Who Are Generation Z?
Each generation has their own distinct customer service expectations, their shopping needs and wants heavily affected by their upbringing and the little corner of society that helped raised them. Bringing us to the newest generation that marketers are already scrambling to cater to.
Close on the heels after the era of Millennials is Generation Z, also known as Gen Zers, Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, or the Homeland Generation. Loosely defined as those born between the mid to late 90s and around 2010. The newest cohort of individuals introduced into the adult world; the eldest of them have only recently entered their 20s and the rest are still lingering in their teens. However, despite their youth the defining traits of Gen Z are already prevalent.
The Differences Between Gen Z and Millennials
Gen Z and Millennials share quite a few traits but at the end of the day are completely different. Having had different experiences in their youth and later adulthood, the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Gen Z’s purchasing decisions and expectations differ from millennials.
By and far, the main difference between the two seem to be their attitudes towards the internet and social media. Millennials are characterized by, and take pride in, their apparent “90s kid” nostalgia. Born in a time before the internet even existed, they remember a time without the impact of social media and so have a unique view on the world. Gen Zers on the other hand, have never lived in a world without the internet, most growing up with the influence of social media since youth and as a result are often portrayed by society as screen addicts and social media fanatics.
The two generations are heavily criticized by their apparent dependence on their smart devices and so are often clumped together, but it comes down to the fact that the Gen Z are far more reliant on their mobile phones than Millennials. Growing up with the internet and mobiles readily at their fingertips, the Gen Z cohort are far more technologically advanced and globalized than other generations, and have in fact adapted to the constant barrage of information presented to them.
The differences only continue, as when it comes to the Gen Zers and Millennials reactions to advertisements, the Post-Millennials are obviously less swayed by the “fake” and relentless marketing efforts, with only 59% of Gen Zers inclined to click on ads compared to Millennials 71%. And even their spending habits are different. With Gen Zers far more cautious with their money than Millennials would be, growing up into a world rife with debt and war as well as being raised by money conscious Generation Xers, it’s no wonder that Gen Zers are less susceptible to offers and deals. A good 74% of Millennials shop online once a month when tempted with discounts and free gifts, while 63% of Gen Zers only shop online for pragmatic and efficiency purposes.
Unlike millennials who had looked to the future filled with hope only to be disappointed, Gen Zers were raised by cynical General Xers or the eldest of Millennials and, as a result, have a much more realistic view on society. Their drive to make social change and ambitious entrepreneurial goals are often overshadowed by their short attention spans and extreme self and social awareness, sometimes seen to be vain or attention seeking. But make no mistake, 72% of Gen Zers dream to one day own their own businesses and strive to make an impact on the world.
How Can We Do Customer Service for Gen Z?
Customer service has always been one of the harder things to do in marketing. Trying to find the best way to affect a new generation will be something of a challenge, but luckily, Gen Zers make no secret to what they desire in customer service, taking to the internet with surveys or reviews to communicate what they want from companies.
Notorious for their lack of brand loyalty, companies must find different ways to convince Gen Zers to return to their brands, and remain on their good side as their future sources of business.
Majority of Gen Zers have an appreciation of brands that have an omnichannel presence, as they are more often than not on their mobile phones. It isn’t uncommon for a Gen Zer to look up the brand on their laptops while simultaneously on perusing the brands social media accounts on their smartphones, and from there making their own decisions. Having an uncluttered website, a YouTube account, Snapchat, a Facebook page, and an Instagram are the bare minimum for brands nowadays, if they want to connect to their target markets.
Being everywhere also allows Gen Zers to easily connect with your brand, and brings your brand to them instead of the other way around, playing into their desire for easy accessible information.
Enhance the User Experience
89% of Gen Z have said that they would be inclined to personally promote a brand if they had enjoyed the user experience. This is something that brands should take advantage of as a marketing strategy, as a good 92% of Gen Zers have digital footprints over multiple social media platforms. What’s more, Gen Zers are extremely tech savvy, so they are also more open to much more interactive forms of advertisements. Giving Gen Zers a channel of communication between the brand and the consumer humanizes their user experience, appealing to their need for a more “real” experience.
Keeping in mind, however that despite their internet reliance Gen Zers are inclined to call stores and companies when encountering a problem, so it would be prudent to include a click-to-call option and maintain a well-trained call service, as most of them will still hang up if the response is not quick enough.
With the world constantly shoving a barrage of information and advertisements down the throats of the Gen Zers, the iGeneration have developed what is called the “8 second filter”. In no way a bad thing, this filter gives the Gen Zers the ability to quickly absorb and parse information, and to make immediate decisions based on what they understand. This gives brands only a few seconds to grab their attentions and make an impact on their minds. This can be done by appealing to their interest in brands that want to make a change on the world, or brands that can encourage their own benefits.
Appeal to Their Driven Nature
According to a survey done by Mattersight, 84% of Gen Zers are inclined to actively promote a brand that is vocal about their beliefs and opinions about controversial, political, and social problems. Used to guerrilla marketing strategies, Gen Zers are not easily swayed by any corporate promises, and prefer interactions that are transparent and genuine.
Gen Z are actively trying to make a change in the world, known to be more entrepreneurially driven, the youngest of them have already started their own businesses or charities. So, brands should strive to replicate their need for social change, and appeal to the Gen Zers on a level they can relate to.