Many marketers spend too much time trying to figure out the nuances of how to sell or service various age groups, the Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, etc. I think it’s a waste of time. The newest generation, defined as anyone born after 2004, is even yet to be named. However, scholars say that this group has experienced a lifetime of connected communication; text messaging, instant messaging, mobile phones and tablets. I guess we can now add the smart watches too. Perhaps a good name would be the “Digital” generation but is yet to be determined.
Whatever the name, I don’t understand the fuss. Yes, it’s important to be cognizant of who and what you are selling, but I think no matter the age, people appreciate the human touch and connection. Who doesn’t like to get attention? I am blessed with an eight –month-old granddaughter who loves getting attention from her parents as well as anyone else in the room. My wife is happy when I give my undivided attention too.
There is no doubt that technology is being developed at lightning speed and except for a few futurists no one can really predict what gadget will be invented next and how it will impact our lives. But, whatever may arrive, I am assured that while younger people might be able to figure out how to use the new device quickly, with short tutorials everyone else will be using it too.
I’m a Baby Boomer, but I text my friends all the time. I also pick up the telephone but less than I used to. My 88-year mother-in-law books all her airline travel online and is an avid Facebook user. My son, 33, a Millennial, has a wife, baby, a responsible job and his own home. I’m not sure if he views the exciting new world of products and services any different than his mom or dad.
Recently, I saw research that Millennials were the most likely group to pay for better service. I studied the data and actually the numbers were relatively close among all generational groups. From my own experience, I have found that people of all ages value and appreciate superior service delivery. They are happy to pay more for faster and better service or give a higher tip to a cab driver or waiter who delivers that ideal customer experience.
Even a 10-year boy, who walks into a store with his parents and is in the midst of texting his friends, might stop if the salesperson notices he is wearing his favorite sports’ hero’s shirt and comments on last night’s game. Maybe that boy is hoping to find those new sneakers that he recently saw one of his friends wear and the salesperson can deliver that hope by both listening and being knowledgeable about what is in stock.
Service is service, in my opinion. Just keep to the basics; give customers hope that they have come to the right place; listen to not only what they are saying, but the underlying emotion and make them feel special long after the sale has taken place. People of all ages may not think they crave the human touch, but when they get it, they appreciate it.
What’s your opinion of segmenting service delivery by generational type?