In its recently released survey, Software: The New Battleground for Brand Loyalty, Zogby Analytics on behalf of CA Technologies revealed that the real crux for businesses is understanding what consumers want from applications. Businesses should pay particular attention to the “app gap”—the delta between these consumer demands and their own goals for application development.
Applications are a crucial meeting point between consumers and brands–and that trend is only going to rise, the survey says
According to the survey, consumers are using applications for a large variety of activities, including financial transactions and shopping, and more than half of respondents say they’d be willing to use applications to perform tasks like renewing driver’s licenses, managing health care, or voting.
“Businesses are no longer setting the bar or defining the parameters for how their customers will interact with their brand: consumers are now the disruptors, driving innovation by affecting a highly competitive market for applications,” the survey says. “As a result, businesses must shift their approach and begin investing in finding out what their customers want and experiencing the benefits of a strong brand connection–instead of trying to force their customers down an alienating path.”
The survey shows that brands are actually at risk of losing 27% of their customer base with a poor application. Following a bad application experience, an average of 20% of customers abandon a brand temporarily – and 6% abandon a brand forever.
“Companies must immediately shift the way they approach application development,” the survey says. “A streamlined, secure, straightforward, and highly functional experience leads to brand loyalty. Everything else is superfluous. Applications have to fire up instantly, quickly present options for solving consumer problems and work intuitively throughout the entire experience. Otherwise, the application will risk losing a business a large portion of their customers to their competitors.”
Consumers don’t care if an organization released more applications this year than it did the year prior or if it finished a months-long design overhaul, according to the survey.
“The things that matter most to them are that the application is quick, secure, and delivers on its promise without much effort on their part,” the survey says. “Businesses need to listen to their customers, understand their needs and apply the same rigor and predictive analysis to application development and deployment as used to determine the best location for a retail store or a major rebranding.”