Who is your customer base? You may think you know, but delving into the world of demographics can give you answers you might never have thought you could find.
Some people believe that there is no importance when it comes to demographics; someone’s age and other life experiences shouldn’t matter when it comes to providing them with great customer service. While you should certainly provide all of your consumers with equally outstanding service, tailoring that service to their unique life stages and personal experiences can help you provide the best possible experience for everyone.
Seeing Demographic Differences for What They Are: Generational Divides
When researching the best way to communicate with your consumers, you likely encounter information that is taken en masse. This means that all groups are lumped together in the samples, making the data somewhere inaccurate. For example, you may find a statistic that says that about half of all consumers prefer to communicate by traditional phone call, while the other half prefer text-based methods of communication.
The problem is, that information shifts drastically when you examine it further. Along generational divide lines, those percentage slopes are steeper and the differences are much clearer. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just isn’t information that every business is taking into account, which means there could be something very wrong with their approach to customer service.
Going back to our example, for instance, when you take a closer look at that 50/50 split, you see that it is not so simple. In fact, it may be something more along the lines of 70% of millennials prefer texting or other, “alternative” channels of communication, while only about 30% of Baby Boomers feel the same way. That is a major difference!
Before you can cater to the different demographics of your consumer base, you have to know why they prefer what they do. Here are a few pointers for figuring out the driving force behind demographic-based preferences:
Why do so many younger people prefer texting? Because they feel like it’s faster. The convenience of being able to send someone a message without having to dial, wait for a connection, and interrupt your daily schedule is very appealing to some people. They are also able to avoid long wait times that may come with traditional contact center phone calls, which can equate to major time savings.
Ironically, Baby Boomers give the exact same reason for preferring voice communication. They feel that it gets right to the heart of the matter in question, keeping conversation shorter and saving them time. Can both groups be correct?
Actually, yes. Because it isn’t about which method is literally shorter in terms of time. It is about the time you are saving your individual consumer - the time they don’t have to take out of their day to contact your center. In that sense, whatever the consumer’s preference is, catering to it is your best bet for providing great customer service.
It’s no secret that people from every age group generally don’t like calling contact centers. This is most likely because when they do call, they already have a problem that they need to have resolved. However, it also has a lot to do with the fact that they often encounter annoyances along the path to receiving customer service - annoyances that your team should be working to minimize.
For older consumers, these annoyances come in the form of long wait times and feeling as if they have to explain themselves repeatedly. These problems lead to a feeling of being undervalued, something that members of this generation generally don’t like. Most customers don’t enjoy feeling like less than a priority, but you’re not likely to get the same leniency from a Baby Boomer on the issue that you might receive from a millennial.
On the opposite side, those millennial consumers have very little patience for poor performance. If your self-service menu isn’t providing the help or answers they need, they’re likely to simply disconnect the call. This can reflect poorly on your agents and your business, especially since this generation is more likely to share online feedback than previous generations.
Cater to both sides of this coin by ensuring that your center is running smoothly when it comes to customer service. Your agents should be well-trained so that constant repetition of important information is not necessary, while your automated features should be fully functional as well. Only by approaching it from both angles can you hope to develop a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
Knowing the Difference in Personal Preference and Demographic Leaning
You can’t cater to every consumer individually, but you can use demographics to make things feel more personalized. However, it is important to note that there will always be exceptions. A 90-year old woman who is a frequent texter or a college student who lives on the phone - you’re going to encounter the outlier or two while determining how to serve your clients. When you do, remember that demographics are guidelines - and always have a secondary way at the ready to provide customer service.
Use Technology to Enhance Your Customer Service Approach
No matter how solid your strategies are for providing great, demographically-tailored customer service to your consumers, the best way to start is always to have the right tools and technology. If your center lacks the self-service software you need to provide options for millennials - or the automatic call distribution you need to keep wait times short for Baby Boomers - your business will suffer because of it.
For the industry’s best tools and technology, contact the experts at ChaseData. We have everything you need to outfit your center properly - and provide the best customer service to every consumer who calls. Give us a call - or drop us a message - to learn more today!