Summer is in full swing and the heat is on to make up for last year’s lost travel. According to a June report from Forbes Advisor and YouGov, nearly nine in 10 American travelers plan to take a trip in the next six months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of travelers continues to tick upward as consumers in the U.S. have begun visiting family, taking vacations and more trips by land, sea and sky. On Memorial Day weekend, TSA reported a record number of passengers, having screened more than 7.1 million people, and the daily checkpoint numbers have only continued to grow in comparison to 2020. With Labor Day right around the corner, it’s likely there could be a similar spike.

More travelers means more business for companies like airlines, car rentals, restaurants and hotels, but any technology outages in these services can quickly lead to delays, canceled flights, and inconvenienced and unhappy customers — and a potential loss in revenue. Travelers are quick to share their experiences with friends, family, co-workers and more publicly on social media, so delivering a positive review for travelers is critical. In our recent 2021 App Attention Index, we found that 61 percent of consumers stated that since the start of the pandemic, their expectation of digital services has changed forever and they won’t tolerate poor performance anymore, making a brand’s initial touchpoint more important than ever before.

When preparing a company’s resources and labor to accommodate the growing number of consumers interested in travel again, it can be easy to divert focus from the technology that’s running behind the scenes, but it’s crucial that these business leaders make their digital strategy a priority to avoid being overwhelmed by renewed demand.

The Results Are In: Consumers Expect Reliable, Consistent Performance 

Over the past year, digital services became a critical part of how many of us could go about our daily lives. As a result, consumers have pinpointed what they value most from their digital experiences, with the most important aspects being reliable and consistent application performance that’s personalized. Over three-quarters of surveyed consumers in our App Attention Index admitted their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of last year, which means that travel-related companies are vulnerable to these higher demands too.

Hiccups in how a company’s technology is performing can have a trickledown effect from the IT team to consumers. For travel, this could mean delayed or cancelled flights or the inability to reserve cars or hotel rooms, ultimately leading to inconvenienced, unsatisfied and unhappy customers. These initial experiences could make or break brands, as over half of consumers said that companies now have one shot to impress them and if their digital service doesn’t perform, they won’t use it again.

The surplus of travelers utilizing companies’ digital services can put pressure on the applications responsible for accurately and securely completing tasks. This, in turn, puts more pressure on the IT team, which is monitoring the performance and effectiveness across all the applications.

How Can Leaders Set Their Companies Up for Success?

Whether a company had a digital strategy implemented prior to the pandemic or had to pivot and adopt one as a result, the rising volume in travelers in addition to their increased expectations may leave a company struggling to address everything in the fastest and smoothest way possible. To accomplish this, business leaders can equip their IT teams with tools that can alleviate the stress of monitoring the performance across all applications.

Companies can even take it a step further by adopting a full-stack observability approach, which will help monitor the applications and identify and help resolve any potential issues before they become problems. Furthermore, such an approach can provide direct insights into how everything is impacting business outcomes. Not only does this help keep digital services running smoothly, but it also helps identify areas where the company can improve their customer experiences.

Labor Day is coming and will then be followed by holiday travel. If business leaders want to ensure their customers have seamless digital experiences and remain loyal to their company, now is the time to make sure applications are prepared to handle increased demands and they’re set up for success.