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Speaking to Gen Y – what’s the cost of getting it wrong?

Gen Y

It’s no secret that Gen Y is not like any preceding generation. They have grown up as digital natives with technology and social platforms a key part of their lives.

The challenge this presents for companies is developing a personal business-to-consumer relationship with them when they don’t want to speak to you or come into your store?

Why should you care? Because Gen Y is fast becoming the nation’s biggest spenders. By 2021, Gen Y will spend more than Baby Boomers, bringing their share of total spending to 30%. Between now and 2021, Baby Boomers’ share of spending will drop from 31% to 26%.

Omni-channel approach

It sounds daunting as the financial risks of not speaking to them correctly are huge. Luckily, the solution is simple if you adopt an omni-channel approach.

Omni-channel lets your customer service plans speak to the complete spectrum of audiences, including Gen Y. It is all about having various smart customer service points across a range of mediums, empowering you to spread a consistent message across multiple touch points. Everything from more traditional customer service points such as phone, to growing digital media channels such as online chat and social media, are crucial in an effective omni-channel approach.

This mix of digital is absolutely key. Did you know that over half of all Gen Y’s admit to expecting more from customer service across all channels? Did you also know that 80% of Gen Y’s use social media to interact with a company’s customer service team?

Hyper-connected consumers

Gen Y is used to immediacy in other forms of communication and expect it in their customer service, with 25% expecting a response in just four minutes. Rapid communication like this means that a business must be speaking to consumers through a variety of mediums.

We know that speaking to Gen Y via digital and social media is important, however it’s also essential to consider how you speak to them. Over 85% of Gen Y’s own smartphones, implying they are hyper-connected and can talk to your business at any time. As a brand this means that you need to consider whether your functions are optimised for mobile interaction.

The experience is just as important as the message. This is where an omni-channel approach goes from supporting your customer interactions to growing meaningful relationships with consumers. Uniformity of experience and message across voice, email, web and social media not only make you look like a company that takes customer service seriously, but also care enough about your customers to be personal.

Gen Y has a reputation for having a fickle nature, however as their overall spending increases brands must learn how to communicate to them, if not they could risk being left behind.


About the author

Julian Sinclair is the Head of Global Sales and Marketing for ipSCAPE. He is responsible for all sales and marketing functions to support ipSCAPE’s global leadership in omni-channel cloud based contact centre solutions. His email is julian.sinclair@ipscape.com.au