3 customer groups that are being overlooked in the customer experience whirlwind


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Over the last year, I’ve noticed a number of different groups of customers that don’t seem to be getting a lot of attention. Here are three that have stood out:

The Rich Elders.

  • The first group are the older generation (65+ years), many of which are now ‘retired’. Now, they are not necessarily digitally savvy, although many are becoming more so, but many of them are still resolute in their desire to be able to conduct business face to face or over the phone. However, what’s really interesting about this group is that, particularly in western economies, they often hold the majority of the wealth and disposable income. So, given that they are one the richest demographic groups and are living healthier and longer lives, why does it seem like they are not getting a lot of attention? Is it that they are not cool enough? Is it that we have a cult of youth when it comes to marketing and customer experience? Is it that if a new initiative is not technology driven then it’s not interesting? Is it that they are too expensive to serve?
  • Whatever the reason, companies and brands are missing out on a huge opportunity by not catering to the older generation. However, if they want to develop affinity and loyalty with this group then they need to start by paying attention to them and delivering service and experiences that cater to their desires and preferences.

The Private.

  • The second group, and one that is growing in size, is made up of those that have serious concerns about their personal data and privacy. They don’t want to share their data, they don’t want to download an app, they don’t want to be ‘logged’ in or ‘checked’ in when they do business with a company or brand and they certainly don’t want to be tracked. In their minds, privacy and security trumps personalisation. So, what happens to this group if they don’t share their data? Will they still get great service or a great experience? If so, how will that work? If not, how do brands build sufficient trust with this group such that they will be happy to share their data even on a limited basis?
  • In the face of a growing number of security breaches, hacking incidents and identity fraud, privacy and data concerns are a developing and growing set of behavioural preferences that brands should be paying attention to. Predicating all experience on the provision of data is a risk and, doing so, could eliminate a growing portion of the market.

The Quick.

  • The third group are those that know what they want, want to buy it quickly and want to do so without having to create an account or to login at an ecommerce site. Studies show that online shopping cart abandonment rates currently average around 69% with customers citing that being forced to register and create an account as one of the main reasons that they abandon online shopping carts. So, why is it that many companies still insist that customers have an account or that they create an account before they can buy something from them? By doing so, are they not, in effect, rejecting this group of customers and saying no to their business?
  • By not providing ‘guest’ checkout facilities, companies risk losing out on two things: One, the obvious and easy additional revenue potential; and Two, the trust and relationship building opportunity that comes by giving new customers what they want when they want it.

As I mentioned before, these are only three groups that have stood out for me over the course of this year but I am sure that there are more. However, what is clear is that these three groups alone all present sizeable opportunities for the brands that are willing to pay attention to them.

Here’s hoping that in 2017 brands start paying attention to those customer groups that they have overlooked in the past.

This post was originally published on my Forbes.com column here.
Photo Credit: Julie70 Joyoflife Flickr via Compfight cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


  1. You have pointed out something worthwhile.
    In India, the opportunity is to sell to people who are not yet net adept

  2. Excellent observations Adrian. I know folks from each group, and believe you’ve accurately described the opportunities here. Thank you!

  3. Hi Adrian: interesting way to segment these groups. But I don’t understand how these groups are not adequately solicited or appreciated by marketers. Your article doesn’t cite any statistics. Do you have data that supports your assertions?

    Though I’m loathe to admit it, I’m pushing into the ‘elders’ demographic (not sure about the ‘rich’ part). There isn’t a week that goes by that I’m not reminded of that by the persistent and extensive marketing outreach I receive – email, direct mail, magazine and television ads, pop-up ads, and more.

  4. Hi Gautam, Stephani, thank you for your comments.

    Hi Andrew, thank you for your comment.

    The article links to data regarding the ‘quick’ group but the ideas/suggestions for the ‘rich elders’ and the ‘private’ are based more on personal observations, observations of others, numerous conversations and anecdotal evidence from people like my parents and their peers.

    All the best, Adrian


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