Millennials and Gen Z are an easy target of criticism from older generations, often being criticised for heavily depending on technology and an obsession with social media. But every generation is criticised by their parents’ cohort for behaving a little differently. Yes, Millennials and their Gen Z contemporaries are use smartphones more than any other generation, but for businesses, this provides an opportunity for customer engagement.
This blog post offers a number of key considerations to help you better understand Millennial and Gen Z habits so you can tailor your CX programme to suit a new generation of preferences and expectations.
Not as young as you may think...
Some refer to Millennials and Gen Z as the “Next Generation of Customers” but there’s nothing new about these generations. It has been shown that marketers routinely miss the mark when trying to engage younger customers.
Millennial: Born 1980-1994 (24-38 years of age)
Gen Z: Born 1995-2009 (9-23 years of age)
While the exact determinations per generation are mildly contested, Gartner assigns these age brackets to Millennials and Gen Z consumers. While Gen Z is primarily made up of teenagers, older members of Gen Z have an enormous amount of societal influence – these are the “kids” determining what’s cool, and the upcoming influential spenders who are likely to be even more educated than their Millennial counterparts. Millennials on the other hand, already have a lot of money and significant spending power; these customers are young graduates, professionals and parents, and for many businesses – a key demographic.
How you can adapt your CX to suit these generations…
Consider “FOMO” (the fear of missing out) as a driver of experience.
Amplified by a dedication to social media, Millennials and Gen Z’ers are more beholden to the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses” than earlier generations. Gartner notes that the feeling of FOMO is a key driver of the “experience economy.” This has driven tourism to remote areas of the world that are “Instagrammable” and investments in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. Depending on your business, it could also be worth investing in VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality) innovations for your apps and websites, exposing customers to virtual experiences with your product offering that may lead to purchase. CX leaders should be capitalising off of this sentiment to drive business outcomes through engagement via social media and smartphone apps with younger customers.
Understand the tendency towards multi-tasking.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers are ardent multi-taskers, engaging with multiple smartphones apps while having a meal or watching TV. Using apps for shopping, banking, ordering groceries, watching videos is the norm – giving businesses ample opportunity for engagement. Enabling purchases through mobile web or mobile payment apps opens the door to allow for transactions the way that these generations of customers like to interact with businesses.
Adopting AI (artificial intelligence) may also prove to be profitable to address the multitasking Gen Z or Millennial consumer who may wish to be in touch with your business on their own terms and timeframe, making the adoption of a 24-hour Chabot so customers can self-serve particularly attractive.
Monitor your online reviews.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers don’t trust you, or the government, or the media. These generations of customers do however trust the recommendations of strangers when it comes to interacting with various businesses. This is why Gartner recommends making investments in reputation management software to help manage and moderate service reviews on sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Trustpilot. Young and affluent individuals increasingly create and use consumer-generated content (CGC), with 54% of those aged 23-34 and as much as 87% of respondents worldwide who earn $150,000 or more indicating CGC has influenced one of their offline purchases. You can read about our solution to this matter in this brochure for our Social Advocate™ tool.
To understand Millennial and Gen Z customers, businesses should reframe CX programmes to be more interactive. This means adopting a smartphone friendly, digital approach that encourages self-service and personalisation.