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Visual Remote Service: A starter for your strategy


Advances in Visual Remote Service enabled by augmented reality and artificial intelligence have progressed to the point where they are now mainstream. The pandemic helped to accelerate adoption as it forced the hand of many organizations who had no choice but to adopt these technologies to continue to serve their customers and, in many cases, generate revenue.

Every business that relies on service personnel or teams to deliver service to their customers in their home or place of business should be adopting some level of Visual Remote Service. Whether we are talking about a medical professional caring for a patient at home, a telco technician installing a new broadband connection, an MRI technician servicing equipment in hospitals, a payment terminal serviceperson maintaining point of sale equipment, an insurance agent assessing the damage of a car accident – all of these use cases, and many more, can benefit from using Visual Remote Service technologies to different degrees.


The benefits of adopting these technologies include*:

  • Onsite visits or truck rolls: up to 50% reduction

  • Asset uptime: 29% uptick

  • NPS and CSAT: 45% improvement

  • First call resolution: 30-60% increase

  • In-field first-time fix rate: >80% uplift

  • Self-service uptake: 30-40% growth

The obvious question is, what should your Visual Remote Service strategy be?


HOW VISUAL REMOTE SERVICE WORKS


Before we get into that, to bring it to life, I’ll give you a quick intro into how Visual Remote Service works in the case of an issue onsite.



The customer or an onsite technician identifies an issue they cannot resolve or need assistance with. For this workflow, we’ll call them the “onsite user”



The onsite user then triggers a request for assistance, which could be via a call, app or online portal



This request is actioned by a remote team member who could be in a central office, working from home or onsite elsewhere



The remote team member triggers a remote service session typically by sending an SMS link to the onsite user (this can also be through a dedicated app)



The onsite user clicks the link in the SMS and this opens an app that allows them to share what their camera can view with the remote team member. In most cases, there’s no need for the end user to install an app, which reduces barriers to usage and adoption



The remote team member and onsite user can then talk and see at the same time. This allows the remote team member to mark on the screen what the onsite user needs to action, e.g. circle a switch or dial to use or turn, flag a cable to disconnect, zoom in on a legion or cut



AR & AI smarts can overlay insight on the video by automatically picking up specific triggers, such as colours of lights, types of damage, serial numbers etc



The remote team member can then work with the onsite user to resolve the issue with them every step of the way. If a resolution isn’t possible, at the very least the remote team member is able to better understand the issue and then send the right person to site to help

THREE STEPS TO KICK START YOUR STRATEGY


Answering the question of what your Visual Remote Service strategy should be, starts with a three-step process of creating a service task catalogue, assessing each task and then plotting it on a matrix.


STEP 1: CREATE A SERVICE CATALOGUE

Create a long list of all the service interactions or tasks that your teams complete. Note that you may add more tasks to this list when you complete steps 2 and 3


STEP 2: ASSESS EACH TASK

To assess each service interaction or task, ask yourself three questions and note the answers in a table:

1 - Is it safe to do it remotely?


There are some tasks that should not be done remotely, this includes but is not limited to work that requires a qualified electrician or anything that means working at unreasonable heights. There are also some tasks that are just too high risk, such as moving heavy equipment. How you assess this risk will depend on your local circumstance, laws and regulations. If you find that your assessment results in a lot of the work being flagged as high-risk, breakdown these activities into smaller pieces of safe and unsafe activities and restart your assessment

2 - How much experience or training is needed to do the job?


Use a scale from no experience or training to more than a decade of hands-on experience and/or highly specialist or technical training. Most organisations will have an existing skill matrix or hierarchy, so don’t reinvent the wheel and use this framework. However, remember to consider what capabilities a typical customer or different customers have and how these skills fit into the framework, generally at the no to the low end of the spectrum

3 - What tools are needed to do the job?


This scale should range from no tools or just fingers and thumbs up to complex specialized technical tools that only specific technicians or professionals would carry. When completing this assessment, you may find that you will need to break down tasks into smaller tasks as you get a lot of “it depends” assessments. You may also find that when you consider the end customer lens, you create new tasks that you hadn’t previously considered

STEP 3: PLOT EACH TASK

As you answer the three questions, plot each of the tasks on the matrix below using a scale that is relevant to your business context.

Through this process you’ll start to see groups of tasks that fit one of the following four patterns:

  • Self Service – technology can be used directly by the customer to guide them through an install or resolution process on screen using AI to detect when they have completed steps as well as through on-screen prompts. This will overlap with the ‘Agent & Customer’ pattern and your ability to leverage Self Service will be dependent on the preference of the different customer segments

  • Agent & Customer – the onsite customer and remote call centre agent use the technology together to complete tasks without the need to send onsite support

  • Agent & Expert – an onsite expert and a call centre agent or remote expert use the technology to complete tasks together

  • Expert On-site – this is where there is really no choice but to send an expert to site to complete the activity. You may find that tasks in any of the three above patterns eventually trigger this option. In many cases this is preferred as this generally results in higher right first time.


NOW YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY

Completing this process will help you to understand how Visual Remote Service can help your business deliver sales and service excellence. It is the first milestone on your way to creating your Visual Remote Service Strategy.


The next steps to create your strategy include quantifying benefits, drafting the business case, detailing internal and external user personas, and designing the end-to-end journeys.


At Structured Creative we are all about creating high-performing businesses by bringing strategy to operational reality. This framework, along with many others, is one of the techniques we use to understand how to leverage technology and make the most of it within business operations – or how we start to turn strategy into operational reality.


If you found this useful or are working to define your Visual Remote Service Strategy, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop a comment below or send us an email, danny@structuredcreative.com.au.




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