The digitization of customer services has multiplied since the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing confinement, which drove millions of people online to continue shopping. However, it does not appear that companies have taken full advantage of this opportunity. After one year, only 42% of users perceive an improved digital experience compared to before the pandemic, according to a VMware study.
These are the results of a recent survey of more than 1,000 consumers, revealing that despite significant digital change, companies have failed to capture the attention of customers, who remain largely dissatisfied.
According to the study, key sectors of the Spanish economy have failed to deliver the innovative digital experiences expected by users. Such experiences could range, for example, from stores that support card payments to online tracking of home deliveries and app offerings that enable more personalized ordering.
Still, 73% of respondents describe themselves as “digitally curious” or “digitally adventurous,” indicating that the public is hungry for digital novelty.
This should be both a warning and a great opportunity for organizations, as 61% of respondents say they would leave with a competitor if the user experience did not meet their expectations. Only 9% would remain loyal to their current provider.
María José Talavera, general manager of VMware Iberia, states that “there is no doubt that the development of new digital experiences for users has been fundamental for the survival of many companies in the last year. However, despite the fact that many organizations have fully embarked on the ‘digital transformation’, consumers still feel that the user experience is still poor and does not meet their expectations”.
In his view, “this is extremely important, as it highlights that companies that overlook improving the digital experience could lose their customers, while those that manage to improve it and innovate have much to gain.”
Safety and security
Consumers’ digital expectations should come as no surprise: consumers expect a high degree of security and safety for their data (69%), ease of use across devices (45%), and simple and effective applications (47%).
If one thing is clear, it is that consumers expect companies to do things right the first time. Even knowing that this is a complex environment, only 31% of respondents are tolerant when tests of new digital services, aimed at improving the user experience, do not go as expected.
There is also a need for digital-first experiences among organizations that want to truly surprise their customers. More than half (54%) of people would be satisfied if stores made more use of virtual reality to show how the products they sell would look in their homes, and half (51%) of consumers think their cell phone is more important than their wallet when it comes to making commercial transactions, a percentage that rises to (57%) in the 35-44 age group.
The study was conducted virtually among 1,003 consumers across Spain, commissioned by VMware. Respondents were asked to rate their digital experiences in five sectors: retail, health services, financial services, education and public administrations (local and national). The survey was conducted by YouGov in January 2021.