The days of getting on the phone with tech support and the poor soul on the other end having to walk you step by painful step through the actions necessary to get to the root of the problem are gone. No more bringing an IT person all the way to the office for them to tell you a reboot is all that’s needed to fix the problem.
Remote support software gives IT professionals access to clients’ desktops, laptops, and servers to provide maintenance and support. It has revolutionized the world of IT support for both end users and support professionals.
The global IT industry saw over $4.5 trillion of spending in 2017, according to consultancy IDC. Experts anticipate IT spending in the US alone to eclipse $1.5 trillion in 2018.
These enormous sums are indicative of how widespread digital transformation has become in the business sphere and the value it holds for adopters. IT is now ubiquitous across all industries and sectors, so there is massive demand for professional technicians that are able to support and service the tech.
IT support has had a long and checkered history. As computer adoption exploded in the 90s with the advent of the internet as a consumer level tool, so too did the need for technical support to help users. For some companies, the answer to meeting this burgeoning consumer need lay in building out huge call centers, often abroad to take advantage of lower wage standards, or employing interactive voice response (IVR) technology. IVR is technology that allows a caller to interact with a host system of pre-recorded or dynamically generated audio in order to get the information they’re looking for.
The initial incarnation of IVR was a nightmare for many users; slamming the phone down on the receiver in frustration became a common scene played out in offices and homes around the world. Call centers and IVR were adequate solutions at the time, but as the IT world progressed and digital transformation became more than just a buzzword, the industry needed new solutions. Cue the entrance of remote support software, which has provided users a welcome respite from the horrific state of IT support at the beginning of the digital revolution.
Remote support software was previously lumped together with Remote Desktop solutions; while there are businesses that offer combined solutions, the two provide very different functionality for their user bases. Remote desktop software allows users to access and control their workstations using the internet, while remote support solutions give IT staff the ability to access workstations, servers and laptops in order to repair and update the devices in need. In the business world, remote desktop solutions are used by individuals working out of office that need to access their workstation on-the-go while IT support staff use remote support software to manage and repair systems and individual devices. For that reason, we’re adding remote support software to our robust catalogue of software categories on G2 Crowd.
Why remote support matters
Yes, remote support software helps to alleviate tech-related headaches, but what is the impact on a business’ bottom line? Two numbers really jump out when parsing the data. According to some statistics, a 5 percent increase in customer retention leads to a 125 percent increase in revenue. How do we increase customer retention and see a significant boost in revenue? By improving our customer service.
Another number that jumps off the page is 83. $83 billion are lost by U.S. businesses every year because of defections and abandoned purchases. These two statistics represent a huge opportunity for businesses to boost revenue by addressing an often-overlooked harbinger of value: customer service.
How can businesses go about improving customer service and addressing these losses of revenue? By investing in solid customer service tools. In the case of IT, remote support tools are exactly the customer retention-focused software needed to ensure that customers stay on board. They increase the expediency with which IT support staff can carry out tasks that directly impact clients’ happiness, which in turn boosts retention rates. Better retention rates means more revenue and higher profit margins.
Remote support helps with customer retention, cuts support-related costs, and, perhaps most importantly, saves both users and IT professionals time.
In terms of scale, there were 733,210 IT support specialists employed in the U.S. in 2017, the second-highest number in the IT industry. Remote support software gives this vital group the tools to fix issues once they occur as well as the ability to remotely conduct proactive monitoring and diagnostics. When a single member of the support staff is responsible for the functioning of dozens of peoples’ servers and workstations, efficiency becomes a priority.
Who uses remote support software?
As previously mentioned, remote support solutions are useful for both end users and the technicians that provide those users with support. End users utilize remote support to solve technical issues they are having with their devices, without having an IT professional physically present. IT support professionals use remote support software because it allows them access to clients’ devices without traveling to and from the physical device. Remote support software increases efficiency, cuts costs and relieves the headaches that come with tech support for both sides.
Differences between remote desktop and remote support
Remote desktop software allows users to log into, and remotely access and use their device from anywhere with an internet connection. This is extremely useful in situations where employees need to work from home or on the go, as they can gain access to important features and files without physical access to their device.
Remote support software offers something different. Instead of providing access to an employee’s specific device, remote support software allows IT technicians access to deliver support to a range of devices. Support can include everything from regularly scheduled maintenance and monitoring to advanced diagnostics and repairs.
