Using remote support to optimize a shift-left customer service strategy

The customer service industry is changing. Learn how companies are adopting the shift-left strategy to optimize customer service and the key role remote support software plays.

The adoption of the shift-left strategy began when the testing process was moved to earlier stages of software development. Today, it has evolved to encompass a variety of applications, not the least of which is customer service. Shifting simple, repetitive tasks to lower-level staff brings numerous benefits. For customer service, this means faster resolution of queries, higher customer satisfaction and massive time and cost savings for the company. The process becomes even more effective when remote support is included. 

Applying the shift-left strategy results in more streamlined and efficient customer service, as well as significant time and cost savings.
Source: HDI report

How the shift-left strategy applies to customer service

Consider the different levels of support within a customer service centre. In the shift-left strategy, portions of the workload are shifted to lower levels. This saves money because costs for levels 0 and 1 are often lower than for levels 2 or 3. In addition, this approach results in faster resolution of customer inquiries. Fewer escalations are routed to the higher levels that handle the more complex and time-sensitive issues. The following steps are part of an overall shift-left strategy:

  • Level 3 staff capture reported issues and establish a process to resolve the issue.
  • Level 2 staff take over solving the problem.
  • As the process becomes more repetitive, the resolution of certain problems can be transferred to level 1 and eventually level 0 staff. The choice depends on what level of technical support is needed.

Customers demand quick and accurate solutions and clear answers. To achieve a smooth workflow without impacting customers:

  • There must be comprehensive documentation and review of the shifted work.
  • Support technicians and analysts must have the necessary permissions and access to provide solutions.
  • Support specialists must be adequately trained in the required skills.

The role of remote support in shift-left strategy

Shifting more repetitive tasks to the lowest level of staff results in more complex requests moving to higher levels. At this lower stage, many customer requests require access to their devices. Providing support remotely results in lower costs and shorter times for ticket resolution, as opposed to dispatching a technician to the physical location.

With remote support software, IT experts can quickly access devices anywhere in the world. They can troubleshoot and test their applications, install new program updates or provide any other type of remote technical support. By seeing the remote screen and controlling the remote desktop, they can easily identify problems and solve them immediately. In this way, they guarantee their customers essential business continuity and keep their productivity downtime to a minimum.

Use of remote support tools by desktop support organizations.
Source: HDI Technical support practices & salary report

Not surprisingly, research shows that remote control is one of the most commonly used support tools. The HDI Technical Support Practices & Salary Report found that 85% of respondents use a remote access tool for customer support. Nearly half of the desktop support organizations that participated in this study resolve more than 51% of the requests assigned to them using remote support technologies. Notably, 3% of the same organizations manage to resolve 100% of their requests remotely.

Choosing your preferred remote support tool

The remote support software must be able to establish a secure connection by using AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption to protect transmitted data. It should work with computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and all major operating systems. It should be robust, reliable and easy to use. To troubleshoot hardware issues, it should also provide the ability to stream live video from the device to the support centre. This would allow the IT expert to see the problem live and guide the user through a solution on a peripheral device.

Leveraging remote support capabilities

Support centre staff must be trained in the most effective use of remote support tools to supplement their knowledge of standard troubleshooting methods. To this end, it is important that the centre:

  • Designate the staff authorized to use the available remote support tools.
  • Train the designated technicians in the use of the remote support tool, and educate them on the best practices for using these tools.
  • Provide troubleshooting for various devices and operating systems, including but not limited to Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Tracking the number of requests resolved through remote support provides insight into the costs saved. In addition, by recording requests that could have been resolved remotely, centers can identify potential time and cost savings. This results in making decisions on how best to use the time of upper-level staff.

Conclusion

The shift-left strategy is already very effective, but adding remote support makes it even more so. Research shows that nearly 72% of requests are resolved at the first level, so optimizing the resolution process would be a net gain in terms of cost.

Both the shift-left strategy and remote support are key to the customer service process. These processes should become a standard business practice in today’s world. To learn more about how you can incorporate remote support into your customer service, please contact us.

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