Commentary

Consumers Expect Better Digital Services From Brands -- Or Else

From apps to wearables to websites, consumer expectations for digital services appear to be growing as quickly (if not faster) than their reliance on them.

Indeed, 76% of consumers now report that their expectations of how well digital services should perform are increasing, according to a new report from AppDynamics, a unit of Cisco. That’s up from 62% in 2017.

What’s more, 70% of the approximately 7,000 consumers surveyed describe themselves as less tolerant of problems with digital services than they were two years ago.

Over the next three years, therefore, 85% of consumers say they expect to select brands based on the quality of digital services they offer.

Ever more remarkably, a majority of consumers (54%) now place a higher value on their digital interactions with brands over physical interactions.

This shift is placing enormous pressure on brands to deliver in the digital arena. If they can’t, consumers said they won’t hesitate to find another brand to meet their needs.

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In the event of digital performance issues, about half of respondents (49%) said they would take “decisive” actions, such as turning to a competitor.

Rather than notifying an offending brand -- or giving them a chance to make improvements -- an even greater share of consumers (63%) said they would actively discourage others from using their services.

“Consumers will no longer forgive or forget poor experiences,” Danny Winokur, general manager of AppDynamics, notes in the new report. “A great digital performance is now the baseline for any business.”

Separately, the report reflects the degree to which mobile devices have melded with consumers’ daily lives.

Among respondents, 55% said they can only go without their mobile device for up to four hours before finding it difficult to manage daily tasks, while 61% admitted to reaching for their phones before talking to anyone in the morning.

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