Remote IT Support – What is it? How does it help?
In our previous post, we talked about onsite IT support. In this blog we will look how remote IT support helps save time and resources.
Becoming a small business owner means you should be prepared for anything and everything to go wrong at any time. You may start out with one or two employees, but as your company grows, so will the possibility of technology errors occurring.
Running an entire company without an IT department is difficult under the best of circumstances because there are just too many things that can go wrong. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to get professional IT support than it is right now. Technology has advanced to such a point where we don’t necessarily need someone on staff twenty-four hours a day – we can hire experts from all over the globe who can connect to our computers and repair them remotely. This also makes it far less expensive than ever before to fix problems, even if you need someone on the ground, in your office, to help.
As companies grow and technology touches more areas of our daily lives, there’s an increasing demand for IT support services. Technology has turned many employees into independent contractors who may not be around for years at a time. If they run into computer trouble while working from home or traveling abroad, their employers can’t send IT staff to remedy the situation locally because there won’t necessarily be anyone local to reach out to. They could always ask another employee with similar skills to take over temporarily but that might come at the price of slowing down production; it better instead to maintain contact with their remote workers by hiring reliable professionals who can address any issues as soon as they arise. This is where remote IT support comes in.
What is remote it support?
Remote IT support is a relatively new development in the outsourcing world, but one that continues to grow in popularity. Rather than customers having to drive their computer problems down to an office location for resolution, they are able to connect with an outsourced IT department using Instant Messenger or online chat programs so that when something goes wrong, you have instant access to someone who can help solve your problem. This minimizes wasted time and detours so that when hardware or software fails, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get it fixed in a timely manner. That’s especially true if you live in a rural area where the closest available IT specialist may be hours away, not just minutes.
Remote IT support is a way for companies to offload their IT department services. Rather than employing an in-house staff of technicians to handle the support and maintenance of your company’s computers, you can instead contract with an outsourcing firm that specializes in these tasks, allowing your company to save money on overhead costs while giving employees more access.
What are the benefits of using remote IT support?
With this as a starting point, let us look at some specific benefits of using such a service:
- No travel expenses – There are often times when employees working far away from head office need technology assistance. However, the last thing any business wants is to send its employees additional expense accounts just because they can’t resolve their problem over the phone or via email. Using vendors that provide remote IT support provides the ideal solution to this ever-present predicament. Many service providers charge fixed monthly fees that are lower than their onsite rates, so there’s even more money saved here.
- Easier access to support – There are few things more frustrating for an IT department than waiting days or sometimes even weeks for its employees to request help with a technology problem. This is not only time-consuming but also reduces employee productivity during this period. Using managed services, employees have 24/7 access to help desk support via phone or chat, meaning that they can resolve their technical problems whenever they arise rather than waiting until regular business hours.
- More efficient use of IT resources – When all your in-house technicians are busy dealing with the problems of a single user, they are not able to work on other projects or attend training. This lack of utilization increases your company’s costs due to wasted human potential. With remote IT support, however, all the technicians are fully utilized as they deal with multiple users’ IT service problems throughout the day which means that you don’t have to pay for any idle time.
- Improved customer satisfaction – An unhappy customer is an unhappy business. Even if your employees can work productively, their morale can be greatly reduced by knowing that there’s always something wrong with the technology being used by them. Phone and chat support gives your team members access to professional assistance whenever they feel like it so that technical issues do not drag down their productivity.
- Improved employee productivity – A slow computer, an unresponsive printer, or an internet connection that drops out every time you need it can be extremely frustrating. Slow performance leads to computer users switching over to other activities in the office rather than focusing on their work. It’s difficult for employees to remain productive when they spend most of their time struggling with technology problems. Remote support services ensure that your team is always able to concentrate on the task at hand without any technological distractions.
- Decreased cost – Your company has far less money tied up in IT assets compared with having a full-time IT department which you don’t really need because there are no idle times and your tech problems are taken care of by professionals who know what they’re doing. When you opt for remote support services, your company’s expenses go down substantially because there is no need for an actual office space.
- Increased company productivity and output – Your team can work much more quickly and efficiently without needing to deal with computer problems time and again. They will be able to do so much more than before because they aren’t wasting valuable resources on fixing mistakes or trying to find a solution to a problem – their focus is entirely on the task at hand and not on troubleshooting technical issues all day long which makes a huge difference in the end result of the tasks assigned as well as the job satisfaction level of everyone involved.
- Improved customer service – This one goes right along with increased productivity; now that you’re getting so much more done, you have more time to dedicate towards providing the best customer service possible. This will lead to happier customers and beyond that, improved sales which help your business grow. You can also go even further because now that your employees are less stressed out about computer issues, they are able to pay more attention to their customer’s needs as well as interact better with them – this is a huge advantage for companies selling products or services directly to consumers. If you’re trying to attract top talent then it’s highly advisable that you allow them access to state of art technology needed for their work without limitations imposed by physical location because what potential candidate would want a job where internet connection is not good enough for streaming videos or playing?
If you’ve ever worked with a computer guy, you know the frustration of having them tell you that your problem will be fixed if only you update this and that. In other words, they’re full-time IT support technicians at their fingertips – just an email or phone call away from being able to provide assistance with any type of issue whether it’s hardware-related or simply related to productivity tools such as a printer not working properly.
Though there are many types of remote access platforms available depending on what issues need solving, there is one service that stands out due to its simplicity – TeamViewer. This platform was designed for small business owners so does not require installation or subscription fees – users can simply sign up using an email address and password and start receiving instant help.
What to look for with such a service?
When buying into this type of service, it’s important to look at what platform your service provider uses since there are many types. Here is a list of features that may be available depending on the platform:
- Connectivity with all operating systems (Apple, Linux, Windows)
- Control of the desktop remotely using a keyboard and mouse
- Remote printing capabilities via USB or network connection
- Ability to chat with the technician in real-time online without sharing personal information such as email address or telephone number (unless you choose to do so)