News | Insights

COVID-19 is Changing Everything, Including Physical Device Support

Aaron Lester

April 01, 2020

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Social distancing in the wake of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is changing everything — from how we interact, to how we work, to how we treat the things we touch. What used to be mundane is now a risk. A can of tomatoes on the grocery store shelf must now be handled with care and caution since it could potentially be contaminated with the virus.

So what happens when a customer needs help with a physical device or environment? Here’s the world of support that customers and companies alike are now dealing with:

Customers can no longer bring in devices for inspection or warranty evaluation without potentially exposing themselves and their families to the virus. Unless that device is critical to their wellbeing, why risk making that trip? In many areas around the country, that service location is closed anyway.

Sending a device in by mail may be an option. But there’s still a potential risk on the receiving end. Packaging will need to be handled with caution and the device will need to be disinfected before getting to work. That risk is reversed when the item is returned to the customer.

Aside from the added expenses involved, truck rolls should be avoided at all costs. The risks here are obvious: personal exposure in new environments for your agents and additional exposure from the outside world for your customers. When the issue can’t be resolved on the first visit, these risks are compounded. More expertise or tools may be needed to finish the job, but multiple visits will only increase exposure and make customers uneasy with more people coming onsite.

As for remote workers, IT teams face new challenges with entire workforces suddenly working from home. These employees will need to get their equipment set up properly and stay up and running, and they’re looking to their IT teams to provide the same level of support they relied on in the office.

Sure, calling a support line is still an option. But calls can get long and frustrating without eyes on the scene.

To ease the minds of customers and employees and to continue to offer support without disruption, we must now more than ever adopt digital solutions to analog problems. As for supporting physical devices and spaces, that means transitioning to online support with a camera-sharing solution that lets your agents see problems through the eyes of your customer (specifically, their mobile device camera) to troubleshoot issues and guide fixes.

Your customers are depending on you to get through this uncertain time. They need their appliances, HVACs, routers, smart devices, TVs, IT hardware, and other devices to stay up and running in their islands of isolation. These may be one-time fixes, so it’s important to be able to get eyes on the situation without the added frustration of downloading and installing an app, which only increases the inconvenience.

Supporting physical devices is especially important for the critical businesses that remain open during citywide and statewide shutdowns — businesses we are all depending on for essentials, power, communication, and healthcare. These are the grocery stores and restaurants, healthcare facilities, utilities, financial services, critical manufacturers, and more. We all benefit when grocery store registers, medical devices, electrical panels, IT networking and hardware, and other critical systems are fully supported without disruption.

How will you support physical devices and environments in a lockdown?

Whether you’re supporting these essential systems that we all count on, or everyday devices that bring us a little more joy, connection, or entertainment during our isolation, how you respond now will make an impact that will endure long after normalcy returns. Online solutions will shift our expectations for how we live our lives and conduct business well into the future.

Organizations that figure out how to continue supporting physical devices and environments now will set the new standard for what customers expect moving forward.

How will you support physical devices and environments in a lockdown? Check out Rescue Live Lens, a purpose-built camera-sharing solution that lets agents see and solve issues for any physical device or environment with zero downloads, so there’s no barrier to being instantly on-site whenever a customer needs you.

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