Consumers Depend On Digital Services, But Are Easily Frustrated, Study Finds

Consumers use 32 digital devices each day, including 3.35 that pertain to productivity — i.e., emails and documents, according to The App Attention Index 2019, a study conducted by AppDynamics, a part of Cisco. But they are easily irritated — 44% have cursed out loud and 13% have thrown their phone or device.

Of the consumers surveyed, 85% want expect digital brands to recognize their loyalty and reward them — and 44% most definitely. 

In addition, 78% expect brands to compensate them for a poor digital experience. Also, 70% want digital experiences to be more personalized than face-to-face.

In line with that, 75% demand that brands deliver relevant content, and 73% want them to “learn my preferences/what I respond to and deliver a tailored experience.” This suggests an acceptance of in-depth data use for personalization.

Finally, 66% desire brands to know where they are and to tailor content accordingly. 

Still, consumers are often frustrated with digital services, although poor personalization ranks low on their list of gripes. Of those surveyed, 78% are less tolerant of problems than they were two years ago, while 49% have switched suppliers after a bad experience, versus 32% in 2017. And 63% will try to discourage others from using the service. 

Their list of gripes includes:

  • Performance: response/loading time is slow — 55%
  • Availability: not available when I need it — 40%
  • Functionality — doesn’t cater to everything I want to do — 32% 
  • Usability — digital and physical experiences don’t flow/link together — 31% 
  • Seamlessness: digital and physical experiences don’t flow/link together — 18%
  • Personalization: doesn’t recognize who I am/what I like — 16% 
  • None of the above — 12%

Specifically, consumers often are frustrated with their email and other productivity tools — 14% daily, 17% weekly, 31% monthly and 38% never. However, this ranks below social media, and connected devices at home.

What’s more, 55% acknowledge that digital services affect them for longer than they would like. Other reactions, in addition to cursing or throwing their devices, are allowing the experience to ruin their day (25%), make them irritable with other people (24%) and leading them away from their devices in a “digital detox” (14%). Of course, 24% say they do none of the above.

In general, 69% of consumers say using digital service is like a reflex — something they do automatically. And 61% admit they reach for their mobile phones before talking to other people when they wake up. Moreover, 55% can go without a mobile device for only up to four hours —then they have trouble managing their everyday tasks.

AppDynamics interviewed over 7,000 consumers in the U.S. and UK and 1,000 in Germany, France and Australia. 

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