Remote Control Catapults into Third Position as Remote Support Option

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In an effort to reduce costs and improve efficiency, companies are turning to remote control support.

A recent survey conducted by SupportIndustry.com revealed a whopping 55 percent increase in companies offering remote control as a support option. During 2004, less than 5 percent of those surveyed offered remote control support or other direct live interaction with a support rep, including live chat or VOIP. In 2005, the figure for remote control support alone rose to 60 percent.

The respondents to the survey comprised 58 executives responsible for external customer service and support, internal help desks, or both. These companies represent a wide range of industries, although over 43 percent are in the technology sector. Nearly 40 percent have an annual support budget of over $1 million, and an additional 13.8 percent have budgets over $500,000.

The survey asked respondents to list all the support options they currently offer. It was found that remote control support is outranked only by phone support, still at the top of the list at 96.6 percent, and email autoresponse/suggest at 65.5 percent. However, the cost of phone support has remained about the same as 2004, and, as 77 percent of respondents experienced an increased demand for support services over 2004, and 42 percent of their budgets have stayed the same or decreased, companies are looking for ways to meet the challenge.

In an effort to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and meet customer demand, more and more companies are turning to remote control support and adding other e-support and self-service technologies to their remote support options.

The survey summary also highlights the predictions of industry analysts, who say that remote control and screen-sharing will be one of the hottest support segments over the next several years. Nearly 31 percent of the respondents are currently using screen-sharing technologies, and over 60 percent employ remote control. Remote control support is unique in that it reduces deskside and onsite visits, saving travel costs and time, while still enabling support reps to quickly remedy problems with remote computers, and allowing users to return to productivity.

Research done in 2005 by NetworkStreaming, the Mississippi-based company that specializes in appliance-based solutions for remote control support, supplied hard evidence that their remote control support product does indeed offer support executives the means to meet these challenges. Customers using SupportDesk, NetworkStreaming’s appliance-based remote support product, reduced each support session by as much as 30 minutes, reduced their total cost of ownership by as much as 65 percent, and vastly increased their customer satisfaction ratings.

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