When you think of live technical support, you often imagine live text or phone based discussions – it essentially means technical support which is given in real time. It can also correctly be assumed that there are basically only 2 forms of live technical support currently being offered in the web hosting industry:
- Phone support
- Live chat
While both of these can mostly be seen as ineffective (depending on how they are implemented), there is one further form of technical support which is almost totally ignored by the web hosting industry: Remote Desktop Support.
Remote desktop support is used extensively in the corporate IT support sector but not in the web hosting industry, which I find strange. It allows for a support technician to login and fix any client side configuration settings or perform all needed tests immediately and without any delays (such as informing a client on directions to perform a traceroute, for example).
A good example of an approach to offering this service is the use of TeamViewer. It requires no installation or technical setup and doesn’t even need any special open ports or port forwarding configuration. It also supports Windows, Apple and Linux based operating systems.
The implementation of this technology can be extremely flexible and powerful, for example all that you need to connect to the customer’s computer is a short set of numbers and then a further short password. You can probably already see where I am going with that:
- Technical support help desks can have fields for these needed values. This allows for immediate access and resolution for the customer.
- Customer records can have these values stored for automatic retrieval.
The service can also be offered at a premium, for example an extra $10 per month over and above the customer’s current monthly fee. There is no significant extra cost to the service provider because the TeamViewer service is hosted externally and the live support operators should have no problem in troubleshooting an e – mail client, so training is not essential.
There is no doubt in my mind that live technical support in the form of remote desktop support will become mainstream one day, all it will take is for an industry leader to see the bigger picture and offer it as a unique selling point. Competitors will soon follow the lead.