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[Mobile Youth] 5 Ways to Build a Better Smartphone Experience


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[Mobile Youth] 5 ways to build a better smartphone experience (without changing the handset)

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[Mobile Youth] 5 Ways to Build a Better Smartphone Experience

  1. 1. ! 5 WAYS TO BUILD A BETTER SMARTPHONE EXPERIENCE (WITHOUT CHANGING THE HANDSET) Prepared by Mobile Youth Sign up for more insights on smartphones:
  2. 2. !SMARTPHONE EXPERIENCE: WHY PERCEPTION IS MOREIMPORTANT THAN THE PHONECustomer smartphone experience varies by market, even with the same handsets.How is this possible?Through the lens of traditional research you may conclude “our customers aredifferent here” but I want to share with you why that conclusion is a big mistake. Recommended Reading Discover mobileYouthʼs Ultimate Guide to Smartphones with links to the latest research and resourcesTeens in France and India aren’t so different their experiences of smartphoneschange. People don’t change, but the Soft Factors that shape the smartphoneexperience do. If you understand Soft Experience, you understand the smartphoneexperience.Let’s take a look at what defines experience and insights from our latest smartphoneresearch.Consider this anomaly: the iPhone may rank with the highest satisfaction in France,but not in neighboring markets (in the UK, iPhone ranks 2nd whereas in Germany, itdoesn’t even feature in the Top 5) (source The Mobile Youth Report via onDevice).We need to break down the customer experience and look at its psychology. Whatwe’ll find is that the perception of the smartphone and how people feel about it ismore important that the physical nature of the smartphone itself.SOFT VS HARD: OUR PERCEPTION OF THE SMARTPHONEIS THE EXPERIENCESo, what shapes customer perceptions of experience? Is it usability, price or formfactor? The answer lies in understanding the difference between Soft and HardSmartphone Experience. Sign up for more insights on smartphones:
  3. 3. !The iPhone doesn’t vary by country, but customer perceptions do and theseperceptions are shaped by marketing, customer service and the Fans.The same product is perceived in different ways in different markets. This isn’tbecause the people are different but because the brand stories, local interpretationsand meanings vary.Understanding smartphone experience means moving beyond the physicalunchangeables – the nature of the people and the handset – and focusing on whatreally determines experience – the soft factors.Soft Experience: Expectation, brand story, perception, context, social benefitHard Experience: Form factor, design, colors, interface, featuresSoft experiences change, hard experiences don’t.Companies focus on the hard factors but these account for only 10% of thesmartphone experience. Hard factors are marginal.90% of our smartphone experience is shaped by these soft factors and these factorsare a marketing, not a design challenge. The good news is that focusing on the softexperiences can radically change how customers interact and recommend thehandsets and almost all of this can be done without changing the handset.So, here are mobileYouth’s 5 tips on how brands can improve the smartphone byfocusing on the Soft Experience.1. SELL BENEFITS NOT FEATURES“For each of us, life is a journey. What you want is a device that can help us on thejourney,” Samsung’s CEO JK Shin said during the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch.Better lens resolution is a feature whereas a better way to share photos with yourfriends is a distinct social benefit. Instagram has shown that most people are morelikely to adopt technology based on its social benefit as opposed to technologicalprowess.Feature: Long battery lifeBenefit: Keeps you connected 24/7 and won’t let you down when trying toconnect with friends Sign up for more insights on smartphones:
  4. 4. !If you want to understand why people buy smartphones, understand the interplay ofemotion and logic: People buy on emotion and justify with logic. People buy thebenefits (e.g. “this helps me fit in with my friends”) and tell you they bought itbecause of the features (e.g. “it was on special offer”, “it has Carl Zeiss lenses” etc).Customer Insights need to take the features that the product teams will highlightand correlate this information with the social needs of the customer. This meansmatching features with known social drivers of your customer base. E.g. “This phonehas a great camera lens” becomes “you can create and share better pictures withyour friends”.For marketing people, don’t go to the agency looking for answers about what yourcustomers want, they won’t have a clue. Agencies only know how to sell advertising(and, by the way, if advertising was so good, why don’t ad agencies advertise?)Marketing needs to be briefing agencies about what your customers want (not viceversa) The reality is that if you want to create effective marketing, look inside at yourinsights team and find out what stories and social benefits you need to brief youragencies with e.g. “we want to emphasize how this camera helps students