Small business operates at cross-roads: technology is becoming more critical, and technology support is often expensive. This used to mean small companies had to choose between maintaining their systems themselves or spending more money than seems worthwhile to keep a support technician on site. Luckily, this has changed. You can now outsource your tech support to remote technicians. Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of remote tech support.
Hiring an in-house support technician is expensive. Not only do you have to put someone new on the payroll, but you have a lot of hidden costs such as a new computer, phone line, desk, and office space. Remote tech support is cheaper. Not only do you not have all the hidden costs, but small businesses don’t usually require someone to be providing support for 40+ hours a week. This means remote technicians can analyze your business needs and provide you with savings. You’ll get the same support as an on-site technician, but you’ll only be paying for what you need.
Using remote tech support means your small business can hire from anywhere. While you can technically save money by outsourcing to another country, you’ll likely encounter language barriers and time zone issues. You’re still better off using remote support that’s still relatively local, but local becomes a lot bigger when commutes aren’t involved. This is incredibly convenient if your business is located in a smaller town that won’t have a major city's human resources.
Running a small business often means taking some work home with you. In-house tech support usually begins and ends in the office, leaving you to fend for yourself when you work at home. Remote support doesn’t have the same boundaries. It doesn’t matter where your technology is located since all locations are remote.
Since practically every piece of modern technology, from computers to printers and security cameras, is connected to the internet, support can easily be provided for them over the internet. Simple questions can be answered quickly via email or text message, while more complicated troubleshooting can be provided by remotely taking control of your computer or other devices.
While most modern devices are connected to the internet, not all are. Also, sometimes, a small business will use legacy hardware. It’s not always possible to provide remote support for these devices. If you use older or standalone hardware, it may be more economical to hire an on-site support technician.
The traditional workplace where people are working together in the same building allows for relationships to grow. When someone isn’t there, it can be a barrier to building the same kind of relationship. If you have already embraced a work from home strategy, this will be less of a problem.
Along with it being hard to build a relationship with your remote staff, it is also easy to forget about them. Most of the work in providing remote support is invisible. The goal is to solve any potential problems before the end-user notices them. This can lead you to wonder why you’re paying for remote support at all. After all, you never have to contact them. Rest assured, it usually means they are doing their job if you don’t have to call in for help.