Seniors and SaaS: The struggle is real

It’s common knowledge that many older Americans regularly turn to their grandchildren to solve the mysteries of the digital age. Youngsters are incredibly adept at working remote controls, setting up streaming services, or figuring out how to use mobile applications. The younger the child, the more it makes for a great story that gets shared on social media because, face it—many older people can relate and it’s a cute story. 

What’s not so cute, though, is when an older person gets stuck in a digital quagmire when trying to sign up for a service or download a program. In many instances, he or she becomes frustrated and quits. This is a disservice to the customer and represents lost income for companies. And it’s no small issue: a recent Huffington Post blog reminds marketers of the spending power of the 50+ demographic. Focus on the “+” part of the demographic: as people continue to live longer lives, there are potential customers well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s who have money to spend. 

With the explosion of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, there are multitudes of services that can serve the needs of seniors. Financial and health services are obvious for the Boomer (and beyond) markets, but with free time comes the opportunity for hobbies and online learning; these services should be easy enough for customers to use without enlisting the aid of the nearest computer-savvy 10-year old. Are SaaS companies prepared to meet the needs of aging customers?


Supporting grandma

It took a lot of explaining for me to convince my 81-year-old mother that she can access her Gmail account from any browser, as long as she has access to the Internet. She thought she had to use the same computer on which the account was originally created and that the email lived on the computer. But I can’t be smug: I still turn to my college-age daughter for help with the TV remote. 

SaaS companies need to be sure they have a support plan for people like me, my mother, and my daughters. We fall across the spectrum of digital literacy, with my mom on one end and my youngest daughter on the other end (my oldest daughter and I are probably hanging out somewhere in the middle). When I have a problem figuring out a how to use a service, my first stop is the FAQ or any Help option I can find. My youngest daughter typically finds her answers through online forums and search results. My mother most likely wants to pick up the phone and have someone walk her through the process she’s trying to accomplish. 

A robust knowledgebase, like the one offered by Tracker, is usually sufficient to meet my needs. Self-service is so on-trend for today’s customer. But for my mother her first–and perhaps only–option is to call support. There it is important for her to speak to someone that is speaking slowly and distinctly, and who is kind, respectful, and helpful. She may not be the customer that a company designed its service for, but she may be the one who can best afford to subscribe to it!


PhaseWare Tracker’s Multichannel Support allows you to interact with customers through any communication channel. Use phone, live chat, online submission through the Self Service Center, or email to never lose touch with your customers. Ask for a demo today and see how easy it is to provide the best possible service to Millennials, GenXer’s, Baby Boomers, and beyond!




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