In an era where the remote workplace is becoming the “new normal”, finding innovative ways to conduct business with minimal face-to-face interaction while ensuring that operations continue running without a glitch, have become tantamount to a company’s success. While technology has opened up new possibilities in how businesses are run, it has also created some new challenges, especially in the event of a malfunction or breakdown of the said technology.

Technical glitches and machine malfunctions can be a painful or costly affair for businesses not only in terms of lost productivity, but also the additional time and resources required to get the problem resolved. Office workers are typically frustrated and driven up the wall when they have to deal with voice-automated call centres and computerised tech support that recommend ‘one size fits all’ solutions, which seldom work as they should.

However, recent innovations in remote workplace assistance is transforming the process of systems support into a more comfortable and pleasant experience. With remote workplace assistance, businesses have direct access to professionals who are able to troubleshoot their IT-related problems in real-time – the equivalent of an in-house IT Support or Systems Support expert who sits within larger organisations. These experts not only have the knowledge to provide immediate solutions to troubleshoot problems remotely, but are also privy to the latest technology, products, software upgrades or applications that can benefit the user.

As a result, the customers or office workers are more satisfied and report of higher productivity levels. Statistics showed 50% of reporting time on service issues were saved with the use of remote workplace support, resulting in improved workplace productivity and elevating Ricoh to number one in Ricoh’s recent external customer satisfaction survey.

“Remote workplace assistance allows businesses to focus on their day-to-day operations while leaving their office systems in the hands of qualified professionals. As they say, time is money, and businesses who don’t have the burden of worrying about office automation can focus more on increasing productivity and bolstering their bottom-line,” says Lee Choon Heng, General Manager of Technical and Service operations at Ricoh Malaysia, whose Remote Connect Support service is changing the way businesses operate.

Connecting customers to its Customer Support Operators remotely, Ricoh’s Remote Connect Support service enables the support centre to diagnose and resolve technical issues through real-time screen sharing, remote guidance and operation. This means that businesses can continue with ‘business as usual’, while benefitting from the reduced overall costs for IT service providers who don’t need to charge extra for on-site visits. This is particularly useful for businesses that have offices located in remote areas or in the outskirts of cities.
“Not only is this a more cost-effective and greener approach to doing businesses, it also facilitates quick response time in a controlled, less-intrusive environment. The end result, naturally, is that it is more client-friendly, creating that win-win solution for both clients and service providers. Remote Connect Support is not so much about the technology itself but rather how the utilisation of technology has greatly impacted SMEs, even being a game-changer in how businesses operate,” adds Lee.

Since introducing Remote Connect Support to the local market, Lee highlights that Ricoh has witnessed a significant increase in customer satisfaction, with a 30% reduction in the number of customer service related calls. “Not only that, but our customers are also happier and more satisfied that we are able to deliver precise solutions with minimal hassle on their part – and this is exactly what effective customer service solutions and after sales support are all about,” he says.

Certainly, while the proliferation of technology has given rise to the remote workplace, it is the evolution of remote workplace assistance that has become the key for businesses of tomorrow to ensure that they can operate at a faster, more efficient and profitable level than they have in the past.