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Over one-third of smart home device owners experienced technical difficulties in 2022

New whitepaper developed in partnership with RouteThis addresses impact of self-service tools on the user experience and provider support costs

Parks Associates’ latest consumer research reports over one-third of smart home device owners experienced technical difficulties in 2022. The firm’s new whitepaper, Self-Service Support: Improving Home Automation, developed in partnership with RouteThis, addresses support needs across the connected home at the network and device level and strategies to address technical issues.

“Growing technical difficulties with smart home devices are felt the most by those using smart home devices at a high rate,” said Jennifer Kent, VP, Research, Parks Associates. “Parks Associates’ data demonstrate that households with heads of household ages 35-44 are the most likely to experience technical issues with their devices. This age group also strongly correlates to above-average rates of smart home device ownership.”

The whitepaper also reports 21% of those experiencing a technical issue with a smart home device used a self-help application with the device to resolve the problem; this is nearly double the rate of self-help app usage in 2018. Smart home and connected device owners use several options to address technical issues with their devices. In fact, 91% of smart home device owners who experience technical problems with their devices will try at least one self-help approach.

“The reality is, smart home brands today need to become experts in Wi-Fi diagnostics,” said Jason Moore, CEO, RouteThis. “Given that Wi-Fi troubleshooting can be a complex and time-consuming process, you can end up with this broken cycle where neither the consumer nor the smart home brand finds the resolution they’re looking for. That can lead to repeat calls from frustrated customers negative reviews and product returns.”

Users need tools to discern what specific issues are impacting their networks and devices, with special attention to testing for and diagnosing Wi-Fi issues, followed by clear guidance about how to fix the specific problem. To that end, self-help apps and solutions with advanced diagnostic features have experienced strong growth in the last four years.

“Consumers clearly desire a self-help approach first but need more effective tools to solve the problems on their own,” Kent said.

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video.

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