How Remote Support is Driving the Service Economy to Improve Worker Efficiency and Profitability Amid COVID-19

Charlotte Thorpe-Costa's profile picture
Charlotte Thorpe-Costa Director of Marketing- EMEA & APAC

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months” back in April when the onset of COVID-19 was just taking hold across the world. Operating in the “new normal”, service organizations now understand they can’t return to their old ways of working and be successful. The new state of the world requires digital transformation and the adoption of remote work to ensure overall business survival.

At SightCall, we’ve seen three distinct stages emerge when embarking on a business transformation journey in response to COVID-19.

We recently attended Field Service Connect with our customer, a global leader in industrial printing, and discussed with him how his company is using remote visual assistance to improve worker efficiency, drive profitability and deliver business continuity during the ongoing pandemic. They are an organization at the very start of their digital transformation journey- a journey that has been accelerated significantly due to COVID-19.

SightCall: How has your company been affected by COVID-19 and how have you adapted as a business?

Customer: We were categorized as an essential supplier during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic hit China first, we were able to leverage the learnings from our Chinese colleagues and adapt our other business locations around the world accordingly. We already had a remote support capability in place, but knew we needed to accelerate a wider investment into AR-powered remote visual support to keep our people and customers safe and operate effectively. By quickly implementing SightCall we were able to put remote visual assistance at the forefront of our strategy.

SightCall: Are there any specific use cases or examples you can share that demonstrate this?

Customer: We have plenty. One that springs to mind is a large customer in Italy who is supported by their distributor. They had an issue that would have normally needed an on-site engineer to fix. They leveraged our AR remote support to show the issue live and the remote engineer was able to annotate and guide the customer to make the necessary changes and fix the issue, without needing to visit the site. Pre-COVID this issue would have taken 3-4 days to fix as we would have had to arrange for an engineer to travel to the location. By using SightCall, they fixed the issue in just a couple of hours.

Another example is from a customer who is in a very noisy environment on site. They were open to using our AR remote support but couldn’t actually hear the engineer. The engineer was able to annotate images and guide the customer visually to get the issue fixed. Again, we eliminated the need to organize an on-site visit, and the issue was fixed immediately.

SightCall: How have you been driving adoption around remote support with your engineers and your customers? What challenges have you come up against and how have you overcome them?

Customer: Whenever we roll out new technology, we think about two things- the internal customer and the external customer. We want to have an open and honest feedback loop with our internal users and customers at all times.

During our pilot with SightCall, we surveyed our customers at the end of each day. Did SightCall provide value to you? Were you able to resolve the issue and if so, was it resolved faster than normal? 70% of survey results from our internal customers came back as very positive and we had a 76 NPS scoring from external customers, which we found very encouraging.

We’ve focused on developing training programs for our internal staff, which includes an e-learning program available in our Training Academy. All engineers and help desk agents joining the company must complete that training on the day they start. This helps us drive adoption internally and allows our engineers to become familiar with the AR remote support technology from the very start of their tenure with us.

SightCall: The relationship between your engineers and your customers has probably changed- can you describe that change and how you’ve adapted and invested in new skills?

Customer: You’re right, it has changed. As mentioned, we have focused on developing excellent training programmes around our AR remote support, but we are also investing in the soft skills of our engineers. This looks more closely at how our engineers interact with our customers, so we’re providing them with the best possible service at all times.

In addition, we want to educate our customers on the power of AR remote support, so that when we offer them this service it isn’t completely alien to them. We’re also conscious that we’re a global company and the types of training, and how we deliver that training, will differ slightly in different locations across the world.

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