The perfect in-app help system doesn't exist. Yet.
I’ve been looking for a solution that would allow our support team to screen-share with customers when providing support. When you have non-technical users, there’s no point in asking for a screenshot, or technical specs, or asking them to walk you through the problem. You just need to see it.
An ideal system would work like this:
- Customer rings support with a problem (or, perhaps, start a conversation in-app)
- We send a link in an email (or, better, in-app message)
- They confirm they want to allow the support staff to see their screen
Unfortunately, every current support tool works like this
- The support staff must work on Windows (because no one would ever give their support staff a Mac)
- The support staff log in and start a “session”
- They invite the user by sending a really poorly worded email
- The user visits a generic download page where you have to walk them through choosing the correct download (the very very best solution skip this ridiculous step. Most don’t).
- The user downloads the file. Aside: I tried one awful system that required the customer to *“cancel”** a confirm dialog in order to download the client app.* I have no words to adequately describe this stupidity.
- The customer eventually finds the installer/.exe they just downloaded, and runs it
- Answers at least one, if not three, scary security warnings
- Once the client loads, they need to enter a numerical code. For example, Teamviewer requires a 9 digit code and a 4 digit PIN.
Luckily there is some hope on the horizon: WebRTC. This will allow you to easily stream the contents of one browser to another — when it’s widely available. Already there’s the inkling of a decent support system in the likes of same.io and talky.
Whilst WebRTC seems inevitable, it won’t be widespread for a long time. Remember, most developers are still supporting IE 8 which is 5 years old — and it’s probably those customers which need the most hand-holding.