Trends & Insights

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

By Tom Ihler - August 06, 2018

Millennials, these are the kids of the Baby boomers born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. With alone 90.000.000 people in the US being Millennials they passed the Baby boomers and are now the largest generation. They are flexible and adaptive and are open-minded towards everything.

But they are also seen, especially by the older generations, as narcissistic, entitled and too demanding. On the other hand they are also known for being the most active when it comes to environmental issues.

Generation Z is the generation following the Millennials there already 74 million of them in the US! They are born between 2000 and 2015. They are mostly children of the Generation X and were raised during the times of the internet. They are always on their phone or any other electronic device and their communication is mostly digital. The thing they care most about is their own time!

Their Relationship with Electronic Devices

When the Millennials grew up most of the modern technology was not invented yet. Or when it was, the technology was really basic like for example the internet. First of all, they had to connect to it through a modem which sounded annoying and was super slow, just like their internet connection. With their phones they could only do three things:

  • Call someone which was the primary reason for buying a mobile phone
  • Text someone when calling was not an option or you just didn’t feel like talking
  • Play snake which should ring a bell for those of you who were Nokia fanboys
The Millennials had to discover every technology for themselves, which lead to a tech savvy and curious generation.

Most of Generation Z on the other hand cannot remember a time without a gaming console like the Nintendo DS or a smartphone. This is why they know these devices better than any other generation. They grew up with those things, they are in their DNA! This is also why they are online all the time. In fact, most of Generation Z does not know anything else than being online and communicating with friends over the internet!

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 them for daily things like texting with friends, looking at Facebook and twitter or watching Netflix. But it already appears that they adapt slower to trends than the GenZs. Only 23 percent of them use a virtual assistant regularly, while 31 percent of the GenZs use it regularly.

Generation Z uses electronic devices more intense than Millennials. They are always online. This often seems to people like they do not even pay attention in a conversation because many of them do look at their smartphone while talking to you. They are in constant connection with their virtual assistant if they have any questions.

The Perfect Customer Service for Them

And now: How do Millennials and GenZ behave when one of their devices stops functioning? When it comes to customer service they do not really differ at all despite the differences how they use technology. They want their service fast, if possible instant, cheap and everywhere. For the Millennials sustainability also plays a big role.

  • We prefer sustainability over speed, but only if it is still delivered at a reasonable speed.
  • We prefer cheaper solutions even if they do not get warranty afterwards.
  • And last but not least, we want efficiency!
But let’s start at the beginning. If they have a problem they do not know the answer to, they will just google the problem and look at some forums to see if anybody else had this problem before. If they do not find any solutions, they want help and they do not care who helps them. So, they will call a service hotline, and if they do, they really want a quick solution.
  • No call center employee who discusses with them.
  • No call center employee who asks unnecessary questions.
  • No call center employee who does aimless small talk!

When they need an exchange phone it has to have all data from the old phone already on it and it needs to be secure.

To say it short: It has to be effective. They do not want to waste a second of their precious time on things that bring them a step closer to their solution.

Why You Should Listen to Us

As a smartphone and consumer electronics company, you better listen to the wishes of us Millennials and GenZs otherwise you will fall so far behind that it will not be possible to catch up with us and our expectations. Millennials already outnumbered the baby boomers in 2016. We are now the largest generation. And the GenZs will follow their footsteps soon.

Millennials already got a global purchasing power of $1 trillion annually and it will go up with more and more of us leaving university and having finished our apprenticeships and will start to join the work force and earn our own money.

With the GenZs it is no difference. They already have a global purchasing power of $143 billion annually. This is amazing if you see that most of them are still in school or starting to attend university. GenZs even do have another point to impact the economy.

According to a study, $500 billion dollars’ worth of household spendings are influenced just by the affect the 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 on the loyalty towards a brand is, the time has come to better to listen to the wants and needs of Millennials and Generation Z.

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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.