This year back to school is still going to look like somewhat of a hybrid due to the pandemic. Some students will be going back to in-person learning full time, but others will have parents that opt for virtual learning.
Many college students that had their dreams of the “college experience” put on hold last year, will be looking forward to a more normal higher education environment, and closer to the one they were expecting.
After an enrollment drop of nearly 5% for undergraduates last semester, expectations are that the COVID vaccine rollout will drive an increase in enrollment in the fall and a big back-to-school season.
What does this mean for your average MSP or IT business owner? It means that you have an opportunity to market remote support services tailored to the needs of students.
One of the nice things about offering remote support services is that you’re not only limited to customers in your local service area. You could offer back-to-school remote support to students anywhere.
Here are some creative ways you can capture some student remote support business.
Technical Lifeline for the College Student
Technology is now a requirement for a successful college student. If something goes wrong with their computer, it can mean they miss an assignment or lose an entire paper they’ve been working on for days.
You can market that remote support provides an important technology lifeline for a college student. They have help when they need it to solve an issue or get a troublesome device back up and running.
By offering a student remote support plan, you could bundle antivirus and patch management services along with technical assistance, giving parents more peace of mind.
Some features that you can highlight of your remote support plan that may appeal to college students are:
- Unattended computer fixes (you can fix a problem while they’re sleeping late)
- Remote printing capability that can get them out of a jam with a stubborn printer
- You get SMS notification, so know instantly when they need help
- Get a note on the desktop with a summary of what was done
Make At-Home Learning Easier for You & Your Child
Many parents will be making the difficult choice this fall to keep an unvaccinated child at home for virtual school until they are able to get the vaccine.
Technology problems are one of the frustrations that many parents had during the last school year when nearly everyone was doing at-home learning.
You can make life much easier for parents and students through a virtual learning remote support offering. You could offer both on-demand support and monthly plans that include PC optimization and security.
For this target audience, you want to highlight how you’re going to make their lives easier. For example, mention that remote support for at-home learning can:
- Provide expert help when a video connection goes wrong, so a child isn’t left out of the lesson.
- Save Mom or Dad from having to spend countless hours Googling a way out of a technology issue.
- Help students with tips on getting around PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and other programs they may be using for their schoolwork.
- Reduce the stress of at-home learning by taking technology problems out of the mix.
Keep Kids Safer from Cyberthreats
During the peak of the pandemic, phishing attacks rose 220%. But, that’s not the only example of how hackers have been having a heyday during the pandemic. Ransomware and firmware attacks are also up, along with a 630% increase in attacks on cloud accounts.
You can market your back-to-school remote support with a security focus and note that your services can help keep kids safer when they’re online. Mention the rise in cyberattacks and note that students are often online doing research for their schoolwork, which puts them more at risk of landing on a phishing site.
Put together a Student Cybersecurity Remote Support plan that includes things like:
- Managed Antivirus/anti-malware
- Managed patches/updates
- DNS filter to block malicious sites
- Remote support for technology help
- Remote support to review suspicious PC activity
- Monthly scan for any malware
Don’t forget to promote the security of your remote support platform. For example, you may mention that it uses encryption and incorporates multi-factor authentication to keep out any unauthorized users. By promoting the security features your firm offers, you build trust in your remote support services and confidence that you can keep someone’s child more secure.
As an add-on service, you might also offer a remote training session on how to spot phishing, using real examples so kids can see exactly what to watch out for.
Expand Your Remote Support Services Easily with Instant Housecall
Instant Housecall remote support software has multiple features that make it easy to expand your remote support clients without the need to hire more technicians.
Try Instant Housecall risk-free for 15 days and experience it for yourself! Try it out now.
Remote support can be a great addition to the products and services your small business is already providing, but only if you have good support technicians.
If customers aren’t getting the help they hope for, word will get out, and you’ll find that your remote support revenue is going down as a result.
An average of 58% of Americans will switch to another company if they’re not happy with the customer support they receive. On the other hand, 89% of consumers are more likely to purchase more from you after a positive experience.
