How to increase employee and customer satisfaction – and profits! – With remote visual support. 

12/12/2022

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Remote visual support reduces response times, minimizes unnecessary customer visits, and improves first-time fix rates. Implementing this technology will show you what your customer sees so you can start supporting them with advanced visual navigation tools in seconds – no app or technical training needed. 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, your customers came to expect uninterrupted service and support from your field service organization (FSO) so they could keep their doors open and staff safe and healthy – and you delivered, day in and day out. But now, for better or worse, those expectations have become the new normal. 

So, in addition to needing the best data available to avoid making wrong decisions, seeking agility in technological implementations, and finding solutions to problems, you can add increasing efforts in maintaining excellent customer satisfaction to your to-do list. Complicating matters is the value you place on keeping your technicians safe and involved in all facets of the business, balanced against the need to keep your FSO profitable, agile, and as risk and liability free as possible. 

Then there is your after-sales service manager, service manager, and head of technical support: all of whom care about customer satisfaction so much they are tapping into resources to stay up to date. They are seeking information from colleagues and the market and are committed to the process. They lay awake at night thinking about the company’s security, financial stability, the job market, and the cost of resources. 

Like you, they lack both human and financial resources, exacerbated by senior staff retiring or taking jobs with other companies. Not only are those critical employees leaving, but they’re also taking with them accumulated knowledge that is difficult if not impossible to replace. Add in limited usable resources, high costs of service, fast-changing IT technologies, lack of internal resources, and lack of time to spend on new software research and it’s easy to see why you and your staff are stressed. 

The list goes on and on: Finding new employees? They’re not lining up for jobs out there and when you finally hire someone, are they even interested in a support job? And, on the rare occasion that they are, who’s going to train them? 

Finding access to multi-expertise resources, keeping compliant with ever-changing regulations, securing and making available data, and meeting company KPIs? It’s almost too much; all you want are results, not more convoluted processes. We can’t solve all of your problems, but if you read on, you’ll find out how we can help you knock a number of them off your worry list with remote visual support. 

How remote visual support can ease stress for you, your staff, and your customers. 

Customer service provision is constantly changing. The global pandemic, rapid technology development, and digital transformation have changed your customers’ service expectations, and more FSOs are now deploying remote visual assistance to meet those expectations. 

Beyond customer expectations, FSOs are implementing remote visual assistance to allow for social distancing, keep up with ever-changing technology, and reduce costs while improving efficiency. All of this allows the FSO to gain location independence, an IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere, and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure. 

But what exactly is remote visual assistance?  

Deloitte says it’s a disruptive technology enabling paradigm shifts in field service operations. Gartner is on record saying many FSOs are using it – via mobile augmented reality (AR) – to enable technicians to collaborate with customers for pre-visit diagnostics or support. 

In simplest terms, remote visual assistance is an AR solution that creates a virtual connection between customers and your FSO, enabling you to provide real-time support and collaboration. Reducing response times, minimizing unnecessary customer visits, and improving first-time fix rates, remote visual – and audio – assistance software is easy to use and ready wherever you are. Not only does it save your technical teams valuable time, it offers the simplicity your customers require – enabling you to provide your local expertise on a global scale. 

Your technicians will be able to remotely detect faults, support repair processes, and provide instructions to customers for installations, inspections, and repairs. In addition, they can prepare for on-site visits (as well as reduce truck rolls and time on-site) and deliver expertise when and where it’s needed, all while maintaining service provision and customer safety. 

AIRe Link: How our remote visual support tool works! 

Our remote visual support solution, AIRe Link, uses an innovative WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) protocol to run secure sessions on your customer’s smartphone or tablet browser. They don’t need to install any apps to initiate the session and no data is collected from their device.  

You simply connect with your customers and guide them visually in four simple steps, the first being to send a link invitation for an AIRe Link session to your customer via email or SMS.  

The customer opens a browser and clicks the link to join the session, all without any need to install an app. Now that the support session has started, your technician simply asks the customer to show them the issue that needs to be resolved. The technician can ask questions, capture snapshots, turn on the flashlight on the client’s smartphone, or record a video. Finally, armed with all of the data gathered during the inspection, the technician can identify the issue and help your customer resolve it through voice and visual instructions. 

