How Gen Z Is Changing the Way We Serve and Support Customers

Generation Z illustration with a Z and people

Tricia Morris at 8×8 explains how Gen Z is changing the way we serve and support customers.

As a group, Gen Z is said to be empathetic, socially conscious, and is the first generation to have lived with smartphones since their infancy.

Soon they will be the largest consumer demographic alongside millennials. Purchasing power will be in their hands, and organizations must meet (and exceed) their expectations if they want a share of their wallets.

With that in mind, several things stand out for Gen Z that organizations and their customer experience leaders must be aware of:

  • Self-service on external channels
  • Self-service on company-owned channels
  • Gen Z is more forgiving
  • Personalization is now a must
  • Broad channel usage

Self-Service on External Channels

One of the defining features of Gen Z is their preference for self-service customer support over alternatives, especially third-party channels external to a company such as YouTube videos and Google search.

According to data from Gartner, 44% of Gen Z consumers have as much confidence in third-party guidance as they do in guidance provided directly by the organization.

And, when faced with the option of self-resolving an issue, 75% say they’d use external channels first.

Commenting on the tendency of Gen Z customers to use these third-party channels, Deborah Alvord, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, said, “service leaders should embrace this trend as it helps to increase customer loyalty.”

Organizations can create loyalty by understanding their Gen Z customers’ journeys using contact centre data, and feeding it into their broader communications strategies to ensure third-party content addresses Gen Z consumers’ issues.

Self-Service on Company-Owned Channels

Many Gen Z customers still end up using the company-owned self-service channels, which is their preference over talking to an agent.

The latest Gartner research highlights a “self-service or no service” attitude within Gen Z consumers when it comes to customer support.

Thirty-eight percent of Gen Z customers say they’re likely to give up trying to resolve an issue if they can’t resolve it in self-service. In contrast, only 11% of boomers would give up.

Rather than merely coping with Gen Z’s “self-service or no service” attitude, organizations can use it to their advantage in three ways:

Boost the Effectiveness of Self-Service Channels

Organizations that make their self-service channels more effective will capture a larger portion of the Gen Z market.

They can improve effectiveness by using a combination of conversational AI and generative AI while taking advantage of the data gathered using contact centre analytics.

Faster Interventions From Agents

If organizations can identify when a self-service channel isn’t working and insert live-agent support quicker, then they will stop many Gen Z customers from abandoning their interactions.

Reduce Channel Friction

The hand-off from bots to a live agent must be frictionless, however, and should not require Gen Z customers to repeat information that they’ve already supplied to the AI.

Friction between channels and repeating information also encourages many Gen Z consumers to abandon their calls.

Gen Z Is More Forgiving, Which Gives CX Leaders a Chance for Excellence

Gen Z as a whole is more forgiving of bad customer experiences than previous generations, according to research conducted by Experience Dynamics.

Their research says Gen Z customers are prepared to give companies an average of 2.6 chances to make up for a bad experience, whereas boomers are willing to give only 1.1 chances on average.

There may be several reasons for being more forgiving of bad experiences, but whatever they are, Gen Z’s forgivingness gives customer service leaders greater room to achieve CX excellence.

Rather than seeing the 2.6 chances as a “buffer” for making mistakes, customer service leaders can see it as a chance for refinement. Because there is more room for failure, there’s more room for improvement.

Organizations using data-driven customer service tools can harness the data collected from the bad experiences comprising the 2.6 chances to hone and refine their CX.

That data can be used to inform the customer experience strategy as a whole, including using predictive analytics. And it can be used to customize individuals’ experiences – our next key Gen Z insight.

Personalization Is Primary

Gen Z consumers want personalized experiences from their brands. The algorithms of media giants have made personalization normal, and so it has come to be expected in most consumer-brand interactions.

Research from Broadridge Communications shows that 77% of Gen Z consumers believe that it is important for brands to customize their experience to specific customer interests and needs, while 74% would spend more money with a company that provides good customer experience and meets these expectations.

The flipside is losing customers. According to WP Engine data, 65% of Gen Z would leave an online retailer if their experience is not personalized.

Organizations capable of harnessing the data within their contact centres have many opportunities to excel, turning personalization into mind-reading of customers’ preferences.

Beyond Standard Channels

Gen Z consumers want to use even more communication channels, such as WhatsApp and social media platforms.

Research from HubSpot shows that 90% of Gen Z consumers now expect organizations to have social media channels they can use for customer engagement and support.

Using data to understand the needs and preferences of consumers, organizations can create increasingly personalized support experiences and self-service options that Gen Z and other generations love.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of 8x8 – View the Original Article

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About 8x8

8x8 8x8 is transforming the future of business communications as a leading Software-as-a-Service provider of voice, video, chat, contact centre, and enterprise-class API solutions, powered by one global cloud communications platform.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: 8x8

Published On: 19th Feb 2024
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