Age Makes a Difference in Multi-Channel Customer Service

Over the last few weeks, I’ve occasionally written about implementing multichannel customer service.  I emphasized a number of issues that pop up when implementing new channels of service, but one issue that sometimes gets overlooked but should be given some thought is one of age. 

  • Do you know how old your customers are? 
  • Do you know which channel of service your Baby Boomers prefer? 
  • What about Generation X and Y?   
  • The seniors? 



If you don’t, start taking a close look at the research and the numbers collected by North American Technographics (surveys available through Forrester Research) or other marketing research.

When it comes to researching a product, no matter which generation customers are in, less than 10% of each generational category like using paper catalogues. 

Most companies have long since given up paper catalogues for more cost effective methods like putting up the information online, but here’s the rub—a company catches only 11% of seniors (age 63 and up) through the internet but they do hit approximately half of all Generation X and Y members.  Most customers still prefer to have a hands-on experience in a store which means your employees need to be fully prepped and prepared to deal with any and all questions a customer might have.
As for actually buying a product…again, most still like to do their shopping in person at the store. On the flip side, nobody wants to place an order using a paper form.  If you have paper order forms, save some trees and some money and get rid of them. 

Now, ordering stuff online is a different matter and completely understandable.  Generation X and Y will use the internet for purchasing items more often than older generations.  They are the ones who grew up with such technology and are certainly more comfortable with it.
So let’s take a look at the trend:

Seniors avoid using technology in their purchasing routines whereas the younger generations embrace it.

You probably already knew that, but what does that mean to you as a business owner?  Well, if you want a diverse customer base (which a good company will have), you have to satisfy all your customers by supplying the channels that they are comfortable with and will definitely use. This means you have to diversify your customer service channels. 

It’s a multichannel customer service world out there and we either have to keep up with it, or fall behind.

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