3 strikes for digital brands and they’re out

A new study reveals that the UK is becoming a nation of digitally discerning consumers willing to click-off and check-out, if their high expectations of the digital services and applications they use are not met.  

A third of UK consumers link digital services with brand loyalty, according to a study by Atos. These discerning digital customers are increasingly willing to give up on their favourite brands if these businesses fail to get the digital experience right.

The research, which looked at the attitudes to digital services of 3,150 people across ten public and private sector markets, highlights significant commercial opportunities  for businesses to boost the digital user experience to proportionally increase consumer satisfaction and retention.

Understanding the demanding digital consumer

Over half of consumers admitted to walking away from digital applications without accomplishing what they’d set out to do. Of these consumers, 47 per cent would forgive a brand or organisation the first time expectations aren’t met, but would then expect a flawless service thereafter.

Atos UKI’s chief digital officer, Tom Swanson, sees this as a natural response from consumers that are now more open to digital, aware of its benefits and expect it to deliver on its promise. “Organisations need to think about their customers differently when it comes to digital and resist grouping them by age and gender but rather in the context of behaviours and expectations,” he explains.

“Consumers and citizens alike are demanding when it comes to digital – they are extremely clear about what they expect a digital service to deliver which means that organisations need to get their experience up-to-par because they’ve made it clear they won’t stick around and wait for you to perfect the service.”

Simple to use, but not basic

It is imperative that organisations keep updating their digital offering in line with expectations to retain loyalty. Nearly half of respondents said they would abandon a digital service or application they have been using for a long time due to worsening performance.

According to the study, when organisations update their digital services, consumers want to see a simpler, cleaner experience, a focus on enhanced speed of use, and increased platform reliability. While getting the basics right is important, consumers expect more sophisticated improvements as well, such as a tailored service, further down the line. If this is implemented correctly, 50 per cent said they would be more likely to become a repeat customer.

The digital job is never done, says Swanson. Consumers and citizens expect digital services and applications to evolve in line with their needs. “Right now organisations need to get the basics right, but over time they will expect more personalisation and a greater level of complexity.”

The Atos study pointedly reveals that half of consumers feel that digital services are currently built with the organisation in mind rather than the customer, which Swanson believes is the main thing that needs to change. “The customer has to be at the heart of the user experience because today they are the ones that decide if a service is fit-for-purpose, not those implementing them.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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