Two types of support: attended & unattended
There are two types of support that technicians deal with: attended and unattended. Attended access refers to a situation in which a client is having trouble with their device and contacts the technician, and the technician takes control of the computer to diagnose the issue and fix it. The support staff can diagnose the issue without much information from the user because they have full access to the machine and the technician is in and out without traveling to the physical device.
The second type of support is unattended. Unattended support means that the support staff has access to the device in question without any user being present on the other end and without any contact from the user. The user must agree to unattended access during installation, and it may be disabled if necessary. IT support professionals use this unattended access to monitor devices, run diagnostics, install updates and more.
Remote support software offers a variety of features designed to arm IT professionals with the tools necessary to carry out all vital support-related tasks. The features vary widely between solutions, with some offering a robust, comprehensive solution in the vein of IT management software and others filling a niche.
Remote support software features may include, but are not limited to:
- Routine device maintenance
- Product updates
- Creation of audit lines to ensure a clear record for regulatory compliance
- File transfer
- Remote printing
- Group and user permissions
- Chat function
- Security encryption and two factor identification secure access
- Remote device waking
- Cross platform functionality
- Role-based security with manage-session functionality
Product highlights: remote support software
The four products below are some of the leading solutions in the remote support space on G2 Crowd, providing users with a wide range of solutions to solve their IT support needs.
Bomgar Remote Support
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Bomgar Remote Support is a security-focused solution that prioritizes secure access, threat defense and business performance improvement. The software is designed to provide users with secure remote connections to mobile devices and desktops so they can perform IT support. Previously only a member of our remote desktop category, the expanded functionality that Bomgar offers makes it a no-brainer addition to our newly established remote support category.
“The best thing about Bomgar is that it’s the complete package for remote support,” says Travis G. in their Bomgar Remote Support review. “The amount of information that you can collect from a customer’s computer without even screen sharing is immense. System info, installed applications and versions, connected drives, Network info, all of that is there with a few quick clicks. The customer’s effort to get connected is quick and easy and doesn’t leave a shred of evidence behind once the sessions is over.”
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
ConnectWise Control is an all-in-one solution for remote access, support and meetings. A customizable option that lets you brand your support solution, ConnectWise provides cross-platform functionality and a sturdy security system to protect both your support staff and users.
According to one ConnectWise Control review, “The software just works, end to end. From install (really easy) to upgrades (takes 2 clicks) to on-demand support. The remote control is fast, the toolbox is very useful, endpoint organization is excellent, and being able to draw on the screen is a huge plus. It’s truly a pleasure to use.”
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goverlan Reach is a comprehensive IT support solution tailor-made for professionals to diagnose and solve problems quickly, easily and efficiently. Features of this robust platform include threat detection, endpoint protection and disaster recovery, in addition to standard remote support functions.
“Process automation is the primary reason this tool is so powerful, without requiring a time consuming investment in scripting for one-off tasks,” according to Brian F.’s Goverlan Reach review. “The remote management feature is quite handy, but not unique until combined with the automation. The Reach Server component is now both the RMM gateway and an important logging and reporting tool – what was good in previous versions is now indispensable. The complete suite covers the majority of desktop management duties, and the more you put into learning the automation processes, the more you get out of it. The price is right, too!”
Zoho Assist Remote Support
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Zoho Assist Remote Support is a tool designed for internal and external IT support teams. The solution provides a host of functions tailor-made to improve IT support service, including multi-monitor navigation, unattended access, on-demand support, two-way screen sharing and more.
“I like how Zoho Assist has a smooth join support session procedure that is very easy to setup with the customer,” wrote one user in their Zoho Assist review. “The quality and speed is great and is also customizable to adapt to different internet connections. Meaning you can adjust to quality vs speed or vice versa while traveling and using less preferable internet connections.”
The future of remote support
Remote support software has become a vital tool for IT support staff. The software eliminates the need to travel to the location of the physical device in need of service, which reduces work-time and allows fewer support staff members to service more devices. Look for the need for robust remote support solutions to increase as technology plays a larger and larger role in the business world.
Looking for Remote Support software? Check out the best remote support software according to G2 Crowd’s real-user reviews.
* Please note: Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.