Parks Associates and Support.com released new research last month to address the impact of home networking and connected CE adoption on consumer demand for technology support services.
Expanding to the Home Network: The Evolution of Premium Support examines the growing ecosystem of connected devices and analyzes the current market for premium tech support services. It also discusses opportunities for service providers, retailers, CE manufacturers, and ISVs (independent software vendors).
The international research firm finds in this study that 78 percent of U.S. broadband households have a home network, which is expected to increase to 95 percent by 2016, with an average of 4.5 connected devices.
Connectivity in the home expands the capabilities of all devices but also creates challenges in setup and troubleshooting, according to the study, which is driving consumer need and desire for comprehensive tech support.
“The adoption of connected devices and usage of high-bandwidth applications add new layers of complexity for the consumer,” says Patrice Samuels, research analyst for Parks Associates. “Nearly 75 percent of consumers set up new devices on their own, but one-half indicate they would prefer assistance with future acquisitions.
Samuels also says that adding new, connected devices changes the dynamic of the home network and increases consumers’ need for professional assistance and greater demand on the home network.
Parks Associates finds nearly half of broadband households watch movies and TV shows online, and 25 percent watch video on a mobile phone or tablet. High-bandwidth applications such as video calls, interactive games, and streaming videos can create network performance problems, which also will drive consumers to seek more comprehensive support options.
“Consumers are increasingly dependent on connected devices, and customer experience is increasingly driven by the ability of devices to seamlessly connect to each other and the Internet,” adds James Morehead, vice president of product management and corporate marketing at Support.com. “The complexity of home networking has created opportunities for companies to deepen customer engagement and create new revenue streams through premium technology support services.”
The whitepaper examines this market for premium technology support as well as the market conditions driving future adoption of subscription-based support services. It also offers strategies on how to bundle premium support services with product and service sales to achieve brand differentiation, revenue growth, and a differentiated customer experience.