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Travelers have high standards for their apps. Here's how to not disappoint.

By Gregg Ostrowski, Executive CTO, Cisco AppDynamics

For brands in the travel and hospitality sector, summer getaways will be both a major opportunity and a massive moment of truth.

As people all over the world prepare for what will be, for many, their first vacation since before the pandemic, brands have an opportunity to both re-engage old customers and build relationships with a generation of new ones.

However, it's important for travel companies to understand that a lot of consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed since 2019.

Throughout the pandemic, consumers have relied on digital services and applications across almost every aspect of their lives. Even now that lockdown restrictions have ended in many countries, people continue to increase their use of applications, having realized the enormous benefits digital services can bring them. And now, as people plan and prepare for a well-earned vacation, they will be using digital services like never before.

Understand the needs of the digital traveler

To better understand emerging trends in digital services, Cisco AppDynamics recently conducted a survey of global consumers to explore how the 2022 traveler has become increasingly dependent on digital tools.

According to the findings, consumers rely on digital tools so much so that on average, they will use a total of 27 different digital services and applications to plan and guide their next vacation.

Notably, for the first time ever, people are relying solely on applications to support them with the most critical parts of their vacations. From digital airline tickets, boarding passes, digital wallets, to digital vaccination certificates, travelers are adopting a digital-only approach.

Moreover, the majority are not even taking hard copies of documents as back-up. Over half (55%) say they don't intend to carry any paper tickets on their next vacation. Instead, they will rely entirely on airline and travel apps, digital wallets, and email throughout their trip. And an incredible 82% will use applications to prove their COVID-19 or vaccination status.

Beware the fallout of digital disruption

Of course, as people have become more increasingly dependent on applications during the pandemic, their expectations have also grown.

Consumers now demand a seamless experience every time they use a digital service and are unforgiving when these services and applications don't meet their expectations.

In fact, the latest AppDynamics App Attention Index revealed how most people will now only give a brand one chance to impress them. If an application doesn't meet their expectations, then they will walk away - possibly forever.

This certainly appears to be the case when it comes to vacations. Nearly 40% of people state that if they experience a problem with an application when planning, booking or traveling on vacation, they will immediately switch to an alternative. In addition, only 9% will actually contact the brand behind a poorly performing application.

In other words, while brands might think their digital services are performing properly because they aren't getting any complaints, customers may still be leaving in droves.

Interestingly, the fallout from bad digital experiences is particularly strong when it comes to vacations. A staggering 42% of consumers say that if a travel application they were using failed, it could potentially ruin their whole trip.

This sentiment is the same for applications and digital services for travel documentation and payments. Four out of 10 people fear that, when these kinds of apps malfunction, it could spoil their vacation. Much like bad weather or travel delays, bad digital experiences have become vacation nightmares.

Optimize IT performance and availability for happy vacations

In response to these heightened expectations, brands in the travel and hospitality industry need to ensure they are delivering seamless digital experiences at all times. Doing so, however, requires that their product teams have the tools and insights to manage and optimize IT performance and availability.

In an increasingly complex and fragmented IT environment, technologists need a single, unified view up and down the IT stack so that they can identify and resolve performance before it impacts customers. And they need to link IT performance data with real-time business metrics so that they can pinpoint the issues that could really damage user experience and prioritize their efforts accordingly. Only with a business lens on full-stack observability can technologists be sure they deliver the seamless digital experiences people are looking for.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gregg Ostrowski 

Gregg Ostrowski is an Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics. He engages with customer senior leadership to help prioritize their strategy for digital transformation. Prior to AppDynamics, Gregg held senior leadership positions at Samsung and Research in Motion.

Published Tuesday, July 19, 2022 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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