It may help if you tell me which smartphone you have but try this solution, go to settings then application manager then go to All apps tab ans search for those two apps, "phone and Contacts" just before continuing backup your contacts to your SIM card or SD card if they're stored in the phone storage. enter the app setting and Force close it then press Clean data the cache will be automatically cleaned in the processes. then reboot the phone for the apps to auto start again.
if you still encounter the issue you may need to reset your phone and this means deleting everything in the phone (only apps and settings your storage will remain untouched, well if you do it the right way). and if this doesn't work also, i guess the only solution would be to install a new firmware/flash and that depends on what smartphone you have.