12% of U.S. smart device owners have unsolved tech problems: survey

12% of U.S. smart device owners have unsolved tech problems: survey
Many consumers opt for the DIY choice when getting their smart home products, but not everyone can resolve technical issues later on their own.
 
12% of smart home devices owners in the U.S. just left technical problems unresolved in 2018, according to a report by Parks Associates. Three years ago, the number was 5%.

Furthermore, the survey showed that more than half of the respondents went to a friend for help or tried to resolve the problem by themselves; around one-third of them solicit help from a professional technician to solve the problem.
 
“Strong value is achieved from the smart home when devices communicate with each other, but diversity in device technology and communication protocols adds complexity to the smart home and creates challenges in achieving seamless communication,” said Patrice Samuels, senior analyst at Parks Associates, in a statement.
 
To install a smart home device isn’t difficult, if homeowners just follow the instructions. Up to 79% of smart home device owners set up at least one device by themselves or with the help of friends and family, according to the report. And 16% of respondents who set up computing and entertainment devices themselves reported the process as difficult.

After the installation, most of these connected devices require reliable Wi-Fi to operate. Sometimes when connected devices fail to function, it is the problem with home Wi-Fi.

“Problems with connectivity are now the most persistent problems across all device types, so a support solution that can warn of potential or impending connectivity problems anywhere in a network and take steps to prevent outages will be valuable in the smart home ecosystem,” wrote Parks Associates.

Customer support after purchase has become important. Manufacturers still need to provide technical support after selling DIY devices to customers. If the support process is performed well, it will help companies build their brand image as well.
 
According to the report, 72% of respondents who paid one-time fee for technical support of smart home or computing/entertainment devices spent US$50 or more. This number could be a good reference for manufacturers who are balancing providing good customer support with saving cost.
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