Every few years businesses are faced with a conundrum: their existing product or service offerings no longer meet the needs of the majority of their customers.
In today’s fast-paced digitally-driven world, the time jump between these periods is getting smaller and smaller as the rate of change speeds up. That time has arrived yet again.
In true “blink-and-you’ve-missed-it” fashion, the next generation of consumers has come of age, upending millennials as the youngest consumer demographic and once again compelling telcos to reconsider their service strategies to remain relevant.
Generation Z has entered the chat. They know exactly what they want from service providers and if these providers, including telcos, fail to deliver on these expectations, they’ll take their spending ability (all collective $150 billion of it) elsewhere without a second thought.
Telcos who want to succeed with this generation first need to know what shapes their demands and expectations as well as how to talk to them (hint: there is barely any talking involved). Read on to learn how to win Gen Z consumers.
Welcome to Gen “Mute”
For a little more context, Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2012. They’re currently the fastest-growing consumer demographic in history, consisting of over 65 million people in the United States alone.
They’re also known as “Gen Mute” thanks to their tendency to avoid answering phone calls, with 75% of Gen Z consumers reporting that they never answer their phones.
They’re too young to remember a world before wireless internet, instant messaging, social media, streaming platforms, and smartphones. This shared experience plays into the mentality and expectations of Generation Z in the way they interact with brands.
You might be wondering where exactly the line is drawn between Gen Z consumers and their millennial predecessors.
Age gaps aside (millennials were born between 1980 and 1995), Generation Z consumers have been shown to expect more innovation from service providers than millennials, which they want to see reflected in their products, services, and experiences.
They expect businesses to provide the same differentiated and innovative customer experiences they get from the likes of Netflix, Instagram, and Amazon.
How to Win the Battle for Gen Z Customers
Forget the phone calls
As mentioned above, Gen Z consumers dislike answering phone calls and prefer to avoid calling as a primary means of communication. Research on this has found that the reason for this is that they dislike the “small talk” aspect of making and receiving phone calls.
Instead, they prefer fast, more direct means of communication - digital communication channels. Telcos who want to win over Gen Z subscribers need to prioritize the digitalization of communication. They can do this by abandoning bloated call centers and reinvesting in supplying fully digitalized communication channels.
Make self-service a priority
When it comes to support services, Generation Z customers, more than any earlier generation, tend to favor self-service. While many service providers may already have customer portals or FAQ sections on their website, their self-service efforts need to extend further to satisfy zoomers.
Growing up as independent learners who searched for answers via their mobile phones, Generation Z consumers are innately used to discovering things for themselves.
Live support should always be on hand, but stats show that younger consumers prefer to seek out answers by themselves through automated support and chatbots.
Reach them on their preferred channel
Offering digital variety is necessary for Gen Z consumers. While older generations like Boomers prefer to keep their communication primarily to calling and occasionally emails, it’s common for younger subscribers to “jump” between communication channels, such as Facebook to WhatsApp.
This is in line with the busy lifestyle they live, preferring to engage on the go instead of from a fixed location.
For this reason, telcos need to offer as many digital channels as possible so that subscribers may select and work from their preferred channel, making them more likely to make contact again in the future.
Personalize their experience
Lastly, Generation Z cares more about personalization than millennials or boomers, with a recent survey finding that 44% of Gen Z respondents said they would be willing to trade their data with brands if it provided them with a more personalized customer experience.
Telcos can capitalize on this by harnessing the power of Gen Z data to tailor their engagement campaigns, so they reflect products and services that personally interest each Gen Z subscriber.
Gen Z consumers appreciate and tend to respond well to this kind of tailored messaging and will be more likely to make a purchase or click to learn more - all of which can help telcos to plan their future communications.
As telcos revamp and refine their service offerings, they need to keep a keen eye on incoming trends, and the generations that set them, which will affect future products and services they develop.