AIRe Link is fully secured and GDPR compliant. The service technician managing the session is obliged to handle any data shared within the session according to terms defined within the service contract with the customer and should always ask customers if they agree to let you record the session before doing so. The customer is automatically informed in advance about the recording and can turn off the camera or leave the session at any time. 

Why choose AIRe Link over personal chat applications? AIRe Link provides professional remote visual support and problem resolution features, such as a live pointer, snapshot savings, analytics, and others. It enables you to instantly link to any end user with a smartphone that’s connected to the internet. It also doesn’t carry any of the major risks that come from using personal chat tools for business communication, including lack of users’ data protection according to GDPR, lack of user management, non-encrypted backups and exports of chats, and the blurring of lines between employees’ personal and work lives. 

The AIRe Link Platform (ALP) – where you create sessions – is compatible with most modern desktops and mobile browsers. The ALP does not need a WebRTC-compatible browser but does require proper ES6 (ECCMA script 6) support. Currently supported browsers include Chrome 72, Firefox 68+, Safari 11+, and Edge 79+. No audio/video devices are needed for the ALP to work. 

The AIRe Link Core (where you call) needs proper WebRTC support to function and usually works well on mobile browsers. Your customers will need a working audio input/output (microphone and headphones/speakers/headset) and a video device (camera), and your technicians need just audio input/output – typically a headset or microphone and speakers. The currently supported browsers are Chrome 72, Firefox 68+, and Safari 11+. 

Your customers and staff will thank you for using remote visual support. 

Remote visual support solutions such as AIRe Link can significantly improve your customers’ experience – increasing ROI and loyalty – in several ways. For instance, consider a scenario where your service technician needs help on-site attempting to resolve an issue. In this real-life call, a field service technician was investigating a boot-up issue with a printer. After several attempts to fix the device, the technician was stuck. Usually, a technical support specialist would need to travel on-site to try to fix the issue. With an AIRe Link audio-visual session, the technical support specialist saw the problem firsthand and in real-time without leaving his desk back at the office.

Using his experience, the technical support specialist was able to deduce that the MFP board was faulty. He then advised the field service technician on-site, who could resolve the issue without needing an on-site visit by technical support.  

The entire process was solved quickly for the customer and more efficiently for the FSO. The customer was impressed with the support provided by using AIRe Link, claiming they had “never seen this from any other manufacturer.” Another real-life example – one that shows how first-time fix rates can be improved using remote investigation – occurred at a U.K. label company that specializes in creating labels for a wide range of products and industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company faced an image quality issue on its toner-based printer during a period of lockdown. They needed to resolve this issue quickly to minimize disruption to customers. 

The Konica Minolta remote resolution team used AIRe Link to identify remotely which machine parts needed to be replaced. As a result, the customer immediately understood the issue with the machine and the resultant image-quality issue. The necessary parts were ordered that afternoon and received the following morning – the field service team dispatched on-site that day knew exactly what the issue was before they arrived and had the parts they needed waiting for them. The customer was pleased with the successful, first-time, on-site fix – and to be back up and running by mid-morning. 

How Konica Minolta can help.

Your customers are changing. Buying decisions are being made by people in their late thirties/early forties – people who were brought up and are very comfortable using tablets and mobile phones. To sway these decision makers, you need to offer the kinds of solutions they want to use. 

Pursuing a customer-centric approach, Konica Minolta always focuses on the needs of its users. We empower you to solve problems quicker and more efficiently by offering solutions such as AIRe Link, a professional, browser-based, visual remote-support tool.  

Easy to use and ready whenever you are, AIRe Link provides real-time assistance that couldn’t be simpler for your customers across the globe. In just two clicks, AIRe Link’s visual assistance software shows you what your customer sees, so you can support them with advanced, visual navigation tools in seconds – no app or technical training is required. 

Ready to get started? We’d love to help. Click here to start your free trial of Konica Minolta’s AIRe Link – a professional tool for remote visual support.