Friday, July 20, 2012

Customer Service for all Generations

Have you ever considered how customer service should be tailored depending on the generation you are working with? That was the focus of the customer service workshop hosted by the Knox County Visioning Group on July 19th.  “The greatest generation expects something different than our youngest generation,” said Michelle Wood from Vernon College’s Continuing Education Program.

Michelle Wood, Director of Continuing Education, Vernon College.

Ms. Wood discussed each generation’s expectations of customer service and how to deal with each of them.  The greatest generation expects you to be friendly, make their experience easy and keep it to one visit. They don’t want to come back. They don’t want you to refer them to your website. They expect to speak to a live person, and they want you to be able to answer their questions, not Nancy down the hall.

The baby boomers expect an explanation. They want to know “why” and may also be the ones that request to “speak to your supervisor”!  You can help the process by being ready to give an explanation to this generation.  You can also brief your supervisor about the problem so the customers don’t have to repeat themselves. This just upsets them more.

Generation X wants their transaction to be quick and easy. They don’t mind using the Internet or dealing with you in person, but the transition needs to be simple. They want to get in and get out. They don’t need a long explanation about “why”; they just need the transaction to be simple. They are independent and can figure it out themselves.

Generation Y, the youngest generation, has never known a world without Internet and cell phones. When they are speaking on their cell phone, this is the same to them as having a person standing right next to them. They don’t think it is rude to talk on their phone while making a transaction with a business.  Great customer service to this generation may consist of sending them a text message as a reminder their order is ready. Don’t leave them a voicemail. Text them! They don’t conform to business hours because they have grown up with 24-hour access. Make all your information available on your website for this generation.

Stay tuned for another customer service workshop with Ms. Wood in the future. Ms. Wood can be contacted at Vernon College, (940) 689-3711.  For additional questions, call the Knox County Visioning Group at (940) 459-4121.

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