When It Comes to Customer Experience, Application Experience Matters

When It Comes to Customer Experience, Application Experience Matters

The News: Cisco has released its latest App Attention Index, which points to a high expectation bar for digital experience. The report details attitudinal and behavioral shifts, that are prevalent in what Cisco terms the Application Generation, which includes 18-34-year-olds that are more reliant than other age cohorts on applications. More information on this new research can be found on the Cisco website.

When It Comes to Customer Experience, Application Experience Matters

Analyst Take: There is a much talked about gap between customer expectations and actual customer experience, which includes the digital experience. Digital experience spans a multitude of channels, and there has been an explosion in the ways a customer can interact with a brand. With brands having widely varying levels of maturity in their digital transformation, this gap, which can lead to dissatisfaction, can be even larger with digital and application interactions when experience is reviewed.

Increasing Digital Expectations

Cisco has recently released a report focused on consumers’ increasing expectations, focusing on the application experience. According to Cisco, there are definite unmet expectations when it comes to digital experience, with 62% of consumers saying they expect an exceptional digital experience as standard, but 88% reporting performance issues when using applications over the past year. And there is a low level of acceptance for this gap. More concernedly, 64% say they are less forgiving of poor digital services than they were 12 months ago, and 55% report that performance issues with digital services and applications leave them feeling like a brand has no respect for their time. And there is also a high willingness to simply stop using the technology. The research shows that 77% of consumers have stopped using or deleted applications

For a certain cohort, The Application Generation, these expectations are even higher, and this group is more discerning. They are heavy users, using 41 applications and digital services each month. Those surveyed in the 18-34 age group care about application quality, with 77% saying they are more mindful about the applications they install on their devices, and 64% stating that they want to use only the very best applications and digital services. This group also will not sit on their feelings, as 70% are more likely to tell others or give a warning to people about applications that do not perform the way they did 12 months ago.

When It Comes to Customer Experience, Application Experience Matters
Image Source: Cisco

Application Usage Patterns and Trends

The index also provided interesting data on how people use applications, as well as how many digital services they interact with. Entertainment, connecting with friends and family, and retail were the top three heavily used applications in 2023.

The increased cost of living is also trickling down into application usage with price comparison websites, budgeting applications, and voucher and discount sites. Sixty-two percent of consumers say applications and digital services are very important in helping them manage their personal finances during times when people are trying to make their money go further. On average, people say they could live without 40% of their downloaded applications, and a third of downloaded applications are deemed critical.

Other Key Points for Brands

It is clear that consumers want seamless, easy, and safe interactions during their digital experiences. Brands need to consider:

  • Brands cannot look at applications as a nice-to-have add-on for brand interaction. Applications are important to consumers, and their usability must be important to the brand.
  • According to the Cisco research, no matter what the problem (slow page, crashing, poor connectivity, password issues, etc.), consumers blame the application and the brand behind it.
  • Making sure that application feedback is gathered and considered is important for staying in tune with what is going right and what is not.
  • Consumers are quick to move along. Brands that get their digital experience and application right can build brand loyalty and revenue. If not, consumers will quickly move on to an alternative or remove the application.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

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Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.


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