If you provide tech support, you can now use the new Remove Desktop feature on Google+ to connect with your customers.
How frustrating is it when you’re trying to fix a tech problem for a customer over the phone? Now, Google has made it a little easier. In my opinion, the Hangouts feature is by far the best thing about Google+, and earlier last month, Hangouts got even better with Google introducing a remote desktop feature. If you have a business where you provide any kind of tech support, you can now do so easily on Google+.
Previously, Google had a remote desktop feature available as a Chrome plugin, which was helpful. However, when helping people with tech issues, you often are speaking to people who aren’t very tech-savvy. It was frustrating to have to walk them through installing a plugin (and sometimes even installing Chrome first) before even attacking the original problem.
Remote Desktop via a Google+ Hangouts is much easier. The first time, you’ll have to click the “add apps” button and choose to add Remote Desktop, but after the first time, it will appear on the left-hand side of the Hangouts window. Then, when you connect with a customer you want to help, simply start a Hangout and send them a request via the app. An accept/decline notice will pop up on their screen, and after they accept, you’ll be good to go.
So far, users (myself included) have had mixed feelings about the new Hangouts Remote Desktop feature. Although it’s easier to connect with your customers via this feature, since there are no authorization codes or programs to download, but if the user you’re helping doesn’t use Google+, you’ll still have to deal with explaining how to sign up and start using the Hangouts feature. Whether or not this will be a problem for you really depends on your target market.
Something else to keep in mind: the window for controlling your customers’ screen is the size of the Hangout window rather than being fullscreen, so it can be difficult to see what you’re doing at times. If you’re going to use Hangouts to provide support, use a computer with a large monitor.
This tool can also be helpful for virtual assistants. If you have a VA, you can give that person access to control your computer for updating, program installation, and more. Just make sure you’re always working with someone you trust, especially if you walk away from your computer while they’re making changes!
Remote Desktop via Hangouts isn’t perfect, but having this feature for free is definitely nice and a step forward. In the coming months, it will be interesting to see whether or not this feature takes off and what Google will do to improve it.
Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for NMX University, where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.