connectwith each other through better photos.”2. FOCUS ON FIXING CUSTOMER PAIN POINTS“LG is continuously innovating to offer creative ways to offer a user experience thatadds value to our customers,” said Jong-Seok Park, President and CEO of LGElectronics Mobile Communications Company. “It’s the positive UX that willdifferentiate smartphones in 2013 and beyond, not only cutting-edge hardwarespecs.”For most people, the simple things underpin experience. Although we get excitedabout form factors and speeds, it’s the less glamorous aspects of smartphones likebattery life and reliability that make or break handset brands. “Simple can be harder than complex:You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve JobsReliability ranked as the #1 factor that influenced product experience (source TheMobile Youth Report). Battery life and issues with network provider were the twomost common forms of negative experience associated with handsets (sourceMcKinsey). Sign up for more insights on smartphones:
  5. 5. !While Apple iPhones are often praised by media for their technology, it’s theirreliability (or perceived reliability) that shapes experience. According to websiteFixYa, Apple ranked as the most reliable device (based on share of over 700,000reported handset issues).3. BUILD EXPERIENCE AROUND THE EVERYDAY“Think about your device,” said Google CEO Larry Page. “Battery life is a challengefor most people.You shouldn’t need to carry around a charger to make it throughthe day. If your kid spills their drink on your tablet, the screen shouldn’t die. Andwhen you drop your phone, it shouldn’t shatter.”Common things done uncommonly well. While mundane doesn’t sound like a naturalselling point for your smartphones, the everyday experience sells phones. 80% ofsmartphone usage is the regular, low-tech tasks like messaging, email or takingpictures. Most popular smartphone activities are checking email (78%), exchangingtext messages (76%) and taking pictures (74%) (source IDC).Without these mundane features, the smartphone would be useless to most people.How your smartphone performs on a daily basis is far more memorable than itsprowess at isolated events (e.g. the typical ad agency “hey look at me in this rockconcert video”).89% of 18-24 year olds reach for the phone within 15 minutes of waking up. Whatother technology can claim this depth of relationship? If the smartphone wasexciting and to some extent, surprising, fewer people would be reaching for it astheir de facto starting point of the day but because it’s reliable, controllable andcontains no surprises we trust its presence.4. FOCUS ON P2P EDUCATION THROUGH FANSEducating smartphone customers, especially first time buyers, is key to a goodexperience.Customers turn to traditional sources of information for answers (e.g. call centers)but their issues may be too specific or easily sourced elsewhere to make call centersa positive experience. 81% of customers turn to friends to related customer serviceexperiences (source The Mobile Youth Report via Dimensional Research).83% of youth bought their handsets based on what their peers said (source TheMobile Youth report). 68% consulted friends to prior to purchase to advise onbenefits (compared with only 9% for brand advertising) (source McKinsey). Sign up for more insights on smartphones:
  6. 6. !Peer to peer customer service leads to 50% reduction in cost per case to servicecustomer issues (source The Mobile Youth Report).Without Fans, the smartphone experience is a blank slate. It’s Fans who turned SMSinto an unused adjunct to the GSM standard into the world’s default messagingformat. It’s Fans who invited and introduced you to Facebook. Without Fans yoursmartphone is just a gray slab of carbon and glass.Most smartphone features aren’t discovered through the manual or officialcommunication but through peer modelling which in turn promotes the brand. Forexample, “I used this app on my iphone to check the surf conditions today”. Fansshape the smartphone experience because Fans give meaning to technologicalcontent. Fans find new ways to use the smartphone, turning what were oncefeatures into social benefits.5. DON’T OVERBAKE THE STORYSmartphone users, especially Fans, look at your marketing and think “where am I inthis story?” A marketing strategy that offers only a rigid, monolithic view of thebrand story offers potential buyers little space to interpret the brand story for theirown personal narratives.Soft Experience is a curated not a controlled process. If you want to create a betterexperience, you have to allow Fans a greater say in the process. This is Paid vsEarned Media 101.The experience of the brand and the smartphone happens all around the brand notjust when you are interacting with the handset. Data shows that people who don’thave an iPhone are more likely to recommend it than those who own one (sourceThe Mobile Youth Report). This anomaly seems bizarre but the reality is thatexperience doesn’t happen in customer hands but in customer minds.You need to allow some breathing space for Fans to imprint their own personalitieson it. Find articles on smartphones by signing up to our newsletter on Sign up for more insights on smartphones: