Computers and applications stubbornly remain hard to use. Developers, from solo code jockeys to huge corporations, promise us things will be better "real soon." But if operating systems and applications aren't easier today than yesterday, at least we're seeing advances in how to support them. Take NTRSupport's new FirstHelp tool, a support portal. It combines information, drivers, tips, training, techniques, instant messaging, e-mail and even remote control software in a one-stop support shop.
Getting answers is never easy. Drivers for various computer problems are here and there, scattered around a server disk in a pattern only the tech understands, but can't really explain when questioned. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about applications used are everywhere or nowhere, with no organization. Training information can't be found and what documentation exists for company software is so lost it may as well be in Amelia Earhart's briefcase. When you rely on another small company to provide help, the disconnect and disorganization multiplies.
NTRSupport, part of NTRGlobal, provides on-demand remote control, remote support and remote access tools using a hosted model. Other companies, such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC and the like, offer some or all of these features, but NTRSupport has jumped ahead with its new FirstHelp product.
FirstHelp allows you to put as much help and support information on a support portal page as you wish, and lets you customize the page for internal or external use. If your company sells a product involving a computer, such as a PC-based point of sale accounting system for dry cleaners, you have to provide support. Wouldn't it be easier if all the dry cleaner clerks looking for help went to a branded Web page full of news, tips, troubleshooting notices and a way to, with one-click, e-mail a support tech? The clerk might actually find the answer to the problem and never call support at all. They get back to work faster and you don't incur support charges. Everybody wins, and clothes get processed more quickly.
When customers need to open an Instant Message chat session, or even ask for a tech to remotely access and control their computers, FirstHelp lets them do that. But FirstHelp also allows you to present information you want to get in front of customers, such as workarounds for new problems, on the same page they go for interactive support.