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Customers losing patience with poor company apps

29th Jun 2014
Editor MyCustomer
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Our patience for poor mobile apps is wearing thin. Gone are the days where you can expect to attend to your customers’ needs by simply having a mobile app presence; now you need to serve a purpose and do it well, or risk being cast adrift by your once-loyal smartphone users.

According to new insight from the Institute of Management Studies (IMS), the UK and US public are becoming increasingly frustrated by the user experience many mobile apps deliver.

In conjunction with AppDynamic, IMS surveyed over 2,000 people on both sides of the pond to find that nearly half of UK respondents and 65% of US respondents agreed that their expectations of app performance had increased significantly in the last year.

More than eight out of ten people regularly delete or uninstall apps because of problems with their performance, while roughly half are less tolerant of problems with apps or websites than they used to be.

When asked what they do when they experience app headaches, 28% of UK smartphone and tablet owners try another app and 23% stop using the app altogether. In addition, nearly two out of five respondents tell their friends and family about the issues.

Banking apps come in for the most criticism, with over half of UK respondents (58%) and nearly three quarters (73%) of US respondents said that banks provided the type of apps for which flawless performance is most important, followed by travel booking services came (15% for UK) and e-commerce apps, on 11%.

“Users experience a lot of negative emotions and frustrations when trying to complete some digital tasks and apps or web pages are slow to load,” says Dr Chris Brauer, director of innovation, IMS at Goldsmiths, University of London. “Our attention span demands have adapted dramatically to the available technologies.”

The importance of getting the mobile app experience right is highlighted by the fact that mobile apps alone now account for 25% of all internet traffic, with 1.6bn users worldwide.

On the flipside, a third of survey respondents stated that they would spend more money with a company that had a good mobile app, while 30% would spend more for a product if a company’s app was better than its competitor apps.   

“Asset-lite and information-rich organisations are disrupting every industry from taxis to accommodation, retail, entertainment, and logistics,” adds Dr Brauer. “The choice is either to transform into a software-defined business or figure out how you are going to compete with software-defined businesses. No sector of the economy or society will be immune to this challenge.”

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