By Anson Shiong, Sand Studio
The recent and rapid emergence of COVID-19 has seen many changes across all aspects of both society and business, with people staying home and only leaving the house for groceries and medical assistance, food businesses switching to contactless curbside pickup and delivery, and non-essential businesses shifting their entire workforce to remote work in less than a week.
This rapid shift to a remote workforce has seen an upswing in sales across both electronics and productivity and team management software. However, for the businesses experiencing this boon in sales, mandated social distancing creates a new challenge, and that’s the provision of after-sales care and customer service to customers remotely. After all, if an issue can’t be solved over the phone, there’s no possibility of the customer visiting a store or a technician visiting the customer to resolve the problem on-site.
Additionally, for companies who have recently switched to remote working without any existing device management infrastructure in place, the shift presents a similar challenge around the management, maintenance, and upkeep of these newly remote devices. This has left many business leaders scratching their heads and asking questions like: how can staff be productive when they’re experiencing issues with their devices? How can IT Managers troubleshoot and resolve problems when they can’t see the issue at hand? and many more related to the management of a network of devices.
The solution to both scenarios is simple, and it comes in the form of mobile device management (MDM). For the uninitiated, MDM technology enables users to control, secure, and manage a range of devices through a variety of features like remote access, kiosk mode, application management services, and more. For any type of business that needs to conduct remote device management or maintenance, whether it’s for day-to-day work or as part of a customer service strategy, MDM has the potential to revolutionize the way this is delivered.
So how exactly can MDM do all this? Let’s explore.
Batch Management And Remote Access
Many business leaders and IT managers at traditionally in-person businesses are struggling with the recent shift to remote work. To put it simply, the realization that the more devices a business needs to monitor, manage, and upkeep, the harder it is to do so without additional tools is fast becoming apparent. This is where MDM and its core features like user grouping and remote access come in.
The right MDM solution should enable IT Managers to group devices by user and function, enabling a swift oversight of all devices within each business unit. This means that if an employee from the Accounting team calls up with a complaint, the IT Manager can easily click into the batch of Accounting related devices, locate the device, and access it using the MDM solutions’ remote access feature. This feature enables the IT manager to view the device’s status and screen. From here, the employee can describe their issue and walk through it with the IT Manager, who can see the issue, diagnose it, and walk the employee through a resolution much faster - and with a lot less stress - than through traditional methods like phone calls.
In a customer service context, the experience and method are similar. Customers can be managed by batch separated by product tier, and if an issue arises, customer service agents utilizing remote access can find and deliver a resolution much faster because they can see the issue at hand and don’t have to rely on vocal descriptions.
A common challenge when troubleshooting device and software issues for IT managers and customer service agents is deciphering whether the issue at hand stems from their software, the device, or interaction from a different software on the device. Because of this, another key feature when sourcing an MDM solution is the ability to lock devices down into kiosk mode.
Kiosk mode enables IT managers and customer support agents to lock-down devices into one or more functions. This means the manager or agent can isolate different software contained on the device to see whether an issue is hardware or software based. The ability to lock-down devices into more than one function also enables managers and agents to work through the list of software on the device and assess whether an issue is caused by an interaction. This feature, used in combination with remote access, means that issues are diagnosed so resolutions can be delivered much faster - and with much less effort - than directing the user to delete and reinstall software over the phone.
Application Management Services
Most people have been guilty at some point in their lives of clicking the ‘remind me later’ dialogue box when a device is asking to upgrade, and unfortunately, many IT managers and customer support agents receive calls around issues that would be easily resolved if the software was updated on time. As such, a key MDM feature when sourcing a solution is Application Management Services, also known as AMS.
AMS enables IT managers and support agents to install, uninstall, and update apps to multiple devices without the need for the user to prompt the download or update. This means the user will always have the latest version of the software they’re using while reducing the number of user complaints for agents and managers due to software that hasn’t been updated. Another key feature of AMS is the ability to deploy new apps and software which, when paired with a batch management feature, means that specific apps to different business units can easily be deployed as a batch, rather than one by one.
While many businesses are struggling with the shift to our current remote reality and the challenges associated with delivering exceptional customer service and maintaining a network of devices remotely, there’s no need to despair. Through utilizing the right MDM solution, IT managers and customer support agents can effectively manage a network of devices and provide a high level of customer service without the need for in-person interaction, keeping everyone safe, happy, and with working, productive devices.
About The Author
Anson Shiong is CEO of Sand Studio, the developer of mobile device management (MDM) solution for Android devices, AirDroid Business. AirDroid Business empowers businesses to be in complete control of their Android devices across multiple locations, enabling administrators to manage, monitor, and perform maintenance on remote devices.