A customer calls describing a baffling problem on their computer. You try to explain what they should do to diagnose and fix the problem, but it’s excruciating.  If you could just SEE their computer, you know you could fix it in a minute.

The great thing is taking over a computer remotely is now fast and easy. Provided there is internet access on both sides, there’s no reason to make on-site visits or labor over the phone.

You can use a number of the Citrix products for remote support and trouble-shooting, but how do they differ and which one is best for you?  It depends on who you are and your needs:

The Heavy Lifter: You run a support organization. Your department provides software support for a large number of customers (maybe even internationally). You want to get into remote support session via the phone, but also let people ask questions on your web site and easily go from chat to full screen-sharing and remote control. You want to record the sessions for quality assurance, monitor and transfer sessions, survey customers, run reports and even integrate into your business systems. You should use GoToAssist Corporate, the best-in-breed solution for remote support.

The One-Man (or Woman) Shop: You are an IT or computer consultant or you work on an internal help desk. What you really need is just a super-easy way to quickly take over someone’s computer and fix it. Basic diagnostics, file transfer and chat would be nice, but key is it’s easy for you and the people you are supporting. You may even have multiple sessions going at one time, and want to switch between them, or access a customer’s computer later when they aren’t using it. You should use try GoToAssist Express. Cost after trial is $69/month or less for an annual plan.

The One-Timer: You just want to take over someone’s computer right now. Today. For as little money as possible. You don’t need a long-term solution. You should use GoToAssist Express. If you’ve already done a free trial, buy a day pass for $9.95.

The Trusted Advisor: You are in a position to recommend technology to your customers, many of whom are small businesses who care about their own productivity and need to be able to work remotely. Encourage them to sign up for GoToMyPC so they can work on their office computers from home or while traveling. They increase their work flexibility for only $19.95/month. Anyone who has GoToMyPC can right-click the icon in their system tray and select “Invite Guest to PC”. Have them invite you whenever they need help – no cost to you.

The Family Fix-it: Your mom or dad is hopeless on the computer and you’re sick of traveling to their house for every little computer issue they have. The next time you visit, install GoToMyPC on their computer for regular help.  If it’s infrequent or an immediate one-time need, consider that GoToAssist Express day pass.

The Social Butterfly: You provide support and training to groups of people. You would get value from a web conferencing solution to reduce travel and increase your productivity. Sometimes you need to take over someone’s computer remotely and fix it, but it’s not your primary need. You should try GoToMeeting, which lets you share your screen with up to 15 attendees and comes with integrated phone or VOIP audio conferencing. Cost after trial is $49/month or less for an annual plan. You can use it for support by starting a meeting, then making your customer the presenter to view their screen.