A new generation is coming into the marketplace: Generation Z. This is a generation who grew up with the Internet, computers, smart phones and social media. They are pro collaborators and value informal, instant, and digital communication. According to Pew research, over 85% own mobile phones and over 50% use chat/messaging on a regular basis. Instant communication is a standard for Generation Z; phone calls are not.
Businesses must adapt to this new type of customer. From a customer service perspective, call centers need to become contact centers, providing real time responses. Below are several actions to consider as we embrace this new generation. By doing so you will increase productivity, improving reaction time and ultimately improving customer retention.
- Continually monitor social media. Numerous social media monitoring tools exist that will notify you when your business or organization is mentioned on social media.
- Use social media to react. Whether a compliment or complaint, a timely reaction shows you are interested in your customers and interested in a positive customer experience.
- Implement skills-based call routing (SBR). Instead of simply routing a call to the next available agent, SBR assigns incoming calls to the agent who is most suitable to handle a specific request, complaint, or inquiry.
- Be prepared to conduct sales via SMS. One statistic I read stated that 64% of smart phone users shop online. Since Generation Z is fond of text messaging, conducting sales and answering inquiries through SMS will be necessary.
- Offer several contact center options. Phone (with a request a call back option), email, chat, and SMS capability will help to improve your overall customer service.