They call you and explain the problem and can’t believe it when you can just jump on their machine and get it straight away. I wrote my own remote support solution many years ago when frustrated by the lack of good options and having to open firewall ports all the time. I later was happy to dump it when better solutions came out.
You may find it only takes two minutes to fix and then you have a choice:
- Should I charge a per unit price (A unit is normally 15 minutes of time which is how you calculate your bill. You round these up to the next unit)
- Do I let them have this one from free
No one wants to be giving too much time away from free but we are in a thank you economy and if you sort this issue for free there is a very high chance they will return to you next time. These are easy pickings for small IT shops as it is just not worth the time to the bigger IT companies which really are not interested in jobs that will return less than $100.
There are many tools for providing remote support some are based on VNC and are free and there are plenty of more expensive options. If you are starting out you might want to use a free one but I have found the more expensive options are far easier for clients. Remember it is about reducing their pain and making it as easy as possible for your client to deal with you. You want to look professional and not have them jump through hoops. If you are only just starting to provide remote support it may take a few months before you cover the cost but some vendors offer day passes so you can just pass on the cost to the client.
I have found the following tools work in the most places. While I use Teamviewer predominantly I have come across a couple of really secure sites which did not work and GoToAssist did work. Teamviewer is great because it is an all in one tool so I can do online meetings, training and provide remote support very easily with a single tool. Don’t believe the buy it and free forever which technically is true but you really need to buy the annual upgrades to get the new features. They is always and on-going cost to using any software. I started with Premium but found the channel limitations a pain and upgraded to corporate. I know there are techs out there that use the free version but it really does nothing for your reputation when you disconnect from the client and it tells the client that it is an evaluation version. While I get that people don’t like paying for software I want software companies that help me run my business to stay in business. If no one pays them no one wins.
Products I would suggest testing would include: