Report, Data, News
International research firm Parks Associates announced new tech support research today showing the do-it-yourself (DIY) model is the dominant, but not preferred, method for consumers setting up new connected or mobile devices.
The firm's Creating Holistic Consumer Technology Support Services reports, among U.S. broadband households purchasing new devices, 81% set up a new tablet on their own, 72% set up a smartphone on their own, and 60% set up a new home network on their own. However, only 51% of these consumers overall would prefer the DIY method on the next setup. Smartphones were the devices most commonly set up by broadband households over the past 12 months.
"Improvements in automated device discovery and intuitive interfaces have boosted DIY setup on new devices, but a significant percentage of people prefer assistance," said Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Meeting this demand through premium technical support services provides outstanding growth opportunities for retailers, CE manufacturers, and service providers and creates opportunities to build long-term relationships with consumers."
Parks Associates estimates U.S. tech support revenues will exceed $8 billion in 2017.
The interconnectedness and interdependence among devices in the digital home blur the lines for ownership of a problem, so approximately 25% of consumers with a networking-related problem contacted their broadband service provider for assistance, regardless of where they purchased the home networking equipment. In response, providers such Comcast and CenturyLink have expanded their support services to include services, traditionally out-of scope, available on a premium or paid basis.
"Consumers want a solution that covers their support needs for all of their gadgets-computers, tablets, and smartphones; 72% of consumers interested in technical support feel the service should be able to fix every technical problem they experience," Samuels said. "Support services will have to expand in order to effectively meet consumers' support needs."
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. http://www.parksassociates.com