The widespread shortage of highly skilled technicians with years of experience has presented a serious challenge for many field service operations for years, and shows no sign of subsiding. The reality is that less-experienced technicians often lack the expertise required to solve tasks in the field, at least not on the first on-site visit or within the time allocated for the task. This winds up hurting operational performance, and puts a sizable dent into your performance metrics, customer satisfaction, and your company’s bottom line. 

Providing extensive training to new technicians is an option – but that takes a lot of time and resources. And given the high technician turnover rates many operations experience, this approach can backfire. After you’ve invested in extensive training for a technician, they may be ready to move on elsewhere before you can even recoup the price tag for your investment in their development. 

Fortunately, there are alternative approaches that can deliver the desired outcome – improving the technical expertise and experience available across your field tasks – in a much shorter timeframe. Ziner’s Remote Assistant leverages sophisticated video technology to connect technicians to subject matter experts (SMEs) in real-time. 

With Remote Assistant, technicians can send requests for help, specifying exactly what they need help with. Backoffice personnel can connect the technician with the right experts who can help resolve issues in real-time. This greatly improves the likelihood of a successful first-time fix

Remote Assistant accomplishes this result using three key strategies: 

  • Identifying available SMEs with the right expertise
  • Delivering  more from your on-screen experience
  • Enhancing this real-time experience using chat functionality

Requesting Help from SMEs

Technicians can easily initiate a Remote Assistant session through the Zinier app. When initiating a request, technicians start by providing a subject and a description of the issue. These details provide the context necessary to pin down the specific area of expertise they need help with. Coordinators will be notified of these requests, and will assign an appropriate SME. 

The technician can also establish the timeframe for the request. For example, they can set an expiration time that aligns with the end of the appointment window. Based on this input, backoffice personnel can prioritize requests for assistance. Once a session request is accepted, the technician receives a notification via the Zinier app inviting them to join the session. 

Enhancing the On-screen Experience

Once a session has been established, technicians can share their screen with other session participants. This is often far more practical or efficient than attempting to type or verbally describe a description of the issue. Rather than dealing with a lengthy back-and-forth series of questions and clarifications, screen sharing can often lead to a faster and unambiguous resolution.   

Technicians sharing their screen with other session participants

Another option available is the ability to make annotations directly on the shared video, to clearly identify out areas they want to highlight or to help guide the conversation. Using annotations, SMEs can  often remotely guide the technician to the root of the problem. 

Session participants can also take screen captures during the Remote Assistant session to capture relevant information on the root cause of the issue and learnings from the session. This provides an opportunity to use these screen captures to educate other technicians who encounter a similar challenge in the future. 

Chatting with Call Participants 

In addition to the video and screen-sharing  capabilities, technicians and back office users can use Zinier’s Chat product to communicate with each other. The conversation history will automatically be saved and made accessible to all participants after the session is over. 

Managing Remote Assistant

To further tailor the benefits of Remote Assistant to a specific organization, there are several options: 

  • Coordinators have full control over Remote Assistant sessions. They can view all active sessions, closed sessions (including Chat history), and incoming requests for help. 
  • They can also establish appropriate guidelines for Remote Assistant usage for the organization. 
  • During an active session, backoffice users can also take control of a technician’s screen to help guide them through a particular task. 

For a deeper dive into how Zinier’s product can be tailored to your precise needs in minutes – not weeks or months – watch a short video demo of Zinier’s no-code customization capabilities here

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