SMBs Likely to Buy Tech Support Services from Their Broadband Provider

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 support offerings:

  • 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 that relationship."

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.

Written by Kevin Kutcher at 10:00

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