Consumers’ dependence on digital services has been on full display during COVID-19.
As per a new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), consumers turned to digital services in droves, with usage more than doubling during pandemic lockdowns.
Respondents confirmed that their reliance on technology has grown significantly since the pandemic began. They also made it clear that even a pandemic is no excuse for digital services to suddenly experience a glitch or outage. And the businesses offering those services better take heed.
Consumer feelings on tech problems during COVID-19
Consumers have a low tolerance for tech glitches. Nearly 70% of those polled admit to being easily frustrated when encountering a complication. Unfortunately, the self-isolation period hasn’t been without setbacks.
Respondents experienced an average of six technology-related issues since the start of the pandemic, and they aren’t thrilled. Nearly eight in 10 believe that it’s unacceptable for websites or apps to suffer an outage or be unavailable because of the pandemic.
These aren’t just empty words. Many consumers have taken action because of their frustration over unavailable services.
Consequences for businesses with poor service during the pandemic
Consumers have abandoned companies because of the poor service and tech glitches they experienced during the pandemic.
Some 55% of those polled changed service providers or reduced their service levels because of tech problems. Another 40% were poised to make similar changes after stay-at-home-orders were lifted.
While 75% agreed that the pandemic was a wake-up call for how reliant they are on digital services, it’s also given them an opportunity re-evaluate how their current providers have responded during this challenging time, and whether it’s worth doing business with them in the future. Nearly 50% say they will avoid purchasing from certain companies based solely on how they handled the pandemic.
An opportunity to meet customer needs
It wasn’t uncommon for consumers to be irritated by tech issues before COVID-19. But any remaining patience for these issues quickly went out the door when quarantine measures revealed just how reliant people are on digital services.
Over three-quarters of respondents admit that without today’s technology, they wouldn’t be able to access the things they require daily, from groceries and prescriptions to banking and video conferencing. But as consumers’ reliance on technology increases, so too does their expectations on the availability of those services.
Now, more than ever, businesses must re-evaluate their business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) plans to ensure that any disruptions to their infrastructure don’t result in downtime for their end users.
Consumers have little patience for disturbances, and they’re willing to take their business elsewhere if their needs aren’t being met.
Interested in the full findings from the research? Download them now.