To grow your remote support business and your company reputation in a positive direction, it’s important to position your tech support team for success. If you just throw them in the deep end and expect them to come out on top, you could find that your miscalculation has lost you an important client.
How do you set your remote support team up for success?
1. Allow New Support Techs Time to Train With an Experienced Technician
Just because someone has good technical knowledge, doesn’t prepare them for being online with a customer during a remote support call. The experience is very different when you’re logged in to someone’s system and with them potentially on the other end of the connection expecting you to fix everything.
You give your new techs a better chance at success and more confidence in handling support sessions on their own by allowing them some training time with an experienced technician.
Being on several support calls where they can watch an expert and then slowly ease into the lead role themselves, can ensure they’re properly prepared when doing their first solo session.
2. Train Them on Your Customer Personas
Every business has different customer personas. These represent the different types of customers you provide remote support services to. For the average MSP or IT business, you may have personas that look like this:
- Experienced with tech, like to know what’s being fixed and how
- Not comfortable at all with technology, anxious when things go wrong
- Business owners that just want things to work as fast as possible
Each persona will require a slightly different approach. For example, those not comfortable with technology will need more patience. Users that are tech-savvy will want a full report of what was done after the call is over.
For all personas, support technicians need to learn how not to talk down to people but to vary the explanations they use according to persona type.
3. Make Sure They’re Familiar With Your Products & Services
Often remote support calls end up being sales opportunities as well. For example, if a customer needs help removing a virus, once the malware is removed, a technician that is familiar with your offerings may offer to send some information on your managed antivirus plan.
If the technician doesn’t know exactly what you offer, a sales opportunity could be missed. Also, a customer might wonder why the tech can’t answer a simple question, like what’s included in a managed IT plan.
Provide your remote support technicians with a listing of your products and services so they can become familiar with them if asked or if an opportunity to mention one arises naturally during a support call.
4. Provide Them With a Reliable Remote Support Tool
Few things are more frustrating to your technicians and your customers during a remote support session than having problems with the connection. If a tech keeps getting cut off or can’t reboot a system without getting disconnected, it can cause your customer to go elsewhere for support.
You give your support team the best chance of success when you give them fast and reliable remote support tools. Robust remote support software doesn’t have to break the bank and it can pay for itself in time savings and happy customers.
5. Outline Remote Support Expectations
If you send a technician into their first remote support call without letting them know your expectations, you’re setting them up to disappoint you if they fail to record a support session or don’t send the client a follow-up note.
Go through a standard remote support call and write down the process and what you need to have done before, during, and after.
- Is there specific information they need to ask of the customer for your records?
- Do all sessions get recorded?
- Are they to note the support work performed in a CRM?
- What do they do if the session runs longer than expected?
Make sure you don’t just assume your technicians know all your expectations. Write these down so they can refer to them and become familiar with the entire process.
Set Your Remote Support Team Up for Success with Instant Housecall Software
Instant Housecall remote support software is an easy-to-use, reliable, and robust platform built to enable great connections and allow technicians to focus on the job at hand.
Try Instant Housecall risk-free for 15 days and experience it for yourself! Try it out now.
Of all the services that IT businesses provide, the one that is typically the “bread and butter” is managed services. A managed support plan keeps revenue coming in the door each month and can be streamlined through an RMM tool to be very time efficient.
If you can effectively use your other popular services to cross-sell MSP plans, then you can increase your revenue and gain more long-term clients.
One of the services that can act as a springboard in this way is remote support. It’s gained in popularity during the pandemic out of necessity and due to the rise in work-from-home employees. This is a trend that’s not going away.
The number of employees permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021.
Because the need for remote support has increased sharply, it’s a great tool to use for promoting your managed support services. You can think of it as a steppingstone in your sales funnel if you do it right. Here are several ideas you can use.
Bundle It in as a Selling Point
Having unlimited remote support as a managed service plan feature can be the deciding factor that pushes a company towards a remote support plan. Bundling remote support with your services packages can also be a better deal for a customer who may be using a lot of remote tech support.
