Top 5 causes of setup and connectivity issues with WiFi-connected devices

Written by Giselle Rochford

 

Setup and connectivity issues are notoriously difficult for agents to troubleshoot and these calls often eat up the majority of an agent’s day. A lengthy back and forth, gathering technical information means more time is being spent identifying the root cause of a challenge than solving for it.

 

Sound familiar?

 

This traditional process puts both the agent and customer experience on the line and ultimately increases your chances of turnover on either side.

 

How can you speed up these calls without sacrificing call quality or call accuracy?

While an automated home network troubleshooting platform like RouteThis completely solves for this challenge, we know that not everyone has access to a solution like ours (yet).

 

We recently analyzed the health and configuration of over 100,000 home networks around the globe and identified some trends and commonalities that will make traditional troubleshooting a little easier. Here’s what we found:

 

56% of home networks have invalid or special characters in the SSID

WiFi network names, or SSIDs, allow customers to show off creativity and easily identify their network when they go to connect their devices. However, people can sometimes get too creative, not realizing that some special characters (e.g emojis) can’t be identified by many smart home devices.

 

If your device falls into this category, the entire network becomes undiscoverable when special characters are involved and your customers won’t be able to connect your smart device to their home networks.

 

53% are connected to congested channels

The home network is essentially a highway which data streams through. When only a few people are using it, traffic flows through smoothly. But what happens when your customer is trying to use your device on a WiFi channel that a dozen or more people are also fighting for space on? Intermittent disconnections and buffering video or audio.

 

Congested networks are most common in densely populated neighbourhoods, apartments, or condo buildings . If the customer lives in a rural area, you may want to keep looking for another cause.

 

42% have problematic router settings that block communication

Certain router settings (e.g. mDNS, UPnP, multicast, client isolation, or blocked ports) can block communication between connected devices and affect device discovery, making setup difficult or impossible.

 

Typically, these settings are in place due to aggressive firewalls or strict parental controls and the device will never be able to connect. However, if the device is suddenly undiscoverable after previously being connected, the problem could be a VPN.

 

40% have connected devices that are too far from the router

Wireless routers typically only cover between 150 and 300 feet which is roughly the size of a single family dwelling and physical obstructions (like walls) can shorten this coverage area even more.

 

If a device is too far away from the router, setup can be difficult and over time the customer will experience connection issues like intermittent disconnections and buffering video or audio. A device that is too close to the router will encounter similar issues due to interference.

 

36% have a 5.8GHz or merged network present

While 5.8GHz networks are great for speed, most smart home products are not compatible with them. Similarly, merged networks (5.8GHz and 2.4GHz with the same name) often cause problems for internet connected devices.

 

If a customer is trying to set up one of these 2.4-only devices on a 5.8GHz network, it simply won’t connect. However, issues with incompatible frequencies often manifest as intermittent disconnects as some routers try to optimize traffic by switching connected devices to the more ‘efficient’ 5.8GHz network.

 

Simplify troubleshooting with RouteThis

While knowing these top reasons for connectivity issues can help your support team get to the root cause quicker, your agents are still spending precious time on support calls trying to gather technical info from customers.

 

RouteThis expedites the troubleshooting process by automatically identifying problems on the home network and empowering agents and customers with the education and tools to quickly resolve them. Our platform can integrate into your own app to educate and guide customers through resolving connectivity issues, or be used by agents to assist your customers who reach out to support.

Ready to reduce support calls, eliminate technical Q&A, and improve support efficiency? Let’s chat.

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