'Scripted' Solving

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Motorola's Broadband Solutions Group is marketing an updated version of its remote-help application for computer customer-care technicians that's designed to shave as much as 60% off of common trouble calls by providing more automated diagnostics.

The eCare 5.2 customer-support application now includes more “managed scripts.” Typically, when a consumer calls a service provider to complain about poor Internet-access performance, a technician may log into the consumer's machine remotely and run through a series of steps to see what may be affecting performance.

SPOTTING SPYWARE

Such steps may include determining whether a new program has been added, creating conflicts; whether the computer is afflicted by spyware or viruses; or whether system resources are too limited.

Also slowing the help process: Consumers without technical savvy, who can't concisely explain what their problem or who can't explain where to look for symptoms.

Customer-care software “scripts” now can run automatically and remotely through the consumer's equipment, to create a diagnostic report identifying problems for a technician and suggesting fixes.

Such scripted applications can even run in the background, so a technician can initiate another help call while the diagnostic is being run, said Tom Elam, director of software marketing for Motorola's Broadband Solutions Group. The applicable scripts appear on the technician's screen as a series of “radio buttons.” One click and the chosen series of diagnostics is launched.

The automated diagnostics are compatible with both Macintosh and Windows-compatible machines. Using the software will reduce training requirements for customer-service representatives, as technicians won't need to be trained to use both computer platforms, for instance, Elam said.

“Really, it's all about productivity,” he said.

DIFFERENT MODELS

The support tools are available on either a hosted or server basis. With the former, clients get support from Motorola's Richardson, Texas, help facility, saving costs because clients don't buy local hardware such as servers for help centers. With a server model, a client has hardware onsite and pays a license fee to Motorola.

The application is priced on the number of customer help center seats that use it. Elam declined to state a price for the application, saying it varies widely depending on the level of user and the number of technicians who may log on the system.

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