Like many small telecom companies, Silver Star responded to the COVID response in ways designed to help their community. For instance, the telecom gave away more than 4,000 free masks to 41 businesses and organizations in ten different communities across Idaho and Wyoming.
But Silver Star also recognized the fundamental changes to the way customers were willing and able to do business due to COVID-19. Identifying the need for more advanced remote support, Silver Star began using augmented reality in the form of a new service: “Virtual Tech Visits.”
The new effort allowed Silver Star technicians to see a customer’s home connection devices through their phone cameras – with permission, of course! This new way of interacting allowed Silver Star to assist with installation and troubleshooting without having to be physically in the home. The approach also made available immediate response to customer questions—staying connected but also social distancing.
Silver Star compared the effort to using FaceTime. Customers received a link to remote access software, allowing the phone to serve as the technician’s eyes, and to see what customers see. During the call, in addition to staying in voice contact, technicians were also able to draw lines, arrows, or circles on the images to guide customers in how to do things like reboot a router, change ports or plugins, and check for indicator lights.