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'Wired' Consumers Want 1-Stop Tech Support


If you're a multitasking technology wizard who can supply tech support for multiple digital gadgets, a new study predicts there's an army of heavy-duty computer users who would be eager to avail themselves of your services.

The Accenture consulting firm conducted a study of consumers in 21 countries who own both computers and mobile phones or smartphones to find out if they would welcome integrated technology support across multiple digital devices.

The answer was overwhelmingly "Yes."

A clear majority (63 percent of "super-users" surveyed said they would like to have one company provide technical support for most or all of their home and mobile consumer electronics, regardless of the communications services they use, which range from landlines to wireless, broadband, cable and satellite services. A "super-user" is someone who owns or uses 14 or more consumer electronics devices.

The kinds of technology issues that concerned them included computer problems that could put data at risk or cost a lot of money to fix, virus and malware attacks, sluggish operation and staying up to date on the latest software or security patches.

"Although consumers we surveyed are concerned with computer-related issues, our research shows that they are recognizing the value of integrated support to help manage their home and mobile devices, ranging from in-home support, including remote access, to live call-center and web support, to email," said Kurt Hogan, an executive in Accenture's premium technology services. "We expect this concern to broaden, especially as people integrate their business hardware into the home network environment and use smartphones much the way they use computers, to browse the web, pay bills, play games and more.”

The study also found you don't have to be a "super-user" to be interested in integrated technology support.   More than half (53 percent) of all consumers surveyed said they would welcome the opportunity to have one company provide technical support for most or all of their home and mobile consumer electronics devices.

Though these consumers may not be as jacked-in as super-users, they're still plenty wired. Of this group, more than half have satellite radio, cable TV, mobile/wireless services , cable broadband, telephone landline service, satellite TV, wireless internet and DSL broadband, Accenture said.

"Now is the time to address this market," Hogan said. "The digital home is going to become more complex, not less, as devices and applications proliferate, with consumers presented with a wide variety of service provider options. We believe there are opportunities for these providers to maximize the customer experience and solidify customer loyalty – if they can equip themselves to provide integrated technical support."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.