As part of our customer research project, designed to identify what customers are looking for in a great service experience, one of the questions we ask is for respondents to rate the value of various communication channels being available for use when interacting with a company’s customer service or support organization. One of the biggest distinctions we saw was in reference to the social media channel – and the difference was based on the age of the respondent.
For those age 18-24, 43% said social media was “valuable” or “extremely valuable.” For those 65 years of age or older, that number was 13%. That 40 years makes a big difference in the preference. So as you read this statistic, you might say, “Duh! Younger people prefer social channels. I get it.” Now let’s go beyond the “duh” moment.
Certainly younger people are more social media savvy. But do companies realize that more and more, these 18-24 year olds have money to spend? They are graduating from college. They are getting full-time jobs. They are moving up in the management ranks. The implementation of a solid social media strategy as part of your overall communications plan doesn’t happen overnight. So with the desire, or need, for social media availability by this upcoming age group of consumers, the time is now to plan for and get your social media act together. Otherwise, you might see your addressable market begin to fade away in more ways than one.
Joe Staples – chief social media convert