Getting it Right for Gen Z


Share on LinkedIn

Three Ways to Engage, Inform and Retain Generation Z Customers

Companies must change the way they engage their customers – Generation Z demands it. 

In my line of work, I spend a lot of time helping companies of all types engage and activate customers and I can say with certainty that GenZ customers are unique.  First of all, they are young, busy and often forgetful.  They are also worried about fitting in with their peers and put a value on being highly connected. They’ve grown up with the Internet, instant messaging, text messaging and mobile phones.  In fact, most GenZ customers have their own mobile phones, and they spend their free time texting and communicating online.  As a result, they expect family, friends, and even businesses, to communicate with them electronically.

One surprising segment of small to mid-sized businesses – orthodontists – has really opened my eyes to the opportunity to truly communicate and engage with GenZ customers in a way that encourages behavior change.  With GenZ making up the bulk of their customer base, orthodontists have had to adapt, and I believe most businesses can leverage some of their learnings as they struggle to meet the needs of the GenZ population.

Here are a few simple, yet effective, learnings that resonate with Generation Z:

  1. Automate reminders:  As I mentioned, GenZ customers can be forgetful.  It’s not surprising to hear that thousands of appointments are wasted every year by customers who simply don’t show up for scheduled visits. These missed appointments cost small and mid-sized businesses money.  By simply sending GenZ customers an automated reminder the day before their appointments, companies can dramatically reduce the number of no-shows.   Automated appointment reminders can be sent via email, voicemail or text message – whichever form of communication the customer prefers.
  2. Extend customer care:  All businesses desire to build long-term relationships with their customers.  With this in mind, many companies are employing the use of notifications technology such as e-mail and text messaging to provide ongoing customer care.  For example, one progressive orthodontist I work with communicates with GenZ customers between visits to ensure the patient is managing his treatment at home.  If part of a patient’s treatment is to wear headgear at night, the orthodontist schedules a series of text messages to be delivered a few nights a week reminding his patient to wear his headgear:
    • Monday’s message: dnt 4gt 2 wear yr headgear (Translation: Don’t forget to wear your headgear)

    • Thursday’s message: brush yr ivories n zzz wel  (Translation: Brush your teeth and sleep well)

    • Saturday’s message: 1ly 99 nyts lft 2 wear headgear (Translation: Only 99 nights left to wear headgear)

    • Monday’s message: headgear = gr8 ivories n lots of d8s (Translation: Headgear equals great teeth and lots of dates)

    Don’t know the texting lingo?  Here’s a translator:

    This same orthodontist has kids and knows Generation Z customers are all about video.  So, he e-mails his GenZ customers YouTube videos with tips from their peers.   To give you a feel for what I’m talking about, view this YouTube video that shares tips and tricks for wearing elastics.  How cool is that?  So experiment, have fun and, most importantly, engage your GenZ customers with ongoing communications.

  3. Prompt customers with personal messages: GenZ customers want to know you are looking after them, and personalized communications will go a long way towards proving you care.  Sending automated reminders and informative tips is a step in the right direction.  However, companies that really understand and embrace customer care will go the extra mile and prompt their GenZ customers with personal messages to show they care.  For example, my favorite orthodontist has a GenZ customer who is on the high school football team.  With a new set of braces, his customer was nervous about taking a hit.  What did the orthodontist do?  He texted the GenZ customer on the day of his big game  –  remMbR 2 wear yr mouf gard durin d gme 2nite brng hom a win. (Translation: Remember to wear your mouth guard during the game tonight.  Bring home a win.)  This is a lesson all business can learn – send personalized messages and communications.  It’s easy when you leverage notifications technologies to create and schedule them in advance, so the messages can be sent automatically when the time is right. 

As you begin exploring ways to engage GenZ customers, remember to Mbrace teknoloG 2 comnC8. (Translation: Embrace technology to communicate.)


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here