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In the New Work-from-Home Reality, Reducing Friction is Key for Remote IT Support

Aaron Lester.

Aaron Lester

April 02, 2020


The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has turned working from home from an employee lifestyle perk to a business survival strategy, practically overnight. Employees are heading in droves to online collaboration and productivity platforms and consumers are flocking to digital in their new “socially distanced” lives. This new reality has IT teams and customer support staff scrambling to meet an onslaught of support requests from end-users.

To meet the demand and minimize disruption, businesses need to take immediate steps to reduce friction in their support strategy.

Friction is what impedes swift, successful resolutions of technical problems and ultimately holds your business back. It falls into two categories: Resolution friction and evolution friction. To get through the current crisis unscathed—and poised for success in the long-term – it’s critical to minimize both.

  • Resolution friction is about the time and effort it takes to connect support staff with end-users to resolve technical challenges. If the tools are inadequate and the process is clunky, getting issues resolved is burdensome, inefficient and frustrating for everyone involved. Many businesses are encountering this kind of friction now as they grapple with the sudden uptick in demand and the challenges of working remotely.
  • Evolution friction is what impedes successful change. If your support solution doesn’t fit your environment, isn’t adaptable to your staff’s needs or is too time-intensive to deploy or difficult to use, adoption will be an uphill battle. This, in turn, has a ripple effect across every aspect of your business. The coronavirus outbreak is forcing companies to put the pace of evolution on overdrive, so it’s more important than ever to avoid friction here: You need to get the right solutions in place and working – fast.

How can you minimize the friction?

The good news is that there are simple, concrete ways businesses can avoid both resolution and evolution friction, even in an emergency situation like the one we’re confronting now. The key is to quickly deploy remote support approaches that deftly skirt common sources of friction.

  • Bring end users and agents together in seconds. If getting both parties onto the same page and ready to diagnose and solve the problem means jumping through hoops, i.e. complicated instructions, long waits or time-consuming downloads, it’s friction city. Make simplicity a priority in your support strategy.
  • Choose a visual-first solution. Screen sharing, collaborative browsing, and other visual engagement tools can quickly bridge the gap between agents and end-users, no matter how many miles stand between them. And they’re an absolute imperative in the current business moment.
  • Go overboard with options. Friction melts away when agents have the choice to resolve problems via whatever channel or device the user prefers. Give agents the freedom to easily move easily between platforms, devices and simultaneous sessions, and things go even more smoothly.
  • Take the most secure path. Ironclad security is a must, and you’re most likely to get it with a cloud-based solution, where the provider’s entire business model depends on security. They’ve got skin in the game, so they’ll spare nothing to keep your data (and your end-users’ data) safe.

COVID-19 is driving digital transformation on a massive scale. And while it’s a business challenge unlike any in recent memory, it’s also the ideal opportunity to eliminate the friction in your support operations with a solution that’s built for a digital-first world.

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