What Developers Can Expect as Digital Gratitude Is on the Rise
Digital services continue to play a significant role in people’s everyday lives, especially since Covid-19 where tech dependency has increased exponentially.
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Digital services and applications continue to play a significant role in people’s everyday lives especially during the pandemic when dependency on technology has increased to an all-time high. As a result, applications have become a lifeline to normalcy. Today, people rely on applications not only for entertainment and staying connected with friends and family but also for maintaining their health, finances, and overall lifestyle.
This, of course, has placed brands under immense pressure to speed up their digital transformation efforts to stay relevant while also satisfying customers’ needs and providing an enhanced user experience. While companies, IT teams, and developers have continued to navigate new solutions for alleviating some of the pressure and addressing some of the “quick fixes” made to remain afloat during the pandemic, the digital world continues to shift, and is still a tumultuous period for some.
When creating applications that are essential to daily lives, it’s now more important than ever for developers to begin with end-users in mind because the brand lives and dies by user experience. Therefore, harnessing the power of consumers’ “digital gratitude” can be a key asset for decision-makers across teams—they just need to make sure they target the correct business outcome.
Digital Gratitude Opens Doors for Developers
So, what exactly is “digital gratitude”? Basically, consumers acknowledge the work done by developers and technologists over the past 18 months to support them in their daily lives and enable them with the tools to get through a very difficult time. A recent AppDynamics survey of over 13,000 consumers across the globe found that 84% consider digital services as having a positive impact on their lives during the pandemic and giving them the tools to cope and function in most areas of their lives. That's a fairly high percentage of people who expressed gratitude for digital services.
Consumers have also recognized the commitment from technologists and brands—72% of people reported feeling grateful to brands who have invested in digital during the pandemic so they could access services they love and rely on, and 67% stated that they now feel more loyal to brands that have gone above and beyond with the quality of their digital service.
With this recognition, developers and technologists can witness the impact of their work, as this sense of digital gratitude can reshape the way people view and interact with their preferred applications and the brands that provide them. Therefore, developers can use this opportunity to see how their work impacts the business, get more creative in driving brand recognition from the onset, forge deeper trusted relationships with end-users, and develop their own skills in the process.
Innovation should now be encouraged more than ever to break through the other options available to get customers really excited about using their applications. If they can consistently deliver these perfect digital experiences, they can win the competition.
Careful! Digital Gratitude Can Turn Into Digital Resentment
Despite the elevated role of how a digital experience drives loyalty and revenue, developers and team leaders should ensure they are prioritizing the end-user more than ever before, especially when it comes to security and performance. The increased dependency on digital services has resulted in a wider selection of companies consumers can choose from, so customers have high expectations of their applications, which when they are not met, they can be quick to delete the application and move to a competitor they feel better addresses their needs.
Developers should note that consumers are still regularly experiencing problems with applications, and they can have dire effects. Some issues—such as pages loading slowly, unwanted downtime, or security failures—are intrinsic to the application and controlled by the application owner. But other problems can be caused by factors that are external to the application—such as bad internet connectivity, 4G/5G mobile network issues, slow payment gateways, or third-party plug-in issues.
When an issue occurs, most consumers are unlikely to consider what might have caused it, and instead blame the application itself and the brand behind it. Almost three-quarters of consumers surveyed by AppDynamics said they believe it’s always the responsibility of the brand to ensure seamless application performance, and if a problem occurs, more than two-thirds said they consider brands that offer a poor digital experience are ‘disrespectful’—definitely not a term you want to be attached to your application.
Good Feedback? Don’t Get Complacent
Consumers’ tie to the digital experience has now become more extreme, both positively and negatively. When consumers enjoy an application and what it offers, they feel real gratitude towards the brand behind it and they’re eager for more. On the other hand, application performance hiccups can leave consumers feeling disrespected and unsatisfied.
This is where strategies to achieve full-stack observability with business context can come into play, providing technologists with tools to monitor and view any potential issues across the full IT stack, so when it’s time to improve an application, they can more easily provide developers with the context and tools they need to innovate and build the best app possible. It’s critical to have a business context so developers can quickly identify where to prioritize their efforts to achieve the desired business outcome.
Fifty-seven percent of consumers state that brands only have one shot to impress them and if their digital service does not perform, they won’t return or even express their frustrations on social media. Therefore, while technologists and developers should appreciate the benefits of digital gratitude, they should keep in mind that they could still only be one performance issue away from seeing numerous customers walk away from the brand—this is the tightrope that every brand is now walking.
Developers and application owners should feel immensely proud of what they have delivered over the last 18 months—their commitment and hard work have made a huge difference to millions of people during the most challenging period of their lives. Where apps go next is up to the end-users because their experience is the ultimate judge of success.
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