Sep 26, 2006 (04:09 PM EDT)
Corporate Users Want To Solve Tech Problems Using Online Chat: Survey

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

Seventy percent of corporate users who have used online-chat to resolve their consumer problems say they'd also like to use online-chat to fix technology snafus in the office, according to a new survey.

Online chat between help-desk workers and users could be more convenient and faster way to solve technical problems at work than using the phone or email for many employees, according to a survey of 301 individuals by Decipher, Inc., an independent online market research firm. The survey was commissioned by SupportSoft Inc., a maker of technical support automation software and services.

Each of the survey respondents use a PC daily on the job, are employed by companies with more than 1,000 workers, and have used web-chat for customer-service or technical assistance outside of their workplace.

Of those surveyed, 69% said they'd want to use web-chat to solve technical problems at work. Seventy-one percent think web-chat is the most convenient way to resolve their technology problems; 52% thought it would be the fastest; and 42% thought it would be the easiest method.

When it comes to help-desk staff helping users with some software and hardware problems, "the phone will never go away," admits Bruce Mowery, VP of marketing at SupportSoft, which provides self-service and other "multi-channel" technical support products, including web-chat software, to enterprise customers.

However, many users are finding that web-chat can help them avoid playing phone tag with technical support staff and elicits faster resolutions to problems than email, says Mowery. Also, for situations where support is provided to U.S.-based users by technical staff located offshore, "web chat removes the heavy accent," he says.

For help-desk staff, SupportSoft's products allows each technician to run four chat sessions simultaneously.

But while web-chat is a preferred way for some employees to address their simple "level one" category problems, like having difficulty accessing a software application on a PC, there are just some situations that warrant elevated attention, Mowery says.

"Level two or three problems, such as having a blue screen, having to give a presentation in 10 minutes and having the CEO breathing down your neck" often means needing someone on-the-scene and on-site to help, he admits.