For example, a company with 30 remote employees might be paying nearly as much for remote support troubleshooting and software setup and not realize it. For just a little more they could get a full package of much-needed services, such as managed antivirus, backup & recovery, patch management, and more.
The thought of unlimited remote support can be a big draw and it can make the “numbers make sense” to a business owner that’s trying to justify the cost before moving forward.
Use It to Draw People to Higher Level Support Plans
Remote support can also be a handy way to entice lower-tiered support plan customers to a higher level of support. For example, your most basic MSP plan may not include remote support as a part of the package, but your Intermediate tier does.
Getting remote support along with all the other services could be worth it, especially if a basic tier customer is having to pay for remote support on top of their monthly fee.
You can even do a few tiers and increase the level of support as people choose a higher-level package. Such as:
- Basic Plan: No remote support included
- Intermediate Plan: Three hours of remote support included per month
- Premiere Plan: Unlimited remote support included
Add a Link to Remote Session Summary Notes
When you finish a remote support session, it’s a good practice to send a summary of the session to the client afterward so they understand exactly what was done. This is especially true when you’re providing support remotely for an unattended device and the owner wasn’t there to see what you did.
This summary note can be sent via email or through a virtual sticky note on a screen when using Instant Housecall remote support software. On your summary note, you can include a message about your managed IT services.
For example, you could do something like, “We identified a virus that was causing your PC issues. We’ve completely removed it and checked to ensure all files were intact. Your system is clean and operating normally now. PS: You may want to check out our monthly managed services, which include managed antivirus/anti-malware!”
Do a Price Comparison on Your Remote Support Page
If you are bundling unlimited remote support with one of your managed services packages, then you can do a price comparison on your remote support page. You might actually capture a new MSP customer right away with this tip.
Do a comparison such as the average price for a 1-hour remote support session x times per month, and the price for your managed services plan with unlimited remote support.
You can’t just assume someone is going to figure it out for themselves that if they’re using a lot of remote support, it’s a better deal to just get a managed services plan instead. Spell it out for them!
You could even offer two buttons on your remote support page:
- One button to initiate a one-time support session
- One button to initiate the session and at the same time, sign up for managed services with remote support included.
Use a Remote Support Software That Streamlines Your Process
Instant Housecall is a powerful yet easy-to-use remote support software that allows you to spend less time and energy providing quality remote support.
Try Instant Housecall risk-free for 15 days and experience it for yourself!
Earlier today, we released a new version of the Instant Customer software for Macintosh. This release includes improvements for OSX Catalina.
Your customers can download the latest version of Instant Housecall from your support portal. When customers download using a Mac, a DMG will be served automatically when they click Download Now.
Customers no longer require administrator permission to install Instant Housecall. The PKG installer that required those permissions has been deprecated and we are moving forward with the current DMG installer.
OSX Mojave and Catalina require special permissions for Screen Recording and Accessibility. This version prompts the user with instructions detailing how to set up Screen Recording and Accessibility so that you can see and control the remote computer.
A detailed step-by-step instruction guide with screenshots can be found here: https://instanthc.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/1940272-setting-up-mac-remote-control-on-mojave-catalina
As always, if you have any any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to open a ticket or call any time.
A couple of weeks ago, Liz Oke, an online marketing strategist held a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Instant Housecall customers. She put together some follow up notes that I want to share with you: marketing tips that small IT business owners can use.
During the AMA, I also talked about a book that I’m reading that I called The One Page Marketing Plan. You can get that at your local bookstore.
Download the AMA summary here: AMA Summary.pdf
In it, Liz talks about:
- Developing your target audience
- Establishing a referral network
- SEO, including local SEO
- A two pronged approach for online marketing; and
- Using LinkedIn to get referrals
Thank you to everyone who attended. For those who couldn’t make it, download the summary from the link above to see some of what you missed.
Instant Housecall has lots of features that you can use to improve your marketing. Get more 5-star reviews by directing people to a review site after you’re done, brand the desktop icon, splash screen, and UI with your logo and much more. If you need remote support software, give Instant Housecall a try.
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