Remote Visual Assistance in 2021: New SLA Requirements, Customer Experience and New Usage Cases

Remote visual assistance - or remote visual support - technology saw massive take-up in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, the technology, while essential due to safety concerns around technicians entering houses, was created before COVID and offers massive business and customer experience optimization tools through normal times as well as emergency. 

In this blog, we will examine how remote visual assistance is helping businesses across all sectors, enabling field businesses to adapt to changing contractual demands on equipment, and can improve customer experience and training through additional data collection. 

Changing SLA Requirements 

The rise of IoT with sensors capable of collecting data 24/7 in the field has increased the ability of field service organisations to monitor the health of equipment and in turn the expectations of the organisations they serve.

What do we mean? Previously, a field service business might be required to fix a machine when it is broken, but now, with access to the sensor data it is possible to monitor for warning signs of equipment issues and be much more proactive; with that additional insight, the owners of the equipment are requiring field services SLAs to focus on KPIs such as uptime of the equipment – Similarly, you might expect from your server hosting company. 

According to Gartner, by 2025, over 50% of equipment manufacturers will provide contracts that guarantee business optimization conditions and access to digital twins, up from just 19% in 2019. 

Remote visual assistance is an essential tool for field service businesses to be able to meet that requirement. When sensors detect a possible issue, employees on-site can be sent a link to allow the field service business representative back in their office to take over the employee’s smartphone camera, write on its screen using AR, and guide the employee to resolve the issue immediately. In the circumstance that the issue can’t be resolved on the spot, other technical experts can be added to the call to give further insight, and, in the event, a trip is necessary, give a more accurate diagnosis to ensure the problem can then be fixed on the first visit. 

Across a whole range of industries, remote visual assistance helps by reducing truck rolls (field visits), and by enabling issues to be fixed sooner thus improving customer satisfaction. In the case of manufacturing, where there has been a change in the service demands of industry fuelled by the rollout of IoT, it also helps field service industries to match those new stipulations around, for example, machine uptime.

Data Insight

In an increasingly competitive world, utilising machine learning and data analytics has been identified as one of the key areas companies can exploit to stay ahead of their competition. Businesses are already focusing on customer experience as a key differentiator and using interaction analytics to get insight into 100% of their customer conversations, but they are missing a part of the puzzle. Interaction analytics focus on analysing spoken and written customer conversations, leaving field conversations and visual insight untapped. 

This is a huge opportunity, as according to Deloitte Insights, there are more than 20 million field service workers in the world, but their interaction with customers and products largely stays with the field agent themselves. 

Remote visual assistance helps by enabling the actual resolution of the problem to be video recorded – and this is not just for agents in the field but crucially for interactions between agents in your contact centre and the caller, the situation in which most calls take place, and, ideally don’t have to be escalated to a field visit.

Video enables you to spot much more situational information than a phone call – For example, you can spot the environments in which the product is being used, and how people are interacting with it. This knowledge enables you to identify product issues around user experience, identify common problems and be more proactive in your customer service, including sending out text messages when you observe something that is happening regularly and, in doing so, delighting your customers with your foresight.

It is also an invaluable tool for improving training by providing your employees with an exhaustive video knowledgebase that includes augmented reality instruction, according to PwC, a multinational professional services network of firms, it speeds training time by almost 4x.  

This situation data can be combined with your contact centre and CRM data to improve product development, customer experience, and marketing.

Customer Effort Score

Hand-in-hand with the focus on better customer experience is a new KPI that businesses are adopting to try and get ahead in this area. Customer effort score (CES) measures how easy it was for customers to interact with your products and services with Gartner suggesting that it is the No.1 driver of customer loyalty

Remote visual assistance, through reducing misunderstanding during calls, speeding up the resolution of problems, and taking away the inconvenience of having to book time off work to let in a field agent, provides many ways for a company to improve their customer effort score.

Industry Usages 

Remote visual assistance tools are helping businesses across a huge breadth of sectors improve their customer service and reduce costs, including agents in the consumer device sector walking their customers through resetting a router, insurance inspectors carrying out an immediate assessment of the damage on a car to process claims more quickly, a dealer reporting a defect with an engine cover, and even helping to resolve deliberations and bureaucratic issues like explaining contract issues and carrying out translations. 

The usage scenarios are extremely compelling for housing associations and field service businesses responsible for equipment, but also across several other sectors. Below are two more examples: 

Retail and shelf space

For in-store display, placement is crucial and something that requires significant practice and training. It is expensive for area managers or head office staff who have that expertise to visit every store – not to mention slow as driving takes time and crucial decisions need to be made at 9 am across various stores at the same time. 

With remote visual assistance, managers can phone retail staff to check placement is maximizing the opportunity of the shelving and provide instant feedback. As this is being done over a video call, they can complete it for many stores in a much quicker time. 


Any new construction will have a large number of items that need to pass compliance regulations, usually inspected by a surveyor. Being able to take over the smartphone camera of someone on-site can enable an inspector or surveyor to carry out the inspection remotely, saving significant travel costs and speeding up the process of approval.  

If you want to learn more about Remote Visual Assistance and discover how it's video and AR-based features can benefit your organisation, visit the product page here.

About Hostcomm

Hostcomm helps organisations transform their customer service, outbound sales campaigns, data security and internal employee interaction. Our solutions include cloud contact centre, remote visual assistance, live chat, AI voice and chat and PCI-DSS certified payments. Hostcomm develops most of its software in-house and combines it with award-winning third-party products to provide maximum performance for a modest investment. We are able to offer packages of features, service, support, reliability and pricing unmatched in the industry. Contact us here.

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