CES 2017

Every year in January, Las Vegas plays host to one of the largest trade events in the world — the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This global gathering of consumer technologies draws more than 175,000 people to look at the latest and greatest in tech offerings. Products range from new and improved home appliances to incredible advances in fashion tech and wearables. If the product is aimed at consumers, it is likely on display somewhere in the 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space at CES.

Who Attends CES?
Wandering through displays and exhibits are early adopters, consumers, buyers, developers, and investors. A well-crafted trade show display is an opportunity for businesses to generate buzz. A few years ago, virtual reality took center stage with multiple businesses unveiling their take on a VR headset. Before that, companies started showing off the benefits of a Smart Home and all of the technology that surrounds the concept. Everyone involved in the development, sale, and purchase of consumer technologies spends some time exploring the CES offerings.

Customer Experience (CX) is the New Conversation
With consumers and developers in one place, it should come as no surprise that after-market technical support is one of the big topics of conversation. After all, this is a venue dedicated to the latest in technology, and with new technology comes inevitable bugs. Companies that don’t already have an infrastructure in place to handle support may not be ready to launch. Historically, support initiatives have been placed on the back burner as companies pay more attention to product development and sales versus the customer experience. Today, more and more brands understand that support often interacts with more customers than any other department. This makes it a crucial part of any product launch plan, as customer retention and brand loyalty become the primary focus when introducing new and existing products to the marketplace.

Today and the Future of Tech Support
Remember the days of pouring through never-ending instruction manuals? How about spending hours on hold, only to spend another hour explaining and re-explaining the problem and being led through obvious troubleshooting steps? Or even worse, waiting forever for a service technician, and even returning products simply because setup and configuration is too complex? Those days are long gone. The evolution of consumer behavior and preferences has led to a situation where tech support has the opportunity to shine, particularly in the case of emerging technologies.

Customers are driving a paradigm shift that is redefining support for a connected world. In a recent survey performed by Support.com, 2,000 U.S. consumers weighed in about their experiences and expectations for tech support. Customers expect a high level of support and want it delivered in the way in which they most identify. For millennials, that often means automated, intelligent tech support, but older generations are often looking for a more traditional approach.

The Future of Tech Support survey report uncovered the following key findings and consumer insights:

57% think tech support is better now than it was five years ago

70% expect the quality and convenience of tech support to improve over the next five years

31% of millennials think chatbots provide better, more efficient tech support; only 13% of older consumers agree

33% are willing to pay a premium for tech support rather than troubleshooting issues on their own

42% are comfortable sharing user data from devices and products if it enables companies to provide better tech support; 49% of millennials agree

82% know when they are interacting with a chatbot instead of a human; millennials are 75% more comfortable than baby boomers are with interacting with chatbots

With most consumers reporting and expecting quality tech support, it shows that the entire segment is improving. With improvements already generating positive buzz for support, it is no surprise that most consumers expect it to get even better over the next five years. The real question is what consumers are looking for in advanced support experiences. Some include:

Concierge support: White glove or concierge service means support with a dedicated representative through any communication channel selected by the customer. With little to no wait time, it’s a direct line to a human tech support rep.

Automated or virtual assistants: For basic questions and standard support needs, chatbots or voice-activated virtual assistants may offer a faster solution to customers who are comfortable working with them.

Proactive support: With proactive support, customers receive a notification about a potential problem before it actually causes any issues.

Self-healing products: For the less tech-savvy, having products that automatically fix most issues, without any user action needed, can be invaluable.

Since customer support is the most direct avenue to the customer, brands that prioritize the customer experience are taking an impactful first step in terms of building brand loyalty. After all, the voice of any company is often its customer support department. By understanding changing customer needs and deploying intelligent technology support solutions, brands can deliver an exceptional support experience that helps build a network of brand ambassadors.

To read the entire set of survey data, download The Future of Tech Support.

Support.com at CES
At CES, Support.com will be meeting with prospects and customers to explore the future of support and how it impacts your brand and bottom line. As a SaaS support solution provider, our corporate mission is to keep technology running the way it is supposed to – putting your customers first so that they become loyal advocates of your product and brand. Simple to say, challenging to implement, this basic philosophy guides Support.com in developing end-to-end support solutions for companies in the IoT and consumer electronics space.

About Support.com
Support.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRT) is the leading provider of cloud-based software and services to deliver next-generation technical support. Support.com helps leading brands in software, electronics, communications, retail, Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected technology industries deepen their customer relationships. Customers want technology that works the way it’s intended. By using Support.com software and services, companies can deliver a fantastic customer experience, leading to happier customers, greater brand loyalty and growing revenues.

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