Most of your business’ customers will likely need support from you as time goes on.
However, the type of support your customers want will vary from customer to customer, as different generations have preferences for different types of service.
It’s important to meet consumer expectations, so in this post, we’ll outline consumer data from HubSpot’s Consumer Trends Report that explains how each generation prefers to get customer service.
How Does Gen Z Get Customer Service?
The main ways that Gen Z prefers to get customer service in 2022 are phone calls, emails, and live chat or chatbots. In-person customer service, SMS, and online forms follow close behind.
If your primary customer base is Gen Z, you can create a satisfying customer experience for them by making sure that:
- It’s easy for customers to contact you over the phone.
- Your reps have access to call center software and the resources they need to provide excellent service over the phone.
- You don’t have long hold times.
- Support reps are trained in phone etiquette, like active listening, being clear and concise with instructions, and maintaining a positive tone and attitude.
It’s also important to note that, while only 11% of Gen Zers say sending a DM on social media is their preferred channel for customer service, over 1 in 4 Gen Zers have gotten customer service on social media in the past three months. To meet Gen Z on social media, you can:
- Create a social media customer service strategy.
- Find the social channels your customers are most active on and maintain a presence on them.
- Actively monitor your mentions and direct mentions for customer queries.
It’s important to note that customer service on social media is still new and growing but will likely see more use going forward as social apps develop more eommerce-like shopping tools. As more and more social media shopping options become available, more and more customers of different generations could increase their use of social media customer service.
How Do Millennials Get Customer Service?
Millennials prefer to get customer service through email, phone calls, and in person. Live chat/chatbots, online forms, and text messages are also popular customer service channels among Millennials.
To speak to their customer service preferences, you can:
- Make it easy for customers to contact you over email, like having a clickable email address on your website.
- Use customer service inbox software that helps reps answer emails and bring solutions.
- Create email templates so reps can give quick, accurate, and standardized replies to customer messages.
How Does Gen X Prefer to Get Customer Service?
Next, let’s look at how Gen X likes to get customer service.
46% of Gen Xers prefer customer service by phone, followed by email at 40%, and in-person at a store at 37%. About 1 in 3 like to go through a live chat tool/chatbot on a company’s website.
How Do Boomers Prefer to Get Customer Service?
When it comes to customer service, Boomers are in line with the other generations in their preferences, other than Gen Z, who additionally favors sending DMs to brands on social media.
55% of Boomers like to get customer service by phone, followed by 30% by email, 27% in-person, and 22% prefer a live chat tool or chatbot. If Boomers are your largest customer base, you can prioritize their customer service desires by:
- Make your customer service desks visible and easily accessible in your stores.
- Ensuring service reps have the resources to help customers find solutions in-store, like access to knowledge bases.
- Training reps to be empathetic and active listeners eager to help meet customers' needs.
- If you’re a retail store, train reps in proactive customer service so they can approach customers and ask if there’s anything they can help with before there is even an issue.
An Omnichannel Approach Is Still Important
Our recent survey shows generational differences in customer service preferences, but still, there is crossover between them.
As a result, planning your primary customer service strategies around your largest customer base is a best practice. Still, a multichannel approach ensures you can speak to your other customers of different generations or those that deviate from the preferences of their age group.
For example, if your customer base is Gen Z, you want to ensure your phone support is excellent first and foremost, but you might also want to consider offering email, social media, and live chat support to meet other customer preferences.
At the end of the day, regardless of generation, being available on the channels your customers contact you builds customer satisfaction — a pillar of customer loyalty.