Feature – A good workman never blames his smartphone

Thomas Wellburn
July 22, 2015

A recent study suggests that one of the leading causes of users leaving mobile networks is due to smartphone performance decline. However, is it really the providers fault?

Modern smartphones are essentially tiny computers that can be used for a variety of uses, though most people still expect them to work perfectly all the time. While it’s acceptable for a Laptop or PC to malfunction occasionally, nothing aggravates people more than seeing their mobile phone grind to a halt.

Little errors, big mess

Commonly seen on Android devices, these ‘softer’ errors are typically something simple such as a poorly coded application or malware glitch. Most are in fact user created and not a direct result of the device itself. Downloading poorly coded applications or rooting your phone leaves the handset susceptible to all kinds of issues. Only those with good technical knowledge will truly understand the implications.

Unsurprisingly, when the phone doesn’t work as expected, a large majority of users head straight the mobile service provider for help and advice. Ofcom figures show a fairly consistent complaint rate over the last three years, with roughly 1 per 10,000 people. This is a strong result considering that mobile customer service usage continues to grow as the technology becomes more complex. Still, there’s a glaring elephant in the room.

Bye, bye network

Most people don’t call up to complain; they actually call up for help and advice. This is where the system starts to fail. A recent study by Ovum states that one quarter of mobile users cited customer service as their main reason for switching networks. Not only that, but a staggering 28 percent even admitted to giving up and ‘living with’ the sluggish performance and annoying crashes.

This paints a bleak picture for mobile service providers who hold the blame for something which is more down to the user. Resetting the phone will only prolong the inevitable, especially if users are not educated in the basic preventative measures for smartphone slowdown.

Help me!

So, what’s the solution? Cellebrite, a company that provides tools for consumers to self-diagnose phone problems, believes that a solid self-help application is the most requested feature from consumers. A whopping 79 per cent of customer respondents said they would use such an app, compared with 68 percent who were happy to go in-store. There was some crossover between the results. Still, it’s easy to see that a clear, concise self-help tool would go a long way to take the heat off of service providers.

Most current self-help tools are incredibly techy and difficult to understand. With the current processing power of modern smartphones being very high, it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to think that a self executing diagnostics tool could be given by the mobile provider. Much like on Laptops or Desktops, it would be able to scan the system for errors and offer suggested advice.

Check yourself

Possibly the biggest lesson to take away from all this is that users should stop immediately blaming the device and instead consider their own usage first. Deleting apps which are not commonly used is often a simple step to speeding up your device, as is staying away from dodgy stuff on-line. These things don’t need a self help guide, they’re just common sense.

Via Cellebrite


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