The term “generation” refers to a group of people who have shared certain experiences in their past, such as music, values, education, communication styles, historical events, cultural experiences, and so on. These shared experiences creates community and consistency among members of that generation.
While it is dangerous to stereotype any group, members of each generation have certain common characteristics that are significantly different from members of other generations. They share similar values and interests, but individual attitudes, preferences, and characteristics may vary wildly.
Right now, we serve four generations of customers, and a fifth generation is just around the corner. Never before have businesses needed to juggle such an age-diverse customer base. Advanced technologies have increased life spans, and fragile economies have required people to work longer. Retirement age is now edging toward 70, which means the generation gap in today’s customer base is the greatest and most complex it has ever been.
Everyone has different perspectives on the meaning of customer service, how it should be delivered and what the customer service experience should be like – all of which require flexibility and adaptability. Older generations generally prefer more hands-on, personalized service while younger generations are happier using technology. With older customers, expect to spend more time and give them more attention. Younger customers, on the other hand, want fast, efficient, online solutions.