Despite the availability of seemingly vast amounts of information on the Web, a majority of people are coming away dissatisfied when they turn to the Internet for smartphone solutions.
According to a survey of U.S. consumers by WDS, 75% of those searching online for a problem with their smartphone (including e-mail setup, importing contacts, Internet connectivity, app downloads and camera usage) come away dissatisfied with the information they found.
“The key issue is that most [consumers] only know their ‘symptoms’ – i.e., my device won’t perform this task, and not the exact cause of the issue,” Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing for WDS, tells Marketing Daily. “The problem could be any number of things; it could be a hardware fault, software issue or just that the user doesn’t have the right data plan in place.”
Compounding the issue is a finding that many consumers are turning first to search engines (which can lead to third-party sites in which information may be inaccurate, incomplete or irrelevant to a specific issue), rather than the Web sites of device manufacturers for wireless companies, for their solutions.
According to the survey, 34% of consumers relied on search engine results to link them to a possible solution. Although carrier and manufacturer Web sites provided greater problem resolution rates, consumers only navigated to those sites while looking for a solution 21% (carrier) or 19% (manufacturer) of the time.
Among those unable to find a fix, more than a fifth (22%) said they give up looking rather than calling their carrier for further help. “This is a shame, as those that went directly to their carrier’s Web sites for help were typically greeted with more targeted and validated support content,” Deluca-Smith says.
Overall, these findings could be worrying to carriers, because they want consumers to use their help pages to get support for the devices they’re selling. “Instead, they are being hidden amongst the noise of the Web,” he says. “The carrier therefore has no control over the outcome of the problem. [If the problem isn’t solved] the consumer might return the device or churn, and that has a serious financial impact.”