Millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomer. How do these customer groups interact with organizations in today’s technology-driven markets? Are these descriptions accurate? Some attributes are specific to each group, but many cross all generations depending on the level of technical ability they possess, but more importantly the technology channels they prefer to use, as well as the manner in which they process the information they seek.
As customer experience strategies are developed and implemented across all industries, organizations must fully understand all aspects of how customers prefer to interact. There is a critical need to fully understand social technology – it’s not just social media. All channels should be considered “social” and in today’s markets, need to be tightly integrated to ensure every customer interaction is transparent across teams for unified visibility.
Customers are accessing information from all angles and in all channels. Today, businesses need to be nimble and agile enough to meet these needs as the customer preferences change. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, the interaction and the resulting experience should feel the same for each. Organizations must also know where their customers are, as well as their preferred channels for interacting. For instance:
- Gen Y and Millennials: younger customers prefer to use text messaging or SMS and social media for connecting and interacting. They want the “instant connection” that can be made through these channels.
- Gen X and younger Baby Boomers: including the “Apple” crowd have preferences that cross the spectrum of all communication channels. An interaction could easily start via mobile app/online, move to a chat interaction, and finally a call. Contact center agents should be trained across all channels to ensure the experience flows easily for these customers.
- The Baby Boomer and older customers: prefer a face to face interaction or a phone call, they may utilize email, and some may use some social channels. This group can be a bit more difficult to engage due to the wide range of preferences displayed and utilized.
While customers seek out and process communications and information differently, successful businesses must fully understand and implement strategies that address these differing preferences. Organizations that deploy social programs need to be fully aware that customers who access these social channels expect a response within at least 10 minutes. If not, the experience begins to deteriorate. Being fully aware and respectful of a customer’s time is a critical piece of their experience and interaction.
Designing and using all communication channels, including social technology, in the right manner for your organization creates loyalty and builds a strong customer base. This in turn creates, a diverse group of brand advocates that will actively and readily promote your business.
Building a real relationship with your customers takes time. And in today’s tech savvy and multi-generational world, businesses must adapt quickly to meet the communication needs and wants of their customers. Be in tune with your customers. Know their communication preferences. Build credibility, trust and loyalty.
And you know, stop by, call me, tweet me, or Google+ me.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed that I talk about quality frequently. I’m not afraid to say that I think you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your customers’ experiences if you aren’t listening to those calls, chats, emails, etc.
There’s another side to this listening task. True voice of the customer is more than just the conversation they have with your agents. It’s also something you can catch through a post-call survey.
What is a post-call survey, you ask? This is typically an automated survey with just a few questions that are presented [...]
Earlier this summer, Amazon turned a service failure into a genuine feel-good moment. It was a great illustration of how the art of customer engagement is changing, for the better.
My family had gathered together to watch a movie while away for the weekend in wine country. The choice was finally made (after much debate), seats negotiated, licorice distributed and play button pushed. Suddenly the dreaded “death spiral” appeared on screen as the movie continued to buffer. After putting the room back in order, my family begrudgingly retreated to bed. Before my head hit the pillow, I decided to check [...]
Younger generations including the Millennials and GenY are known as being driven by technology, they want less personalization, and are instant gratification-type generations. They want their information when and how they prefer, and tend to be able to get what they need in a flash. Their communications are based on social, mobile, and instant messaging platforms, and it’s an assumption that personalization isn’t a priority for them. But, is that really the case?
In an effort to better understand these preferences and trends, I pulled together a multi-generational panel that represented various types of policyholders during the insurance track at [...]
A contact center strategic plan is critical to ensuring that your week-over-week service delivery is consistent and efficient. Often called a capacity plan it is the best mechanism for making important operational decisions, like, “should we hire or use overtime to hit our seasonal peak?” or “should we have our customer service phone agents take emails during their downtime?” or “what will happen if the economy rebounds and our volumes increase?”
If plans are efficient, it will mean that week-over-week the center will have exactly the correct number of agents to always hit service goals (service levels, occupancy, abandon rates [...]
The average person checks email as much as 30 times every hour. For you math wizards out there, that is about once every two minutes. Nobody likes a full inbox to filter through, but we do love that “bing” sound that goes off when we have a new email waiting. Most of us are so impulsive with new notifications that we just have to see what we might be missing.
So just how harmless is an unnecessary email distraction? Can’t we just scan it quickly and delete it? That only takes about five seconds right? Actually, it’s deceiving to look [...]
Nine and a half years is a long time at one company… in the same job. As a result, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way. And while the list of things I’ve learned as chief marketing officer might be longer, I’ve identified six key lessons that I think have been some of the most valuable:
There is no substitute for a visionary CEO. Market conditions are constantly changing. I’ve learned that a good, smart leader can usually get the current conditions right. But the secret to long-term sustained growth is a CEO who is constantly able to see what [...]
I come across people in my training classes all of the time who are not doing any sort of quality monitoring of their contact center agents and it completely baffles me. Now, when I say “quality monitoring”, I mean some sort of recording and scoring of the agents’ interactions with your customers. There are so many justifications for it, such as allowing the agents to actually hear what they sound like when speaking to customers, that it seems monitoring would just be an obvious thing to do and yet so many companies don’t.
Is it a financial thing? Perhaps the [...]
We live in amazing times. With a web browser or a mobile phone, I am a simple Google search away from the answer to almost any question I can think up. Whether it’s finding out the average yearly rainfall in Burma, how many Academy Awards has Michael Caine won, or getting walking directions to the nearest Starbucks, finding information in the modern world is unbelievably easy. The most frustrating exception to this rule is information about the people I work with. I have lost track of how many times I have needed to reach a co-worker on their [...]