Forty-five percent of U.S. small and medium sized business (SMB)
survey respondents from a recent Parks Associates survey said they
were "highly likely" to use a broadband service provider for computer and IT tech
support services. The research also revealed that phone and
email tech support options are preferred to face-to-face service
for 55-65% of U.S. SMBs.
"Fifty-five percent of SMBs have experienced computer problems
over the past 12 months, mainly viruses, spyware, or slow
performance," Brett Sappington, Parks' director, research,
elaborated. "SMBs expect CE makers to support their products, often
at no additional cost. Because retailers sell the devices and have
a physical storefront, they are also seen as a leading source for
support. However, SMBs prefer e-mail and voice support, in part
because it can be delivered quickly. Broadband providers are
particularly well suited to this type of support given their
existing call center and support mechanisms."
According to the latest findings from Parks' SMB research
report, "Small/Medium Business: Tech Support Opportunities," over
one-third of U.S. SMBs are "highly interested" in several tech
- Protect against viruses and malware: 38%
- Replace or repair non-functioning devices: 34%
- Replace a lost or stolen device: 33%
In contrast, cloning - where a service provider backs up all of
the software and data stored on a company's device - drew limited
interest from small SMBs. Interest in cloning increased along with
SMB size, however, increasing to 41% of SMBs with 5-10 employees,
although at no more than $9.99 per month.
"Being without a device is a hardship, but the data on that
device are even more important," Sappington commented. "SMBs with
more than five employees are the most interested in a service that
can quickly restore lost data, and they are willing to pay for it.
"Nearly 60% of U.S. SMBs are interested in new support services.
That's an excellent opportunity for broadband service providers,
which already are providing a service to them, to further bolster
This data supports a long held view of CHR Solutions that the
SMB market is a prime opportunity for our broadband service
provider clients to grow new business. We're building and offering
a complete suite of white label services that
empowers our clients to do just that.