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6 questions top smart home support teams ask when troubleshooting WiFi device issues

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When it comes to smart home devices, one of the top problems is WiFi connectivity issues, like slow internet speeds and buffering videos, which are notoriously difficult to troubleshoot and diagnose. This is because various factors can affect WiFi connectivity. Unless smart home support agents have valuable insights into the home network, it’s tough to get to the root cause of the problem.

With a diagnostics and troubleshooting solution like RouteThis, agents have access to the necessary information right at the beginning of the support call, so this isn’t an issue. But where do you start if your support team lacks visibility into the home network?

To help connected home companies get a better idea of how to start the WiFi connectivity troubleshooting process, we’ve compiled a list of six core questions to ask so you can improve customer experience.

1. How many devices do you currently have connected to your network?

The number of devices in a customer’s home can directly impact WiFi performance. Say a customer has over a dozen smart devices connected to their network. Depending on your customer’s WiFi plan, a new device may need help connecting if all of these devices are currently connected and using up WiFi bandwidth. Asking this question will help you better understand their home network environment and make it easier to assess whether their network is overcrowded or if there is a more significant issue at play.

2. Are you experiencing connectivity issues on any other devices?

This is an excellent follow-up to the above question. For example, if the customer tells you they have 15 devices connected and their doorbell camera is always outputting poor-quality video or their smart TV is constantly buffering Netflix, it’s easy to know that network issues are at play. This also helps show that the problems they are experiencing are not limited to your device alone.

3. Are you trying to connect via a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency?

Though many smart home device customers consider themselves tech-savvy, few know that there are different WiFi frequencies or even what those frequencies do. The two main WiFi frequencies are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. A 2.4 GHz connection travels farther at lower speeds, while 5 GHz frequencies provide faster speeds at shorter ranges. Both have benefits, but most smart devices connect using 2.4 GHz to give a broader range. 

If your customer is connecting through a 5 GHz frequency, an easy troubleshooting step is to have them switch to 2.4 GHz and see if that resolves their WiFi connectivity issues.

4. Where is your router placed in the home? What about WiFi pods or extenders?

WiFi dead spots in a customer’s home can cause many problems for smart home device connectivity. For example, if the customer has their router in the basement of a 2-story house, the second floor will have spotty connectivity due to the distance from the router. And even if they’re using WiFi pods or extenders, they may not be in the right place to carry the signal through the whole house. 

Knowing where customers have the strongest signal and are trying to use their devices is important so you can advise them appropriately. This may mean suggesting they move their router, pods, or extenders—or even add more—to help provide a better WiFi signal to their device.

5. How close are you to your router when setting up the device?

Another standard connectivity issue is the initial connection. Though customers can use most smart home devices at a more extended range, when setting them up, they may need to be right next to the router to get the strongest signal. The signal may not be strong enough to complete the connection if their router is across the house. You should always advise customers to set up their devices as close to their router as possible. 

6. Do you have the latest device software installed?

Last but not least, some devices do not work as well if their software is out of date. Depending on when the device was manufactured and released, it may need a few software updates to achieve peak performance. It’s always a good idea to advise your customers to check their device’s current software version and provide instructions on how to update it if they are not on the latest version.

The bottom line

Our goal at RouteThis is to make technical support interactions for customers and agents as quick, easy, and efficient as possible. That’s why we provide the answers to these questions at the start of the conversation, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication with the customer.

Asking the right questions will make it much easier to determine the source of problems with a customer’s home network or WiFi connection. If you want to impact your business’s connected customer experience, these questions are a great place to start, and RouteThis can help you from there.

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