Augmented Reality Is a Game Changer for Remote Support

Want to reduce downtime while increasing efficient remote collaboration? Read on to learn about Splashtop’s new AR feature for remote support.

Remote support via augmented reality (AR) is fast becoming a game-changing service for today’s IT teams. IT support professionals were already stretched thin prior to the pandemic. But, as the pandemic wanes and business picks up, the IT skills gap and employee shortage are only expanding. In fact, 73% of organizations say that an aging workforce poses a potential threat to their field service operations, according to Field Service USA.

At the same time, IT teams must cope with a growing cybersecurity threat landscape. Plus, the growing need to support more remote workers and remote locations. AR adds a whole new capability to remote support that enables IT teams to do more with less. That’s why Gartner predicts that, by 2025, over 50% of field service management deployments will include mobile AR.

What does AR support look like in practice?

Splashtop AR makes collaboration more efficient with remote camera access and AR-driven annotations. For reference, here is an image from Splashtop’s new AR solution.

Splashtop AR is a remote service that combines AR, audio and camera sharing. When a user encounters problems at a remote site, they can instantly share the camera of whatever device they’re using with a remote IT technician. The technician (and user) can then directly annotate on the screen. They each have their own designated color so they can tell who annotated what (see image).

Benefits of Splashtop AR

Across all industries, AR-driven support is becoming increasingly important. Businesses can provide better, faster support to more users – without expanding their IT help desk headcount. At the same time, they gain four high-ROI benefits:

  • Reduce downtime: Resolve Problems Faster by remotely guiding on-site personnel to resolve issues with interactive AR annotations and two-way communication.
  • Increase technician productivity: Enable technicians to support multiple off-site locations and decrease truck rolls with remote diagnosis and troubleshooting capabilities.
  • Share knowledge and collaborate: Empower non-technical on-site personnel to fix problems and help apprentices in the field when they require Tier 2 technical guidance.
  • Enhance customer and employee satisfaction: Increase first call resolution by guiding employees or customers to fix technical issues with the help of an experienced remote technician.

Splashtop AR is particularly valuable while assisting a mobile field team who require guidance from another technical or managerial expert or colleague. Some are also using the solution to aid on-site staff or to support clients. In both cases, they typically address problems such as product setup, hardware issues, rerouting cables, etc. remotely with visual aids.

Industries making early gains with AR remote support

Retail and Hospitality

Time is money in any industry, but when shoppers at retail stores can’t find what they need or identify pricing, they go elsewhere. Similarly, when restaurant customers don’t get their order in a timely manner, they move on to competing businesses. Sometimes after just a single bad experience.

Retail and hospitality businesses tend to operate at times that are considered ‘off hours’ for corporate IT staff and mobile technicians. Before AR-assisted support, retail and hospitality businesses only had one way to quickly resolve technology issues – pay exorbitantly high fees for emergency technician visits.

Beyond break-fix issues, hospitality businesses are proactively deploying updated systems to remote locations. They’re depending on local staff to work with remote IT help desk technicians to install, test and run everything.

Retail and Hospitality businesses have a lot in common when it comes to augmented reality. AR-assisted remote support allows these businesses to fill their on-site skills and knowledge gaps. Now, a restaurant manager with no IT skills can connect to an IT help desk, get ‘walked through’ whatever needs to be done, and have the problem fixed in the same way an on-site technician would have done it.

Take Paniceus Systems for instance. They provide IT support for Peter Pane, a growing restaurant franchise operating 46 restaurants across Germany and Austria. Peter Pane employees are focused on hospitality, not technology. With Splashtop AR, Paniceus can easily support them from a centralized location. On top of that, they’ve cut device downtime by 50%.

“Now IT can say, ‘let me take a look,’ and the supported user can watch the technician point directly to items and annotate in the shared video. Any user can follow that. It’s so easy to fix issues like cable changes, reboots, etc.” – Björn Runge, Head of IT for Paniceus

Field Service, Maintenance and MSPs

Businesses that perform field-based services and repairs stand to gain a lot from AR. As do their customers. According to Forbes, unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion each year (when you factor in reduced productivity, delays, lost revenue and unhappy customers).

If a service and repair business can help a customer avoid downtime by taking a call and immediately walking the customer through self-repair, both sides win. The customer receives almost instantaneous help, while the business avoids an estimated cost of $150 – $500 per truck roll, according to a TechSee report.

Similarly, MSPs can use AR to see the environment and direct on-site individuals to check problems with cables, etc. They can resolve problems without having to send someone onsite, improving overall customer experience.

When additional assistance is required, AR also enables knowledge transfer from a remote expert technician to an apprentice out in the field. Even if an expert technician is eventually needed on site; the initial AR collaboration enables the technician to remotely assess the situation and diagnose problems. From there, they can identify and order parts prior to sending an expert to the site, saving time and money.

Expanding your IT help desk for improved customer service

As shown in the examples above, AR can also boost customer service operations. IT help desk and customer service teams can deliver smoother, enhanced customer experiences with AR support. If a customer service agent can see what your customers see, the agent can minimize on-site interactions. This results in improved problem resolution times and customer satisfaction.

Customers can simply access Splashtop AR on your business’s branded version of the Splashtop mobile app and instantly share what they see from their mobile device. Your agents can then virtually guide them and resolve their problems. In the end, you reduce costs while boosting the CSAT and NPS scores which are vital to winning in the customer service world.

An opportunity to reimagine remote support

AR enables IT help desks to increase productivity, share knowledge between tiers, enhance customer experience and reduce down time. Without a doubt, AR is giving IT help desks a tremendous opportunity to reimagine and improve their operations almost overnight.

Ready to transform your IT help desk’s remote support? Try Splashtop AR today, it’s a quick add-on to Splashtop Enterprise.


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