Are Your Communications Up to Date for the Digital Generation?

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RingCentralEmpower your business on a global scale with the #1 cloud communications solution.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Your target customer base evolves and changes regularly, and in the current digitized world, organizations have to match their operations to the digital native culture of the consumer.

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Are Your Communications Up to Date for the Digital Generation?
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Communicating with your customers is vital to maintain interest, engagement, and sales, yet the way you communicate will impact whether they stick around. Generation Z and Millennials have a clear preference for digital channels when communicating with companies, and accepting this is essential to creating future contact centers.

Many companies already recognize the need to shift their focus when it comes to customer communications. One study found that 89% of contact centers plan to support messaging and self-service apps within two years while web chat and social media are also high on the priority list. However, to create a fully focused and effective digital-first contact center, it’s essential to understand your audience and find communication channels that suit their preferences.

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Understanding Gen Z

There are distinct differences between Millennials (Gen Y) and Generation Z. However, there are also many characteristics they share and as these demographic groups make up a significant percentage of the consumer population, it's vital to understand their values and preferences.

Where Gen Y and Gen Z meet

Both Millennials and Gen Z are tech-led and tech-savvy. They’re reliant on technologies in a way previous generations simply aren’t. This makes them eager and motivated to adopt and accept new apps and software platforms, adapting to change with ease. With a tech-led mindset, Gen Z is also positioned to have higher expectations from companies and communications.

Both these demographic groups have also grown up in a culture where they want everyone now. On-demand services are an expectation and prompt service, instant information and fast, self-service options satisfy their needs and expectations. Both groups also find motivation in experiences and are the target market for a honed and perfected customer experience or journey, including every communications touchpoint along the way.

Where Gen Z stands out on its own

Generation Z has also developed some unique characteristics; many learnt from the mistakes of Millennials. Gen Z is recognized as a more cautious generation, with a greater understanding of the ramifications of online activity and its digital footprint. They have developed a reputation for seeking out knowledge and developing advanced research skills due to growing up with 24/7 internet access. Gen Z are digital natives—they've grown up fully in the online world, and their experience of face-to-face and even telephone interactions is much lower than their older counterparts.

All of this adds up to a persona that businesses can utilize to direct the future of their contact center services and communications.

Communicating with Gen Z

Gen Z represents people born between 1997 and 2012. This puts the older end of this spectrum in the peak of their consumer years and the ways in which they buy are already impacting the business world. One study found Gen Z currently spend $143bn every year. Further research has also shown that they’re less brand loyal than previous generations, and as they gain buying power, this may shape the direction of communications to lure them in.

The direction and focus of contact centers needs to shift to satisfy changing expectations. Surprisingly, Gen Z has seen a resurgence of phone calls that Millennials are known to be wary of, and are more likely to use functions such as click-to-call.

Gen Z thrive on fast, responsive service, so not answering quickly becomes a real problem. One study found Gen Z are 60% more likely to hang up if a call isn’t responded to within 45 seconds, so contact centers need to consider how to manage this level of responsiveness and consider dynamic routing solutions to improve response times.

Gen Z is also notable for its use of multiple channels and touchpoints to engage a company to resolve service issues. Forcing them to select between a narrow range of media or only allowing resolutions via phone call or email won’t provide satisfactory service. Businesses need to offer a range of options—mobile-friendly websites, click-to-call functionality, WhatsApp integration, and contact centers primed to handle heavy volumes are just some of the solutions consumers expect.

Contact centers designed with digital natives in mind have to embrace an omnichannel approach to communications. All channels should be consistent, seamless, and give the end-user the experience and access to the information they need.

Don't forget personalization

AI is becoming a game-changer in customer service because it allows for advanced personalization. AI allows for quick and precise data handling and can use consumers' personal information to improve their customer service experience. However, contact center employees can do the same and more, utilizing the findings and analysis generated to create personalized experiences for all consumers they communicate with. Connecting customer service to first-party data is crucial for delivering the personalized engagements Generation Z expects. One to one personalized attention and hyper-relevant customer support will become ever more important as consumers expect more from all communications with service providers and retailers.

Leveling up communications in a digital-first society

Some people argue the traditional contact center is dead, but in reality, it’s simply evolving. With the right approach and an in-depth understanding of the target customer, there’s no reason you can't succeed and continue to deliver exceptional levels of service that no artificial or computer-based alternative can replicate. Now, more than ever, consumers appreciate personalized and targeted service, and in utilizing the tools and data available, dynamic contact centers can meet these needs with ease.

Recognizing your contact center needs an upgrade or some additional training to satisfy the modern consumer's needs is a great starting point. You can adapt and change your existing strategies to ensure you capture and engage as many digital-age consumers as possible by keeping the above points in mind.

Further reading

RingCentral

Empower your business on a global scale with the #1 cloud communications solution.

https://www.ringcentral.com/

RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE: RNG) is a global provider of cloud enterprise unified communications and collaboration solutions. More flexible and cost-effective than legacy on-premise systems, RingCentral empowers today’s mobile and distributed workforces to be connected anywhere and on any device through voice, video, team messaging, collaboration, SMS, conferencing, online meetings, contact center, and fax. RingCentral provides an open platform that integrates with today’s leading business apps while giving customers the flexibility to customize their own workflows.
 

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