All customers, young and old, have different ideas of what customer service means to them. These varying expectations require customer service departments to accommodate all types of customers, as well as support the different ways those customers communicate.
Researchers and social commentators divide age groups into a few particular categories, defined by certain experiences and traits.
- Millennials/Generation Y: 20’s and 30’s
- Generation X: 30’s and 40’s
- Baby Boomers: 50’s and 60’s
- Retirees: Late 60’s and up
Generation X, Millennials and Teens are most comfortable with computers, so they tend to prefer online channels when they communicate with customer service departments. Since Millennials and Teens use social media sites, they expect to use these accounts to communicate directly with customer service reps.
Baby Boomers and Retirees tend to stick to more traditional and personal means of communication. Though some in this group may consider themselves just as computer-savvy as younger generations, research shows they usually prefer to make a phone call or even go directly to the business to talk face-to-face if they need help.
Recent research also demonstrates a generational gap when it comes to customer loyalty. With age comes a greater sense of product and company loyalty uncommon in younger groups who are more inclined to go after the best deal or follow a trend.
Keep in mind, these descriptions are flexible and many exceptions to these common behaviors exist. However, in order to provide service tailored to each and every generation, all possible lines of communication should be used.