Ting is an awesome service. The only thing I believe it lacks is a way for customers to seamlessly switch over without having to be at least a little tech savvy/aware. Although Ting.com help pages are great, and chat support is usually pretty knowledgeable, I'm sure providing remote phone support (making sure APNs are set correctly, offering general support for less "computer-friendly" customers, and just generally reducing customer error rate) would be a game-changer in making newcomers feel like Ting is a full on mobile service provider. This would cater to the "I prefer to walk in a store and let them worry about my device" kind of people.
When trying to offer mobile support, which I'll limit to Android since I'm more familiar with it, there are some possible obstacles:
- Some support services only support rooted devices for full control
- Privacy issues
- Third party apps are always good to avoid for proprietary reasons
My research has led me to the following services, though nothing beats an awesome Ting-programmer-designed remote support app that plugs right in to the current Ting Android app.
GoToAssist - offers a few solutions. Read the following page for best explanation of each and their limitations. See mobile-to-mobile support as well.
USB Redirector: Technician Edition - supports a different kind remote support all done via USB. I've personally had someone work on an old phone with this and am pretty sure it allows privacy-friendly access to phone, but not necessarily the UI. I'd suggest testing this one out on lab devices to see what I mean. Contact me directly for an example of a service that uses this.
TeamViewer - self explanatory on page
Mobizen - similar software, different privacy aspects
ISL - http://www.islonline.com/ - more of the same
There are awesome pros, and less desirable cons to using the companies above. However, it would make for a sweet "let us set up your device for you!" feature, as well as maybe a monthly service that provides customers with basic troubleshooting so they don't blame small issues on Ting service.
For all of the above reasons, I wanted to open the discussion up rather than make some hard and fast suggestion. My opinion, however, would be that taking inspiration from the above to develop some nice little plugin to the Ting mobile app that allows remote support (wifi, usb, maybe use some kind of VNC) would make for a cool, sustainable offering.
Source of motivation: good chat support from Ting rep "Ty" , as well as the idea of offering my own private remote tech support someday.