4 Customer Service Tactics that Gen Z Will Appreciate


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Gen z consumers posing in sunlight

Brands are quickly finding out that the customer service strategies that worked with other generations don’t work with Gen Z. By and large, Gen Z’s preferences are so unique that they require novel tactics. Businesses that can both learn what those preferences are as well as make pivots will earn Gen Z loyalty. Those that don’t acknowledge or accept Gen Z’s needs will have trouble gaining traction with this cadre of buyers.

Make no mistake, either: The Gen Z population is large and hovers at the 68 million mark. Though not the largest generation ever, it’s currently the youngest — and it’s having a major impact on the world. Plus, more of its members are moving into the workforce year after year, enabling the generational cohort to have greater spending power. It won’t be long before Gen Z is a major economic force.

Given these facts, you may need to revise some of your current customer service strategies to engage Gen Z and hold onto their loyalty. Below are some customer experience measures to serve as springboards for the future approaches of your service team.

1. Prioritize brand authenticity.

When it comes to serving Gen Z customers, you should think about all the ways you can showcase your authenticity. Gen Z places a strong value on feeling alignment with their preferred brands. In an Edelman survey, 73% of Gen Z respondents said a brand’s values affected their buying decisions. What could be a better way to lay out your values than by being honest via your website content?

A good example of hyper-honesty in action is Rewind Greens’ product pages. Each page serves as a veritable pillar post of transparency. From the product ingredients used to FAQs answered, Rewind Greens’ pages are meant to engage. This gives the site a feeling of complete authenticity and personality. From a service point of view, it’s a winning way to make it easy for Gen Z to feel comfortable hitting the “buy” button.

This doesn’t mean you have to flood all your pages with extensive content. However, you may want to revisit and refresh them to ensure you’re being transparent and not too “salesy”. Gen Z will effectively ghost brands that try too hard. They’d rather you show your imperfections than try to bowl them over with big terms or traditional, old-school marketing ploys.

2. Offer multiple ways to pay.

Gen Z audiences say they like to have many ways to purchase items, per Insider Intelligence. They’re particularly fond of buy now, pay later (BNPL) as a service. In fact, with more than half of Gen Z consumers opting for BNPL methods, it’s rising in popularity. However, it’s far from being the only alternative payment method around.

Other payments to consider adding to your mix include mobile wallets and PayPal. While you’ll want to offer conventional paying options as well, you’ll appeal to Gen Z consumers by giving them choices. (As a bonus, your brand will seem more digitally forward.)

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that alternative payments are good for your bottom line. Just remember to look beyond the raw numbers. BNPL may cost your company in the short term. Nevertheless, providing BNPL could bump up your sales or cause Gen Z consumers to buy more with each shopping excursion. It’s wise to run some small-scale trials to see if you get a lift. If so, you can add BNPL and other payment types to your checkout process.

3. Make self-serve customer service table stakes.

While Gen Z doesn’t mind interacting with live customer representatives, they’re still digital natives. This means they’re accustomed to navigating technology and finding solutions. Is it any surprise that they’re all about self-service checkouts and kiosks? Being able to save time and move on to their next experience quickly is something they respect.

Whether you have a physical store or not, you can give all your consumers self-service choices. Perhaps the easiest way to add this into your online operations is with an AI-fueled chatbot. In the past couple of years, chatbot technologies have evolved. Thanks to predictive software and natural language processing, the best chatbots can deliver almost human interactions.

This doesn’t mean you should fire all your service agents. You’ll want to keep them for the harder support tasks that require human empathy and creativity. But don’t be averse to making service a convenient, self-supported user experience. (As a side note, consumers from other generations will appreciate this tactic, too.)

4. Improve your omnichannel presence.

Gen Z moves seamlessly from one channel to the next. And shoppers from this generation frequently like to educate — and perhaps over-educate — themselves on products. Accordingly, Gen Z consumers tend to jump from websites to social media platforms to apps… and back again. The way to keep delivering them a consistent service no matter where they encounter your brand and its service personnel is to have an omnichannel presence.

How does an omnichannel presence work? Let’s say that a Gen Z customer buys something from you via your Amazon storefront. They have an issue and want to talk to someone, so they go to your brand website. There, they find a link to your Twitter account. They immediately head to Twitter and try to connect so you can solve their concern right away.

This shopper could just as likely have sent your service department an email, picked up the phone, engaged with your chatbot, or messaged you on Instagram. Regardless of the channel, you would be expected to serve up an outstanding service. This means your internal systems must be able to handle inflowing customer support traffic from anywhere. Fortunately, there are tools out there to make this “tall order” more feasible.

No doubt about it: Gen Z has challenged and changed the standard brand-buyer relationship. No longer are companies like retailers merely expected to sell quality merchandise at reasonable prices. To attract and keep Gen Z shoppers, sellers must rethink their service workflows from the ground up. Though this takes time, conducting a full-scale revitalization of the user experience today will advance brands toward long-term success as Gen Z grows older.

Image credit: RDNE Stock project; Pexels

Chalmers Brown
Chalmers is the Co-founder and CTO of Due. He writes for some of the largest publications and brands in the world including Forbes, The Next Web, American Express, and many more.