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The study, titled “It’s Complicated: Mobile Frustrations & Churn”, surveyed 1,400 global mobile users aged 25-65.

The findings show that faulty battery life, in 38 per cent of the cases, is the biggest mobile woe, followed by crashing apps at 13 per cent. Meanwhile, low camera quality and limited storage space take a backseat,  bothering only 2 and 8 per cent of respondents, respectively.

When it comes to these problems, there’s no use playing the waiting game. Forty nine per cent of respondents seek help within the first three days after an issue arises, while 9 per cent take impatience to a whole new level and seek help within the first three hours.

By the time customers do make it back to the store, the help they receive is often too little, too late.

“When consumers head in-store for help, they’re usually under the assumption that customer service agents, sales representatives and repair specialists are geniuses in troubleshooting and fixing their mobile devices,” says Amit Mahajan, CTO of SmartChk by Xcaliber Technologies, a division of Blancco Technology Group. “In reality, a vast majority of support staff are young, immature and lack adequate training – and there isn’t any mobile diagnostics solution or technology onsite to close that skills gap.”

For companies that fail to adequately meet their customers’ needs, there is little opportunity for redemption. Thirty-one percent of respondents will switch to different mobile carriers and another 33 percent will change their device manufacturers. This turnover is contributing to a growing problem that Mahajan calls “return and churn”.

“Since nearly 60-80 percent of devices being returned are not actually faulty, consumers are swapping their perceived ‘faulty’ devices for new ones or having to spend money on replacement phones, when they could, in fact, easily be repaired,” he explains. “Given that the costs associated with these ‘no fault found’ returns can range from $50-$100 per device, it’s also putting a significant, yet avoidable, burden on network operators’ retail operations.”

In order to properly satisfy and retain customers, the survey indicates a desire for tangible proof of device errors. When it comes to smartphones and tablets, no user wants to be left in the dark. 

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