How to Tailor Your Customer Service to Every Generation of Customers
Customer service is an essential element of any business. If your customers always leave feeling satisfied and adequately taken care of, your reputation (and sales!) will benefit greatly.
Customer service has never been a walk in the park, but it’s become significantly more difficult in the last decade. That’s because now, there are three entirely different generations of customers out there—the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. What you say to a Baby Boomer may be okay but might offend a Millennial, and vice versa. And the demographic is changing dramatically now that Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers.
How Can Customer Service Agencies Accommodate for These Generation Gaps?
Facing the fact that there are now three distinct generations of customers out in the market, how can you accommodate for each of them? What strategies can your customer service agency implement to ensure maximum customer satisfaction?
The first step is to recognize the differences in each generation. You need to understand their individual needs and expectations when it comes to customer service. Once you know your customers, then you can work to meet their needs.
It’s important to remember that these are just generalizations. Of course you can’t put everyone in a box based on when they were born, but here, we’ll list some of the common themes among each generation.
Baby Boomers were the largest demographic for businesses to work with until recently. They were far more personally connected with people than either Gen Xers or Millennials, but their experience with technology varies.
- Boomers are usually more likely to make a phone call than contact someone via text, online chat rooms, email, or video calls
- They’re often willing to be patient so that they can hear all the necessary information they need to make an informed decision
- They generally expect 24/7 availability and first-call solutions
Also, just because they prefer to make a call doesn’t mean they have no experience with computers, email, and social media. They don’t like being babied through the process, so treat them with respect and ask them what they already know about the product. Like anyone, Boomers appreciate it when their independence is recognized.
Gen X is a smaller demographic compared to Baby Boomers and Millennials, but this doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. Most of the time, Gen Xers are:
- Largely computer literate
- Prefer streamlined and real-time services like phone calls, chat rooms, and email
- Often conduct research before reaching out to customer service
Seasoned customer service reps report that Gen Xers tend to ask a lot of questions. The best way to serve Gen Xers is to be patient, let them ask their questions, and provide them with a variety of options to best resolve the issue.
Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation of today, and this affects how customer service representatives must be trained.
- Millennials are less likely to call on the phone
- They aren’t used to waiting extended periods of time for a response
- They’re practiced multitaskers
- They’ll make every effort to solve the problem themselves first
- They want the right solution immediately
- They are likely to share their experiences with online friends and acquaintances via reviews, social media, and apps
Millennials demand a more versatile and integrated customer service system. This means having customer service apps, chat and SMS, and other innovative communication technologies will be a great asset when working with Millennials.
Balance Your Customer Service with Proper Training and Innovative Technologies
When it comes right down to it, call centers and customer service agencies need to be trained and ready to recognize the customer on the other end. Never make assumptions about the customer, and be flexible with their needs. If you ever do make a mistake, be ready to apologize and change the way you interact with the customer. It’s also important to provide many options for customers to contact you, including phone, email, apps, SMS—whatever makes sense for your target audience.