In a recent post, Meryl discussed careers in remote tech support and customer service. In my business, providing remote support is a very important part of my service offering. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the tools and services available to help me accomplish this most effectively.
The folks over at NTRglobal have just released what seems to be the perfect solution. NTRsupport Pro is designed for individuals just like me who need to be able to offer remote services like training and tech support from anywhere, without headaches.
Unlike the full NTRsupport Ultimate product I reviewed earlier this year, Support Pro is slimmed down and optimized for the solo support professional. I was impressed with the Ultimate product then, but ultimately it proved to be too much for a small shop. This product cuts out the stuff I don’t need and focuses on usability and portability. The features that are excluded are the ones that cater to the larger teams, or enterprise installations. For the independent IT Pro or trainer, all the good stuff I liked in the actual support session is still present.
Support sessions can be created on the fly or scheduled in advance. Connection details can be sent to the end user via email or they can be given an access code to enter in to a support web site. I’ve done a couple of sessions and have had no issues with end user trouble or confusion — it’s a straightforward process, which requires no registration or installation.
No installation is required for me, either. The connection program is a small executable that I can keep on a thumb drive and run from any PC. It gives me access to the full range of support tools and any “Stay Connected” computers I’ve added to my account.
Like most remote desktop tools, a top menu bar gives me access to what I need. Adjustments to color and display size can improve latency and viewability, and built-in chat and file transfer features make communicating with the remote user easy. It also offers clipboard synchronization and remote printing options.
I particularly love that I can reboot and reconnect automatically in either regular or safe mode. I can also request a report from a remote machine which will provide me detailed information on hardware, software, networking, running processes and security; very handy for diagnostic purposes.
For regular clients or those who purchase ongoing support plans, it is possible to “Stay Connected” to those machines. This does require an installation but it allows me to add those frequently-accessed machines to my dashboard, so I can get access to them without remote user intervention. A single click and it connects and logs in automatically.
For users who need support frequently, a direct link can be sent to them for their desktop giving them one-click access to request a support session.
NTRsupport Pro doesn’t come with the marketplace and other services offered by CrossLoop, which I still use and recommend, but the ease of use and lack of registration and installation requirements makes it a great addition to your toolbox.
The Support Program seems to be Windows-only for now but the client supports Windows, Mac and Linux machines. Pricing is quite affordable for this type of solution with a one year pre-paid contract available for $588, or $49/month. A free 7-day trial is also available.
There are many similar services available but the combination of features and functionality provided, at this price point, makes NTRsupport Pro a strong contender and something well worth investigating.
What tools do you use for remote support?