The Generation that listens (and why you should too)
Opening disclaimer: We don’t actually like trite stereotypes. Gen X, Baby Boomers, Millennials they are all stereotypes that are used to perpetuate negative impressions. Most of which are just blatantly ridiculous. Remember the ‘Millennials are killing real estate with avocado toast’ trope?!
Saying that though… One of the truths that can be pulled from these groupings is that over the past 50/60 years there have been huge technological and social advancements that do change how people behave and interact. With the ‘Gen Z’ bracket coming into adulthood now there will yet another shift in how brands need to interact. The first group of people to be raised in a digital-first world, their buying patterns and interactions reflect the world they grew up in.
And they are a force to be reckoned with. According to the National Retail Federation in the US, these individuals have access to $44 billion in buying power, with 75% saying they spend more than half of the money that is available to them each month. Bearing in mind, this group are only in early adulthood this is an astronomical spending power that will only grow in the coming years.
So how can you align your business and your customer support to connect with these customers? Listen to them.
Gen Z knows the power of their voice. They are the generation that staged mass walkouts in the name of the environment. And they are the generation that spoke from the heart about the school shootings and the impact it has had on them. But they also are a generation that listens. Who are open about their feelings and their need to communicate authentically. And it’s this openness that can give brands a unique positioning with Gen Z’s.
They are quite literally the ‘always-on’ generation. But more than that they need to feel connected to the businesses and brands they engage and feel that they can connect with them. Allowing a more natural, organic exchange between customer service and customers will go a long way to creating customer evangelism. Ensuring channel harmony across digital, mobile and retail will also create a more connected experience for customers. Making online and offline interactions as seamless for your customers as you can, ensures customer loyalty and can promote brand evangelism.
Gen Z Customer Experience
Less hyped up about the need for instant results than those that preceded them, Gen Z’ers are more concerned with the experience than the result. Building rapport with your customers is always essential for any company. And your customer support agents are crucial to this. The human touch is important to them. While Gen Z customers are more likely to engage with digital channels it’s important for them to know there is a person at the end of the engagement. Ensuring the customer feels connected to a human who cares will allow you to create an experience that lasts.
Gen Z are happy to share their opinions: good, bad or indifferent. Their interaction with your brand can have far-reaching consequences if it’s negative. Allowing for an open feedback process will go a long way with these customers, engaging them further with the brand and giving them the opportunity to have their opinions heard.
Brands are forever trying to align themselves with consumers. But this generation are smart. They don’t trust brands and they don’t trust businesses. Trying to force an image or tone to your company won’t work with them. Don’t force the engagement with the customer. Let your team be themselves (within reason). and let the narrative be guided by how they and the customer choose to interact. Not only are you more likely to build a better customer experience, but there’s also a strong possibility of creating a better work environment for the agents as well.
We know we’ve used the phrase Gen Z a lot in this article (final one, promise!). But with the potential spending power of this group, we would be remiss to ignore them as a group. Leaning into the psychology and behaviour patterns of this group now, before they come into their full potential, will give you the chance to build a customer support experience that matters.