By Roger High, VP of New Markets at Fortegra

New devices are hitting the market every day—from the latest smartphones to Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and connected home appliances. As these increasingly complex devices continue to gain popularity, tech support to ensure their functionality is becoming a greater necessity.

Without it, many new users opt for throwing up their hands as 90 percent of consumers give up and return a product within the first week if it’s too difficult to set up or use. Readily available tech support can provide consumers and even small business operators with the direction and relief of timely and informative troubleshooting and repair options—a service opportunity cable and broadband companies should embrace.

Making consumers’ and business owners’ lives easier

The global smart home market is expected to reach a value of more than $53 billion by 2022 as more consumers incorporate IoT-connected devices like thermostats, appliances, and automated door locks into their homes. With so many integrating this new smart technology, it’s raised questions about maintenance and management for these modern systems and devices. Imagine purchasing a new smart fridge and, after delivery and installation, it doesn’t work properly. Is it the fridge? Is it the Wi-Fi connection? Who will provide the answers?

In responding to these questions, cable and broadband utility providers have an opportunity to position themselves as an indispensable resource. Tech support can quickly address these kinds of issues, potentially saving consumers from a lengthy return process that could result in the exact same issue with their replacement.

Similarly, tech support can benefit small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with quick answers, plus help reduce costs. Connected devices are a major part of almost any modern office, and many larger companies lean on in-house IT personnel for assistance with technical issues. However, with the average base salary for an IT manager running around $119,538 per year, this option might be out of reach for many SMBs, leaving untrained employees to troubleshoot IT issues on their own. By utilizing tech support from a cable utility provider, SMBs can avoid the issue altogether and solve problems quickly, accurately, and at a lower cost.

Future opportunities for tech support

Currently, there are seven billion IoT and connected devices across the globe. Since this number will only continue to climb, the need for tech support will increase with it. For SMBs and consumers, tech support is a much-needed asset that can save both time and money. Luckily, this is a void that cable and broadband utility providers can fill.

With the opportunity identified, it’s time for cable and utility providers to step up and educate their customers on the benefits of tech support now and for years to come.

Roger High is Vice President of New Markets at Fortegra where he leads strategic partnership development for the company’s warranty division, with an industry focus on cable and utility, OEMs, and emerging markets. A graduate of Miami University (OH), Roger previously served as National Sales Director at Fortegra subsidiary ProtectCELL, where he was responsible for building a sales organization that doubled revenue growth four years consecutively.

Tech support stock photo by Dragon Images/Shutterstock