More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers say their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of 2020, according to a recent global study from Cisco AppDynamics.

When expectations aren’t met, six in 10 (60%) consumers automatically blame the application and the brand no matter where the issue actually lives.

Whether it’s within the application itself such as slow load times, downtime or security failures, or external factors like internet connectivity, slow payment gateways or technical issues with third party services, to the consumer there is no distinction, and they now place responsibility firmly on the brand.

The overwhelming majority (92%) say they expect digital services to have reliable and consistent performance, with 72% of respondents suggesting it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly.

The research found that most consumers (85%) say that digital services have become a critical part of daily life, with 84% stating those services helped them get through the pandemic in a positive way. In addition, 72% say they feel grateful to the brands that invested in digital experiences during the pandemic and 67% say they feel more loyal to brands that went above and beyond with the quality of their digital service.

More than half (57%) state that brands have one shot to deliver positive digital experiences before they switch to another provider, while 68% consider it disrespectful to users for brands to offer a poor digital experience and 57% believe most problems are completely avoidable.

“Applications have become the lifeline to normality for people in every corner of the world and consumers are no longer willing to settle for anything less than a perfect digital experience. Technologists are now under more pressure than ever to deliver the ‘total application experience’ to users within their first interaction,” Cisco AppDynamics vice president and general manager, Linda Tong said.

Cisco AppDynamics helps brands meet users’ expectations by delivering a critical component of Cisco’s full-stack observability solution, which helps technologists see, understand, and optimise what happens inside and beyond their IT architecture.