Trends & Insights

How Millennials and Generation Z Will Disrupt the Future of Customer Care

By Tom Ihler - January 15, 2019

Millennials are the kids of Baby boomers born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. With around 90 million Millennials in the US alone, they have exceeded the number of Baby Boomers and are now the largest generation. Taken as a whole, they are known to be flexible, adaptive and open-minded towards everything.

However, older generations in particular view them as narcissistic, entitled and too demanding. Nevertheless, they are recognized for being the most active when it comes to environmental issues.

Before you continue reading: We did extensive research to identify the ten most important trends influencing the future of customer service. Check out the following blog post: Ten Trends that Will Redefine the Future of Customer Service

Generation Z, which is the generation following Millennials, accounts for 74 million people in the US! Born between 2000 and 2015, they are primarily children of Generation X and find it hard to imagine a world without the internet. As their communication is mostly digital, you often find them glued to their mobile phone or other electronic devices. Time is their most precious commodity.

Their Relationship with Electronic Devices

Most modern technologies had not yet been invented when Millennials were growing up. And if they were lucky enough to have technology, it was most likely a really basic form of the internet. For example, they had to connect it through a modem which had a really annoying sound and was extremely slow, just like their internet connection. They could actually only do three things on their mobile phones:

  • Call someone - the number one reason for buying a mobile phone
  • Text someone - when calling wasn’t an option or you didn’t feel like talking
  • Play snake - a game fondly remembered by all those Nokia fanboys out there
Millennials have had to discover technology for themselves, which has caused them to become a tech-savvy and curious generation.

On the other hand, most of Generation Z cannot remember a time when devices such as the Nintendo DS or smartphone didn’t exist. Such devices have long been their best friends - in short, they are an integral part of their DNA. This accounts for the reason why they are always online. In fact, most of Generation Z cannot think of anything better than being online and communicating with their friends over social media!

The Usage of the Technologies

The average Millennial has three devices connected to the internet:

  • A smartphone which they use for communication with their friends and for news updates.

  • A tablet which serves the main purpose of watching Netflix and Youtube.

  • A laptop which is their main device for work and university projects.

In their free time, they use these devices for day-to-day activities such as messaging friends, checking Facebook and Twitter or catching up on their daily dose of Netflix. However, it seems like Millennials adapt slower to trends than GenZs - only 23 percent use a virtual assistant regularly, whereas this figure is 31 percent for Gen Z.

Generation Z uses electronic devices more intensely than Millennials. Since they are constantly connected, many people think they don’t often pay attention in conversations because their heads are buried in their smartphone. If they have any questions, their first port of call is not to ask those around them - instead, Google is top of the list!

Providing Perfect Customer Service

How do Millennials and Gen Z behave when one of their devices stops functioning? When it comes to customer service, they do not really differ at all, despite the differences in how they use technology. They both demand efficient customer service that is instant, cheap and accessible anywhere. In addition, sustainability also plays a decisive role for Millennials:

  • They prefer sustainability over speed, but only if it is still delivered reasonably quickly.

  • They prefer cheaper solutions even if they do not come with warranty.

  • And last but not least, they want efficiency!

Let’s start at the beginning: If they are looking for a solution to a problem, they will just google it and read some forums to see if anyone else has encountered this issue before. If they do not find any solutions, they want help and don’t really mind who helps them. If they end up calling a service hotline, they simply desire a quick solution. This means they do not want:

  • A call center employee to make lengthy conversation with them.

  • A call center employee to ask unnecessary questions.

  • A call center employee to do pointless small talk!

If they ever need a replacement phone, it needs to be secure and have all the data from the old phone already on it. In short, it has to work! They do not want to waste a second of their precious time on things that only bring them a step closer to the solution, rather than the solution itself.

Why You Should Listen to Them

As a smartphone and consumer electronics company, we recommend that you listen to the wishes of Millennials and GenZs. If not, you may fall so far behind that it will be impossible to catch up with them and their expectations. Millennials already outnumbered baby boomers in 2016, which means they are now the largest generation. Take note: Gen Z are not far behind!

Millennials already have a global purchasing power of $1 trillion annually - this is set to rise as more and more leave university or finish their apprenticeships and start earning money in the working world.

GenZs are in the same boat. They already have a global purchasing power of $143 billion annually. This is amazing considering that most of them are still at school or at the outset of their university degree. As we can see, Gen Z is playing a crucial role in shaping tomorrow’s economy.

According to a study, $500 billion dollars’ worth of household spending is influenced just by the affect Millennials have on their parents!

These numbers will have an enormous effect on the whole economy and the way the economy will work in future! Considering how significant the impact of customer care is when it comes to loyalty towards a brand, the time has come to pay closer attention to implementing the wants and needs of both Millennials and Generation Z.

Millennials and Gen Z push the boundaries of the customer experience. The exclusive global study »Customer Care 2025« gives new insights into the service of the future. Get the study eBook now!

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Trends & Insights

About the Author

Tom Ihler

Tom Ihler is Millennial and GenZ Advisor at B2X. He supports B2X in developing consumer insights on next-generation user groups.