Application loyalty is the new brand loyalty

We’ve all battled through painful-to-use applications and can relate to the frustration when they don’t work as well as they should.

Websites not loading, passwords unrecognised or a webpage completely unresponsive – these are the gripes that drive many of us to switch off or lose faith in a brand altogether. In today’s connected world, our demand for applications leaves no room for failure, and these expectations are only set to increase.

According to AppDynamics’ recent App Attention Index, just over half of people in the UK can only go without a mobile device for up to four hours before they find it difficult to manage tasks in their everyday life. And one third admit they reach for their smartphone before talking to anyone else when they wake up.

Modern technology has transformed the way we live, work and play, making digital experiences a fundamental part of everyday life. However, many consumers are unaware of just how much their use of digital services has evolved – and indeed the impact it has on their lives.

We’re entering the Era of the Digital Reflex.

Digital services as an unconscious extension

The use of digital services has evolved to become an unconscious extension of human behaviour – a ‘Digital Reflex.’ While consumers used to make a conscious and deliberate decision to use a digital service to carry out a task or activity, they now happen spontaneously.

Consumers also admit that digital services are so intrinsic to their daily lives that they don’t realise how much they now rely on them. As these digital reflexes become habitual, consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on devices and digital services, relying on them to complete many of their daily tasks.

Businesses need to pay attention as consumers now have a zero-tolerance policy for anything other than an easy, fast and exceptional digital experience. The research shows that in the event of performance issues, consumers will take decisive action such as turning to the competition (49%) and actively discouraging others from using a service or brand (63%) without notifying the brand and giving them a chance to make improvements.

With an increasing intolerance for poor digital performance, what impact does this have on brands, and how can businesses remain competitive in a digital world?

In the Era of the Digital Reflex, consumers will no longer forgive or forget poor experiences. A great digital performance is now the baseline for any business, but the real winners will be those that consistently exceed customer expectations by delivering a flawless experience.

Surviving and thriving in the Era of the Digital Reflex

Many businesses are already investing heavily in digital innovation to drive customer loyalty and revenue, but failure to monitor the performance of those applications and digital services puts brands at significant risk of unhappy customers, or even losing those customers to another brand.

However, there are simple steps that brands can take to meet these challenges and in turn, exceed increasing digital customer experience expectations:

Manage your application performance

Implementing a robust application performance management solution enables you to monitor digital performance, safeguarding those mission-critical applications and user experience

Align your digital performance to your business outcomes

Analysing your application performance in line with business performance ensures that digital services are always aligned to business objectives, such as customer experience and revenue

Use insights to take action

Using an AIOps approach, turning the monitoring of data into meaningful insights quickly or automatically using machine learning and AI, allows you to deliver exemplary digital experiences, by real-time monitoring the full technology stack, from the customer’s device to the back-end application to the underlying network

Businesses invest in sophisticated brand initiatives, marketing activities, thoughtful product development, and value-driven sales efforts. But as applications become a critical part of the customer experience, investments must be made in performance optimisation if companies wanted to deliver a world-class digital customer experience.

Today, a great digital experience should be considered the baseline for any business. The real winners will be those that consistently exceed customer expectations by delivering a flawless digital experience that goes above and beyond the consumers’ expectations.

About the Author

James Harvey is the EMEA CTO at Cisco AppDynamics, working with clients to convert performance insights into business outcomes. He is also responsible for setting AppDynamics’ regional product strategy. Before joining AppDynamics he held various positions in IT leadership at New Look, BP, Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN AMRO Bank.

Featured image: ©Vastram