Specsavers sees benefits from its remote access, AR vision

Mark Samuels Profile picture for user Mark Samuels March 20, 2024
How Specsavers uses remote access and augmented reality technology to see IT issues.


Specsavers has tapped into remote access and augmented reality technology to reduce the average handling time for in-store IT issues by about 15%.

The optometry and audiology specialist uses TeamViewer Tensor and Assist AR to remotely access and troubleshoot machines, including PCs and medical equipment, which guarantees there is minimal disruption to in-store operations. 

Specsavers started using TeamViewer’s remote access capability around the time of the pandemic. As the business came out of lockdown, the company wanted to enrich the quality of service it offers to in-store colleagues.  Neal Silverstein, Head of Technology Customer Services at Specsavers, explains: 

Our purpose is to improve people's lives through sight and hearing. We didn't want people in stores dealing with IT challenges. The triage time for us when using TeamViewer is vastly reduced and our support staff don't have to ask unnecessary questions that frustrate our colleagues in-store.

He adds:

The IT estate is very different on a store-by-store basis. There are similarities and some of the operating systems are consistent. However, the power of the partnership [with TeamViewer] allows the stores to tweak things as they see fit to suit their customers.

The Specsavers IT team can now see what’s happening in-store when support staff go to an online triage space. Instead of tech support analysts asking technical questions over a phone that might be difficult to understand, IT staff can go online and build a relationship with in-store staff to deal with issues virtually, explains Silverstein:

The fact that we're talking face-to-face is far better than doing it over the phone. Rather than a mothership approach where we’re a faceless part of the business, the relationship has become personable and we can work with colleagues to resolve their challenges and allow them to get back to dealing with their customers.

Boosting in-store experiences

A remote access session is enabled by an icon on the in-store device. Instead of non-IT staff having to deal with challenges themselves, they can start a session with a Specsavers support specialist and show them what’s happening via the camera on their device, such as a phone, tablet or laptop. 

Gurdeep Dosanjh, Owner of Specsavers Dudley and Blackheath, says TeamViewer technology has had a big impact:

There's always one or two colleagues in-store who are IT-savvy. But if things happen on a day when that person isn't in or they're busy, everything comes to a halt. If you’re waiting 24 or 48 hours for an engineer, the impact can be huge. This removes the nervousness that some colleagues have with IT, so everyone can help.

The AR capability of the TeamViewer system provides graphical overlays on top of the remote session, which helps ensure something as simple but as crucial as the right cable is unplugged or plugged in. Dosanjh says problems are resolved quickly and this capability reduces impact on customers:

We've now got support at the touch of a button and we’re not waiting for a colleague to come out. We get the link and in minutes we’ve got technical support as opposed to having to put contingency in place until the situation gets resolved. For us, it's a game-changer. It's like IT is sat in my office and on hand whenever I need support.

Keeping equipment running smoothly is crucial for serving customers, especially those relying on critical devices, such as the Teleoptom machine, which supports early detection of eye issues. Dosanjh says it’s now rare that a piece of equipment in the store is out of action for a prolonged period, which means customer sessions don’t have to be re-scheduled and leading-edge technology can be deployed to boost in-store experiences:

Optics and audiology are moving at a rapid pace and we want to be at the forefront of technology. We've now got backup support that ensures our technology is working. There’s someone available to walk you through the whole process as if they were physically on-site. You get a stronger relationship because you’re speaking to somebody and they're guiding you.

Delivering digital transformation

TeamViewer Tensor and Assist AR have helped Specsavers reduce the average handling time for each IT issue by about 15%. The technology has also helped drive up the first-contact resolution rate from 64% to 79%, which has improved operational effectiveness, according to Silverstein:

If you think about a store with about 30 or 40 colleagues, if one of those workers has got an IT problem, they ring us and if we can't fix it, we might have to ring them back. When we ring back, they might be dealing with a customer. We’re boosting the first-contact resolution rate and creating benefits for the customer.

When it comes to Specsavers’ long-term digital transformation plans, Silverstein says the business must provide the right balance between implementing innovative technology and providing a high level of direct person-to-person contact:

Digitalization is something we're nudging along rather than taking an enormous leap. We want to make sure we've got the right level of digitalized customer experiences. We don't want to turn great service into a faceless and untrusted screen. The value that Specsavers brings is around quality of service, which is driven by having the right people doing the right job with the right level of technical support.

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