Deliver exceptional customer service by meeting your customers’ unique communication preferences with multichannel contact centre software.
You’ve just purchased a brand-new toaster. For the first week, it functioned without a hitch, but this morning it stopped mid-toast. You went through the typical motions: checked that the plug was secure and switched on and pressed a few buttons. Still nothing.
You decide to contact the store you bought it from and request a replacement. Do you:
- Phone the store
- Email the store
- Engage in a live chat on the store’s website
- Message the store on social media?
If you were born before 1965, you likely prefer speaking to customer support on the phone. If you were born between 1965 and 1980, chances are you’ll send an email or speak to customer support on the phone. If you’re a Millennial, you’ll email or head to social media.
The lesson: different demographics have different communication preferences. And multichannel contact centre software can help your organisations be all things to all people.
Communication preferences matter
Delivering the right information to the right people is crucial to every organisations’ success, but it’s an undertaking is made more difficult by increasingly diverse communication preferences. For organisations with customers spanning multiple generations, focusing efforts on one channel over another could mean the difference between annoying and delighting your target audience.
Every generation grew up with distinctive technologies and norms. Here’s how these differences influence their communication preferences in the 2020s.
Traditionalists (born before 1946)
Traditionalists may be scarce in the workforce, but they are still consumers. Some lived during the Great Depression, and all experienced the impacts of World War II first-hand. Technology was, to today’s standards, basic. Rotary telephones and typewriters stood in place of smartphones and laptops. As they matured, they experienced strong job security, priding themselves as loyal, long-term employees.
What do they expect from 21st Century communication?
- When writing, flawless grammar, formal manners, and good old-fashioned respect – three features that should permeate all customer correspondence.
- While some do well with email, most prefer speaking on the phone – and the more phone calls, the better.
- In conversation, they like their knowledge and experience to be recognised.
Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964)
Baby Boomers were aptly named in reference to the surge of births after World War II. They were the first generation to grow up with television, empowering them to become more connected with world events and social movements.
Research suggests that Baby Boomers prioritise price and often prefer an extensive product or service range over a personalised customer experience. Face-to-face and telephone communications are still effective, but this generation favours email.
Baby Boomers also use social media outside the workplace, though not as frequently as younger generations. You may have success reaching and engaging this generation on Facebook in particular. What’s more, almost one-third of Boomers now shop online.
Generation X (born 1965 to 1980)
Significant technological advancements influenced Generation X through their formative years: VHS tapes, cordless phones, the Walkman, and later personal computers, email, and mobile phones. This generation was the first to use digital technology to complete daily activities. Email fast became the primary method of communication, and Gen X still prefers this channel.
Generation X does use social media regularly, with Facebook and YouTube being their chosen platforms. Each day, this generation racks up over 1.5 billion YouTube views. That being said, they tend to keep social media for personal use only and tend not to think of it as a place to contact businesses.
Millennials (born 1981 to 1997)
Millennials spent their childhood years online – they are tech natives that use social media daily. Interestingly, Millennials are more likely to make a purchase as a result of an email, but many still prefer SMS and live chat for customer service and technical support.
This generation is relatively opposed to phone calls, feeling more comfortable using written forms of communication that are convenient and enable them to select their words carefully.
Millennials want short, fast, and easy-to-understand communications – they tend to switch between channels and devices quickly and intuitively. Research has shown that this generation values personalised interaction more than any other.
Generation Z or Zoomers (born after 1997)
Generation Z grew up with a smartphone in their hands – they are more trusting of digital information, further removed from their physical environment, and more aware of global issues. They don’t know a world without the internet, which is likely why they don’t tend to gravitate toward traditional means of communication like phone calls.
Incredibly, over 80 per cent of Zoomers look to social media to inform their purchasing decisions, with almost half heralding Instagram as their number one platform. Like Millennials, Gen Z craves personalised customer experience, one that is entertaining, visually stimulating, and quick to process.
The value of multichannel contact centre software
Many organisations, responding to our new pandemic world, are rethinking their customer relationships and rehashing the importance of customer-centricity.
Achieving genuine customer-centricity in customer service, marketing, and other areas of communication means catering to your customers’ preferences – even when those preferences differ within your customer base.
The solution: multichannel contact centre software.
What is multichannel contact centre software?
Multi means many, so multichannel simply means many channels. Companies with a multichannel contact centre can connect with customers via phone, email, SMS, webchat and other platforms. In other words, they can meet their customers’ communication preferences.