Opinion Articles

Monday, June 2, 2014

How mobile phone retailers must embrace technology to diagnose phone faults

Amir Lehr of Cellebrite writes:

Mobile phone faults pose a daily problem for mobile phone retailers. According to mobile diagnostics expert Cellebrite, 60 per cent of cases are software-related issues with the smartphone, and can be resolved within minutes.

Although these issues can be easily resolved, retailers still require knowledge of the technology that is used to correct the problem. With the increasing number of devices on the market, and the constantly updated software, retailers could find themselves in deep water if they are unable to use and understand the diagnostic and repair technology.

While the technology is extremely effective in correcting common phone faults, there has to be an element of human rationale to successfully diagnose, repair and protect the device and user from future problems.

It is essential that retailers realise how they can use technology in conjunction with their own professional knowledge to resolve the issue in-store. Here are six top tips for providing the best experience for the customer:

Understand expectation levels

The most common mobile faults can be divided into three main categories: battery-related problems, connectivity issues and application or software problems. However, in over 50 per cent of cases, these issues can be resolved within minutes or, perhaps more surprisingly, are not even faults at all.

In many cases, the problem is actually down to an experience expectation issue, rather than a fault with the device itself.

Understand the phone’s settings

Taking a quick moment to understand both the phone’s setup and settings hidden within installed applications could be the difference between resolving an issue in seconds or wasting time and effort sending the phone away to be checked. How many users would admit to not reading the manual when they have bought a new smartphone? Before jumping to conclusions about what’s wrong with a phone, run through the phone’s settings and check that nothing is turned on that shouldn’t be. There could be a simple explanation to the problem.

Acknowledge the latest mobile threats

Devices affected by malware have sky-rocketed by 1,000 per cent in the last year, and with app downloads set to exceed 200 billion annually by 2017, the mobile landscape is only going to get more dangerous.

Mobile retailers and operators must help consumers become much more vigilant in the fight against mobile malware. Crimes of this kind are thriving, and it is up to the retail industry to ultimately take responsibility for educating customers about mobile malware and its symptoms, while also providing the latest diagnostic tools to help eradicate all traces of it as early as possible.

Use technology to save money

Whilst around 30 per cent of mobile phone faults are a result of expectation or misuse problems, a further 60 per cent are caused by software or application issues – all of which can be fixed without needing to send the device away.

With the growing number and complexity of ‘smart’ devices, it is imperative that mobile operators realise that traditional approaches to diagnostics and repair are no longer adequate in coping with the rising number of reported faults. In a time of economic instability, mobile operators and their retail counterparts cannot afford to waste money.

Improve the end-user trouble shooting experience

Feedback from the field reveals that the average customer tends to not trust their stores’ sales and technical staff when it came to handling their misbehaving smartphone. This is due to worries concerning subjective and unprofessional handling, and a lack of methodical process and feedback. Offering automated sophisticated testing equipment – which is simple to operate and produces a detailed report for the end-user – is valuable in building trust in this relationship, as well as directing the user to the application, setting or other reason for the unsatisfactory experience to avoid repeated problems.

Use available technology to improve customer service

Technology is now available to provide in-store and remote diagnostics and repair. Devices such as the Cellebrite DeskTop enable operators and independent retailers to identify and fix a host of problems – from basic user error to more serious mobile malware and malicious applications – all from an in-store PC. This technology also helps in transferring data from old phones to new devices.

This technology removes the need for consumers to sacrifice their device and provides a key differentiator in an increasingly competitive marketplace, substantially improving customer service.

Retail staff must realise that both the industry and consumers are expecting them to be well-versed in mobile phone diagnostics and repair. In today’s ever-connected world, to a user, the thought of having to relinquish their device is simply not an option.

Amir Lehr is Vice President of cellular products at Cellebrite. We talked about smartphone fault diagnosis with Dave Golding of Cellebrite in a January 2012 podcast. You can listen to the interview via the built-in audio player on our website or by downloading the MP3 file.
Author: The Fonecast
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