12 Mar 2021
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A/NZ shunning digital fatigue despite digital reliance during pandemic - report

By Shannon Williams

Relationships with technology flourished in across Australia and New Zealand in 2020, with minimal online fatigue despite the reliance on digital throughout the pandemic, according to new research from Infosys.

The research leveraged WONGDOODY’s human experience research platform, “The Sounding Board”, to survey 1,200 respondents across Australia and New Zealand in November 2020 – showing that by this time around half were working from home. A further three quarters stated their use of tech for work and leisure had increased since March 2020, with a similar proportion reporting their usage was still increasing.

"Overall, it seems smart tech is now bringing us more joy, flexibility and empowerment than ever before, albeit recognising some shortcomings of virtual interactions such as reduced empathy and honesty," the report says.

Furthermore, the pandemic accelerated adoption of digital services across banking, entertainment, retail, and grocery shopping for 40-50% of Australians and for 45-55% of New Zealanders. Smaller increases were observed across government services, education, health and wellbeing - indicating a potential opportunity for those providing these services.

The report uncovered a trend of rising expectations of speed and ease, with more responsive chatbots and greater integration also called out as potential improvements across digital services. In fact, ease and speed of use online was identified as a key driver of brand loyalty by three quarters of respondents, followed by transparency with customers which just under half selected. Providing human contact for troubleshooting interestingly ranked slightly higher for brand loyalty than digital contact.

“Digital offers diversification and scale at a speed that’s just not possible in a physical environment, but the bar is high for effective experiences and customers will go elsewhere if their expectations are not met," says Andrew Groth, senior VP and region head at Infosys Australia and New Zealand.

"To counter this, enterprises must be agile in their efforts to create seamless experiences that integrate with real-time organisational data - behaving as a live enterprise," he says.

"Better yet brands will co-create with customers to provide increasingly human digital experiences as this is where current and future competitive advantage lies.”

In terms of what makes experiences more human, just under half of respondents pointed to interactive elements as contributing factor, followed by two fifths selecting personalised, predictive experiences. This is further reflected in quotes from respondents who, when asked to describe how they would improve digital services, imagined ‘a kind of mini me’, tech that can ‘anticipate my needs’, and a world where ‘everything is inter-connected’.

Respondents also indicated that technology has made experiences more accessible. Almost half stated they would like to see the continuation of free or low-cost access to work and leisure opportunities, with a similar proportion selecting more accessibility opportunities for a range of abilities and/or income. 

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