Here at Dave’s Computers, we support lots of customers across the country. Some are close to our Hillsborough computer store while others are spread across New Jersey and further afield. Regardless of where the client is located, we deliver exceptional, consistent service to all of them.
Delivering remote support isn’t the easiest job in the world. For one, you’re trying to solve an issue without being in front of the computer. That is difficult enough but if you add in all those different applications, working environments, operating systems, hardware specifications and user types and you have quite the challenge. Fortunately, it’s a challenge we enjoy!
There are a few things we do to make life easier for both ourselves and the users. Here are just a few of them.
Use a reliable remote support tool
The first order of business is to find a reliable tool that allows you to log into the user machine remotely. There are lots on the market at all price points but not all are created equal. Some like TeamViewer or LogMeIn offer different packages for enterprise level clients or small businesses. Some don’t have that option.
Whatever tool you choose to deliver remote support, you need to be very familiar with it, be able to maintain a session over slow internet connections and do what you need to do quickly and with the minimum of disruption for the user.
Use a headset
There is nothing worse than being on the phone with someone who has it wedged between their neck and shoulder. You can hear it when they move, rub the handset against their shirt and drop the phone. Plus, as the support engineer, you’ll quickly get neck or shoulder problems maintaining that position.
A good quality headset is key here. You can set it right and leave it alone. No fiddling, no risk of dropping it, no echo or rustling of shirt material and both hands free to help the user.
Manage your surroundings
If you’re offering remote support to clients, you need to make sure all focus is on the conversation you’re having with them and the actions you’re taking to remedy their problem. You don’t need road noise, crying children, dogs barking, laughing or other distractions on the call. Not only can it put you off your stride, it also appears unprofessional.
Keep your office quiet, close the door, make other people around you aware that you’re on a call and do everything you can to remove distractions.
Always have a Plan B
The balance between managing a budget and having a ‘spare everything’ is hard to strike but you have to begin with the basics. You need a spare phone, phone line and internet connection should your primary go down. You also need spare laptop or desktop from which to support the user.
Adding spare or backup headsets and other supporting hardware can come later but if you don’t have those initial critical spares, you’re not going to come across as very professional.
Always document everything
Using a good quality ticketing system and issue tracking system is a must. It allows you to record issues, identify recurring problems or users, identify weaknesses in client infrastructures and allows you to defend yourself if you should need to. A good system includes the ability to record customer comments or feedback, categorize issues and record call time, duration and any other pertinent data.
Chances are that you will never need much of what you record but that one time when you do will make all those other times worthwhile.
Build relationships with users
If you provide remote support to smaller businesses like we do, having a relationship with both the owner and users helps a lot. Not only does it make the entire process more enjoyable for all, it also helps to have a willing user when you’re supporting them. They will give less attitude when you call them, they will be more likely to help when you need them to and more likely to take proactive measures themselves to prevent issues from continually occurring.
IT support is about computers but it is also about the people. The industry has a reputation for being a haven for those who prefer machines to people but the truth is that you have to like both to be able to do the job.
Leading on from having relationships with users, we also have to be time and resource efficient. While we want to get to know the client and their needs, we have to balance that with no wasting their, or our, time. While some clients are happy to spend five minutes shooting the breeze with us, some are just too busy.
I find it easier to let the client take the lead. If they instigate a conversation, I’ll join in. If they don’t, I let them get on with their day. It’s a balancing act that gets easier the more you know the client and their situation.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
Imagining yourself as a client is one of those pieces of advice that works in every industry and every aspect of business. Delivering remote IT support is just one of them. What can we do to make things easier for the user? What can we offer to make their computers more reliable or less prone to issues? What can we provide to help users diagnose and even fix minor issues themselves without having to call us?
By periodically revisiting every client and thinking about how they work with us and if there is anything we can do to help them is a real help to both of us.
Providing remote support to small businesses is a big responsibility. They don’t often have the luxury of spare computers, infinite cash for upgrades or replacements or time to wait around for us to get to them. They demand fast, efficient IT support that delivers value for money. That is exactly what Dave’s Computers provides. Contact us today if you would like us to support you too.