Is Your Customer Experience Leaving Baby Boomers Behind?
By Megan Freshley
Optimizing the Millennial customer experience is a major focus for most companies looking to build an adaptable product support strategy. While baby boomers also spend their fair share of time on mobile devices and social media, it isn’t looking likely that they’ll ever leave their traditional customer support expectations at the door in favor of a more free-flowing, omnichannel experience. So it’s on companies to meet them where they’re comfortable.
Baby boomers are spending more year after year thanks to increased empty-nest leisure time in an improving economy. They make up a huge portion of most brands’ market — 74.9 million in the U.S. alone in fact, just shy of Millennials’ 75.4 million. But leaving them behind when it comes to customer support translates to lost loyalty and, eventually, dwindling profits. That means companies need to define and execute CX tailored to the demographic.
No two generations troubleshoot the same
We live in an age where CX can test the limits of the imagination, but that doesn’t mean everyone is on board. Not all generations are willing to adapt as broadly when seeking customer solutions. AI and chatbots might be taking over, but boomers are more wary than excited about these new methods of support. So why are they still happier calling up an automated customer service 1-800 number, a task most consumers dread?
You could call it authority. Legitimacy. Authentication. They want their solutions to come from the verified source, and even the convenience of chatting with a community manager on Facebook or yelling out “Hey, Alexa” isn’t going to cut it when they’re facing a product problem. They expect structured guidance, and companies can give it to them without needing to fall back on legacy techniques.
Training for a better multigenerational CX
You can’t find a one-size-fits-all approach for nearly 75 million people, although a few things are certain. It’s crucial for boomers to end customer support interactions feeling respected. They might not be digitally nimble enough to work their way through your site’s Help section, and they don’t want to be judged as old or out of touch because of it. This applies to every step of the marketing funnel.
It’s no surprise that boomer consumers resent messaging that belittles them. Implying that they’re less than tech-savvy, even in cases when it’s true, just isn’t good customer service. When this does go wrong, it’s always unintentional of course. It’s just that companies need to train representatives to walk baby boomer customers through a ground-up explanation without expectations about their prior knowledge base.
How video live support closes one CX gap
While a quick Twitter DM might not be the best bet for problem-solving CX with a boomer, live video support is one option that allows for in-depth coaching without doing something they hate — making them feel out of touch. It reads as a legitimate source for anyone who’s used to calling customer service numbers. But removes the crazy-making process of finding your way to a human representative when calling a traditional 1-800 number.
This is the case in both B2B and B2C scenarios. Boomer customers want a representative to come out and guide them through the solution, or they expect a similarly professional one-on-one experience with their personal tech. Support with live video could be the missing link for this generation. It offers the feeling of a personalized visit like a concierge’s desk, especially when it’s delivered with warmth, patience, and professionalism.
Better yet, it lets reps and customers visually show each other what’s going on to cut through any confusion, removing the blindfolds for both parties. All in all, the video support experience still depends on great customer service, the kind all customers expect—not just the boomers.
Is your company holding onto this demographic or losing them? It’s too easy to lose money by neglecting such an active market, and every company has a wealth of opportunities to come up with the perfect experiences for them. With 8,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day in the U.S., what is your brand doing to deliver CX that will continually win them over?
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