What is Remote Support?
A Guide to Understanding Remote Support Software

Buyers guide to choosing the right remote support tool.
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Remote Support Buyer's Guide
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What is Remote IT Support?

Remote support is the action of providing technical support once a remote access connection is established for the specific purpose of troubleshooting and solving technical issues. Remote support includes remote computer support for PCs and Macs, or remote mobile support for iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones and tablets.

Before remote support technology, help desks and call centers provided customer support over the phone, email or through chat. End users described the problem, technicians tried to figure out what was going on, and customers executed step-by-step instructions for possible remedies. But these interactions were time consuming and frustrating for end users and technicians alike.

That all changed with remote support software. By letting customers give permission for technicians to set up a remote access connection to their device, remote support software dramatically accelerated the support process and reduced frustration in the support process.

What is Remote Support Software?

Remote support software allows technicians to view, control and run diagnostics on a remote device without asking the user to do anything. They can transfer files, configure settings, troubleshoot issues, and resolve problems on their own.

This is clearly a better experience for the customer or employee, who can sit back while the technician solves their issue. But it’s also a better experience for the technician, especially with the right remote support platform that makes their jobs easier. By temporarily taking control of the device, agents can work with it as if it was sitting on the desk in front of them to work more quickly and productively. So remote support software can be leveraged to increase agent productivity as well as improve the overall experience for the end user on the customer’s or employee’s side.

There are several types of technologies that support teams use for remote support.

  • Support teams can access customer and employee devices with ad-hoc remote support solutions like Rescue.
  • They can also leverage remote computer management software to deploy remote access, keep systems up-to-date, and automate routine tasks without end users having to be present.
  • Or they can remotely support physical equipment and spaces with camera-sharing solutions like Rescue Live Lens.


What is Attended Remote Support vs. Unattended Remote Support?

Getting a little more granular, it may help to understand the differences between attended and unattended remote support; the distinction is whether there is someone on the other side of the session.

  • Attended Remote Support means an end user is present while the support session is in progress. When the end users encounter a technical issue, they can reach out to a support team who will start an ad-hoc support session. This may be to help users solve an issue with a connected device like a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, where the agent can remotely access and take over the device. Or it may be to help users solve an issue with physical equipment or spaces that are not connected, meaning the agent will not be able to take over the device using a remote access connection. In this case, the agent can see the physical equipment by accessing the camera on the end user’s mobile device, rather than rely on that end user’s (often non-technical) description of the issue.
  • Unattended Remote Support means an end user is not present while the support session is in progress. This allows agents to provide support after hours or during end user downtime, to automate routine maintenance, and even deploy software and updates without the end user. This eliminates any disruption in the end user's day.

What is Remote Assistance?

Agents can provide, and customers can receive, remote assistance for a number of devices in various ways. Remote assistance works for connected devices like desktop and mobile devices, disconnected devices like equipment and printers with Rescue Live Lens camera-sharing, and web support. Remote assistance covers varying degrees of assistance, including remote view, remote control, file sharing, camera-sharing, and co-browsing.

Remote assistance isn’t limited to technical support. Customer service teams can provide remote assistance in many ways, including walking customers through digital experiences with co-browsing and providing warranty support and product demonstrations with camera-sharing. These visual engagement solutions allow organizations to provide concierge-level CX at a distance.

What is a Remote Connection?

A remote connection specifically refers to the action of connecting to a remote support session. Any remote connection should be secure, especially for organizations offering remote support sessions to customers or employees or for providers of remote access software. All connections should have the same level of security used by financial institutions, including TLS 1.2 transport security with AES-256-bit encryption.

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