Telecom Customer Service Needs an Assist. Remote Support Can Help

If the past two years have shown telecom companies anything, it's that their services have the potential to bring people together in significant ways. Whether it's phone service that lets our families spend virtual holiday meals together, internet service that keeps us current with the world around us, apps that help us laugh together, local TV programming that connects us to neighbors, we all use telecom services to maintain a sense of belonging during times of uncertainty. And as vast numbers of workers took their offices home, a reliable connection became more crucial than ever. And now, as we see some of those digital transformations becoming permanent, telecom has a distinct opportunity to provide exceptional customer service and ensure the lifeline users find in their products remains robust.

At a time when many around the world have maintained their most meaningful personal and professional connections through their devices, the telecom industry can't afford customer service that's anything less than stellar. Digital transformation happened across industries, facilitating better, faster service delivery and intensifying customer demands for timely service. Telecommunications is no exception. With a host of tools available to improve your service, support your teams and build a reputation of reliability, the time to fix your customer experience is now.

Unfortunately, telecommunications providers haven't always been associated with positive customer experiences. We all know someone (or have been someone) who waited all day for a technician who never showed up. We've stayed on hold for hours only to have the person who finally answers deflect us to another desk and more hold music. Those long wait times, combined with unresolved customer complaints, have contributed to an ever-growing sense that telecommunications businesses don't see the value of a great customer experience. An industry so embedded in the daily lives of its customers has to see the benefits of keeping those customers satisfied.

Customer retention isn't just good for your reputation; it's crucial to your bottom line. A recent study found the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60 percent to 70 percent, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5 percent to 20 percent. And research suggests that a mere 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to a rise in profits, anywhere from 25 percent to 95 percent. After nearly two years of delays and economic hardships, customers expect quick, knowledgeable, personalized service. The cost of ignoring those needs is steep: A third of customers consider changing service providers after just one bad customer service experience.

As customer expectations have grown, service strategies must evolve. You need digital solutions that rise to your customers' digital expectations.

Incorporating remote visual assistance software has the power to improve your customer service experience while supporting your teams, creating lasting change that goes far beyond a better phone call. Businesses that have added remote visual assistance software to their tech stacks see, on average, a 30 percent reduction in the time it takes to provide a solution, a 35 percent increase in first-time fixes, a 20 percent improvement in phone fix rates, and a 30 percent increase in customer satisfaction. In addition, they experience a 10 percent to 15 percent decrease in truck rolls.

At first glance, remote visual assistance software looks like a video call. The technology employs augmented reality and combines multiple video streams to create a merged reality. From there, a remote expert shares an interactive environment with a customer or colleague, appearing to reach into the field of view to troubleshoot, demonstrate repairs, or even complete an inspection. The expert can bring tools, hands, and other items into view, freeze the screen, take screenshots, share resources, and make annotations, all to ensure customer satisfaction, no matter the location.

A first line of support, the software empowers customer service representatives to offer solutions during the first phone call by using the software to work virtually in a customer's field of view, inspect the equipment, and act out how to complete the repair. The result is a fast fix and a satisfied customer, without the need to schedule a visit, and avoiding downtime that would frustrate the customer.

But sometimes, representatives need help from someone with greater expertise. In that case, a representative can connect the customer with a remote expert to diagnose the problem. The expert can often provide instructions and demonstrate a fix during the remote session, making on-screen annotations, sharing resources, and guiding the customer through each step. If, however, the expert determines the issue demands an on-site technician, your team is still set up for success.

Problems that require an on-site visit for resolution can be scheduled more quickly and completed successfully when an expert handles other minor fixes with a remote session, freeing up technicians' time. The expert can relay all the pertinent details to the technician and even provide remote support during the on-site visit. And with software that integrates seamlessly with your chosen CRM system, customer history stays up to date so everyone's on the same page.

Better customer service starts long before the phone rings. By incorporating remote visual assistance software into new technicians' training and troubleshooting resources, your company promises an expert-level service experience to each customer. Technicians with an &expert in their pockets to answer advanced questions will feel empowered to serve customers better because they can access hands-on training and past repair sessions from anywhere.

When customers' telecom services fail, they lose their connection to friends, family, co-workers, and the world outside their windows. You've got to be there for them, or they'll find someone else who is. Your customer service should seem like magic, offering an instant virtual presence, a quick diagnosis, and a fix the first time. Remote visual assistance software gives your team the tools to provide an extraordinary experience every time.

Marc Guthrie is CEO of Help Lightning.