Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Problems with computing and entertainment devices have declined over 50% since 2014

New consumer research examines tech support strategies for connected device landscape

A new industry research report from Parks Associates shows that problems with computing and entertainment devices are declining steadily year-over-year, dropping by more than 50% since 2014. Tech Support Landscape: U.S. Trends and Outlook notes that instead, smart home devices are creating more problems in households. Thirty-four percent of smart home device owners experienced problems with their devices in 2017, up from 28% in 2016. Purchase intentions for most smart home devices in the next 12 months are 20-25% among U.S. broadband households, so tech support companies and service providers are starting to invest more support resources focusing on solutions for the broad array of these products, such as in-home consultation services.

“Problems with computing and entertainment devices have declined due to mature technologies that improve device reliability and performance, including self-healing technologies, product updates, and intuitive user interfaces,” said Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “For smart home products, this market is moving toward the early majority, who are typically less tech savvy than the early adopters, resulting in a higher demand for support.”

Problems Experienced with CE vs Smart Home Devices | Parks Associates

According to Tech Support Landscape: U.S. Trends and Outlook, 44% of technical problems with computing and entertainment devices are ultimately resolved by a professional technician, while 35% of smart home problems are resolved by professional support. The latter finding represents a decline in the number of smart home product owners who resolve their tech problems on their own, which is driving the emergence of support services from companies such as Amazon and HelloTech that charge a one-time fee per incident.

“Several forces help shape whether consumers pay for technical support services,” Samuels said. “On one hand, high competition is driving brands to use support as a competitive differentiator and many are willing to provide a defined level of support, at no cost, to attain customer loyalty. At the same time, as consumers become more familiar with their devices, they seek support for more complex tasks.”

Tech Support Landscape: U.S. Trends and Outlook examines the ways in which support strategies are evolving to proactively and efficiently address the issues created by consumer adoption of new and emerging connected devices. It focuses on measures that ensure consumers experience the promise of their devices and avert the challenges that come with increasing technical complexity. The report also includes a five-year forecast of the support needs generated by emerging connected devices in the U.S.

Additional research from the report shows:

  • The average number of connected computing and entertainment devices in broadband households increased from 4.1 in 2010 to 8.3 in 2017.
  • Thirty-nine percent of consumers who intend to purchase a smart home device found a service that helps them set up and configure new devices highly appealing in 2017, compared to 28% in 2016.

For more information about Parks Associates’ research, contact sales@parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific data, contact Julia Homier at julia.homier@parksassociates.com, 972-996-0214.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes the Internet of Things (IoT), digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, and Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers.

http://www.parksassociates.com

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