Slow performance, poor connectivity and crashes are among the top challenges consumers say they’ve experienced with brands’ digital applications over the last year, and 60% blame the app or brand regardless of the real cause, according to a report from Cisco AppDynamics.
The San Francisco-based firm, which provides tools to help companies improve the performance of digital applications, surveyed more than 13,000 people for its report, the App Attention Index.
With more consumers turning to apps and other digital technologies while sheltering-in-place amid the pandemic, the research suggests expectations have gotten higher than ever. For instance, 72 per cent said they believe it’s the brand’s responsibility to ensure applications work perfectly. More than half, or 57 per cent, said they will turn to another provider after one poor experience.
The level of frustration grows if customers are paying to use a digital application or a service that relies on such channels, the Cisco AppDynamic report added, though no specific percentages were cited. The risk of potential disappointment may also make conversions to apps and digital experiences more challenging, the research suggested.
“Today’s consumers are looking for the ‘total application experience’ – a high-performing, reliable, digital service which is simple, secure, helpful and fun to use. It is personalized to their own individual needs and preferences and it adds real value to their lives.” the report said. “For the first time, consumers aren’t distinguishing between different aspects of the application experience. They are only thinking about the digital experience as a whole. And therefore, they are associating any issues or negative experiences to the application itself.”
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Cisco AppDynamics’ concept of a total application experience is helpful, because in many cases brands talk about apps and related tools as adjuncts or extras that complement their core service offerings. The research helps show where the bar for such such technologies is currently set, and the fallout for those who fail to measure up.
That said, the App Attention Index doesn’t delve deeply into the other aspects of customer experience a brand might continue to offer. For example, a hotel guest might get frustrated with an app and stop using it to get their questions answered but not necessarily curtail their stay and check out. Instead, they might call, text or walk down to the front desk for more immediate assistance.
The same is true of those who might use a financial services application, a retail store’s app or an app connected to sports and entertainment venue. As the pandemic is hopefully contained and economies around the world gradually reopen, it will be interesting to see whether consumers continue to gravitate towards digital experiences if they have other alternatives — especially if brands can’t master the total application experience in time.
The App Attention Report is ungated and well worth reviewing in its entirety, with only a short mention of the company’s platform towards the very end.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.