Service from a Distance: How Integrators Can Make the Most of Remote Monitoring

Snap One Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring systems can provide full documentation of client information and installed equipment for better responses to technical issues. (Image credit: Snap One)

Visits to commercial job sites to troubleshoot issues cost valuable time and money. Remote systems management solutions can and should be an installer’s go-to when managing complex projects and addressing issues on-the-fly that may arise.

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By offering faster and better service, remote management platforms not only boost customer satisfaction, but also save the integrator significant time and money. But how can installers institute remote monitoring and ensure that it actually gets used effectively?

Prioritize the Interface

Today, employees of integration firms want and need full access to all relevant information—along with the ability to input and update information about the project and client quickly. This is possible with a user-friendly interface.

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The first step is evaluating whether an interface will be quickly navigable so that employees can respond appropriately to alerts and requests.  Each interface is different and offers varying levels of both control and visibility into project details.

Most robust remote monitoring solutions allow for full project management through the remote interface, with full documentation of client addresses, contact information, project notes, and even links to project documents such as blueprints or invoices. This enables an employee to use a single program when contacting and communicating with a client, which can help them be more knowledgeable and attentive to the customers’ needs. 

Detail is also critical when it comes to the naming conventions used in the interface. Quite simply, the more room for detail, the better. There is no standard or requirement for naming, so each integrator can decide for themselves what is most efficient.

Similar to the client and project details, the most advanced remote monitoring solutions offer the ability to include information about each device, such as manufacturer, model, physical location, and notes that can be updated over time. It’s critical for a system to be accurately mapped out and organized, so integrators can confidently and quickly resolve issues without an on-site visit.

Better Processes, Better Service

Leaving notes in a project file is another key benefit modern remote management solutions offer. Since all information can be accessed by whomever is currently available, it’s no longer necessary for a specific representative or a certain technician to address a specific customer. This increased flexibility makes it easier for both integrators and customers to reach solutions.

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Plus, since integrators are expected to guide customers from the very first meeting all the way to project completion and long-term maintenance, this wealth of information and access can save significant time and frustration over the course of a client relationship. And if the integration firm moves, goes out of business, or is sold to a new owner, clients still have access to their data history. By making the client the owner of the data, integrators reinforce the relationship and instill long-term confidence.

It’s critical for a system to be accurately mapped out and organized, so integrators can confidently and quickly resolve issues without an on-site visit.

Remote management solutions are built into power control ecosystems, so one of the most powerful and most used functions is simply cycling power off and on for malfunctioning or poor-performing equipment. With a remote monitoring solution, systems can be set to automatically send push alerts for any disruption, so integrators can address them immediately.

What’s more, disruptions can be logged in a client’s record so integrators can see when and how often they are occurring. Therefore, the push alerts and automated power ping capabilities combine to enable rapid responses—often before the client even notices an issue.

Some Customer Control

Another factor integrators must consider is how much control the client may want to have over a given project. When it comes to commercial installs specifically, the level of control can vary based on which staff member is responsible for daily maintenance and how involved they are with the system. Some solutions do not enable control over what specific customers can access, so all operations available to technicians are also available to every user (which could cause issues depending on the structure of a customer’s technical team).

With a simple interface and customizable access, a business owner or manager might feel more comfortable addressing smaller issues, like a router reset, as opposed to larger problems. An intuitive system offers peace of mind and helps customers feel more confident that they can fix certain issues after hours, on a weekend, or during holidays.

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Like most other core system components, it’s also important to consider the reputation of the solution and the brand, with established and trustworthy manufacturers offering the greatest assurance that products will be supported and updated throughout the full life of the installation.

In many cases, issues at commercial sites can be resolved remotely and a time-consuming, expensive truck roll can be avoided. The latest remote systems management solutions let integrators significantly reduce site visits, while delivering greater service to clients—it’s just a matter of adapting it for your business in a way that works for you and your staff.

Evan Marty is the director of product management at Snap One.