Offering remote support is often easier for IT support staff because they can just make the changes, rather than just having to explain it to customers as they do during a traditional IT helpdesk call.  But to compensate, they must be more personable and sensitive to customers.  Having an IT support person take over your device can be unnerving for customers, so it’s vital the IT support operative deals with it in an appropriate way.

And finally…promotion
There’s no point having a remote access tool if no one in the business knows about it.  Talk to customers, via your newsletter, on the company intranet/collaboration tool, in person or on the phone.  Once customers understand the benefits and improved speed of resolution that remote assistance offers, uptake will increase, helping justify the cost to the service desk while boosting customer satisfaction.

We believe our remote support tool ticks all the boxes.  It offers the transparent pricing, support for mobile devices and deep integration with the service desk software which will ensure that if you offer remote assistance as part of your IT support offering, it will deliver a service to be proud of.

Eric Wright