As the impact of the pandemic intensifies in a growing list of countries, leading enterprises are seeking out COVID-19 best practices that enable them to protect key personnel and customers while maintaining service delivery. To address the unprecedented fallout of the coronavirus, business continuity planning increasingly involves a reliance on remote support technologies that allow employees to work from home and reduce the technician dispatches that could put essential workers at risk.
One such technology is Visual Assistance. A field technician or contact center agent sends a link to the customer to initiate a live video stream. The solution is web-based, meaning no app download, installation or account login is required. The customer uses their smartphone back camera to show the expert the issue, enabling them to identify the cause and provide on-screen Augmented Reality instructions to guide the customer step-by-step through the actions they need to carry out. Finally, the expert visually confirms that the issue has been successfully dealt with.
As the crisis unfolds, organizations in industries such as telecom, consumer electronics and medical technology have discovered the full potential of Visual Assistance solutions.
Medtechnica: Protecting Essential Workers
Medtechnica provides a wide range of equipment to hospitals around Israel, one of many countries currently under lockdown. Servicing medical hardware – like respirators – in hospital departments where COVID-19 patients are being treated just isn’t feasible at the moment. The country simply can’t afford for these essential workers to get sick.
The company is therefore using Visual Assistance to remotely guide senior hospital staff through a wide range of troubleshooting processes for highly specialized devices, eliminating the risk of exposing technicians to infection.
Vodafone Group: Providing Virtual Technician Visits
Vodafone Group was an early adopter of Visual Assistance, which is now used by thousands of agents in eight countries and also at Vodafone-V, its global consumer IoT operations division. For the past few years, the group has leveraged the technology to cut technician dispatch rates by an average of 10%.
In many territories, Vodafone has been forced to close its repair and service centers, leading to growing demand for home technician visits. However, severe travel restrictions are also in place in countries such as the UK, forcing millions of people, including field technicians, to work from home. With Visual Assistance, Vodafone has managed to identify a series of COVID-19 best practices that minimize the impact on business continuity in Britain without the option of truck rolls.
What’s more, the group is also using mobile mirroring to enable consumers to share their mobile screens. This allows agents to guide them through various software, settings and navigation issues, without taking control of the device.
Visual Assistance technologies are described as “critical to Vodafone’s efforts to reduce broadband engineer visits during the current pandemic.” Some local markets, including Vodafone Greece, have instigated a policy stipulating its use before any engineer visits a household.
Samsung: Driving Digital Adoption
Samsung understands the importance of communicating the range of digital channels on offer to its customers, providing reassurance that the company is doing everything in its power to support them and the devices they depend on. Using Visual Assistance, Samsung product agents in Colombia can work from home, diagnosing and resolving problems affecting TVs, cellphones and other hardware.
Top UK Telco: Redefining Service Delivery
As soon as it became clear that the UK was facing a major public health crisis, one leading telco proactively set up a field service expertise program based on COVID-19 best practices, before any government mandates went into place, anticipating that direct interactions between employees and customers would become an issue.
After an implementation and onboarding process lasting less than 48 hours, its engineers began using remote Visual Assistance to work with customers to achieve resolutions. The company has already achieved a 90% success rate for diagnoses and the 10% of issues that can’t be remotely diagnosed are due to accessibility issues, privacy concerns, and connectivity issues.
One customer received help with her mini box – a device that enables multi-room viewing. She was “delighted as it saved her waiting for an engineer.” What’s more, according the company, the resolution itself was “a simple fix which she can now do herself.” When an expert shows a customer how to resolve an issue, they’re actually training them to be self-sufficient in the future.
The company has now identified “an opportunity to improve advisers’ ability to recognize issues in the home without resorting to an engineer booking.” Right now, cutting dispatches is mainly about ensuring safety – but when things get back to normal, reducing truck rolls with Visual Assistance is going to significantly improve the bottom line.
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