How Does Generation Y View Customer Service?


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On 19 May 1986 TIME magazine published an article entitled “Growing pains at 40”.  The article announced the coming of age of the Baby Boomers, who had reached ‘middle age’. In the article Al Gore said “We wanted to change it all, to do it our way.”

Today we baby boomers complain about how Generation Y are shouting out loud about their independence and the fact that they will “change it all and like to do things their own way”.   The fact of the matter is that way back when the baby boomers started we were challenging the status quo and finding new ways to communicate and influence the world – think of fax machines, mobile telephony, the birth of the internet and 24 hour news channels… were we any different than today’s generation?

Generation Y are the true mobile internet generation; they live and breathe social media and instant communications.  Research shows (from Morgan Stanley’s mobile Internet report 2010) that more than 10 billion mobile internet devices have been created in the world compared to 100 million PC units.  830 million people globally use social networking sites and the average time spent on these sites is up by 25% in the last year alone.  Many believe that these sites, such as Facebook, are fast becoming the main communications platform for the majority in the future – especially for Generation Y.

Emarketer reports that teens today are spending as much as 13 hours per day online, many of them transitioning from the traditional PC on a desk to netbook and smart phone technologies. Mobile internet usage is 3 times higher on iPhones than any other mobile device (Morgan Stanley) and emerging markets are once again skipping a technological generation and moving straight to the mobile internet as the preferred platform.

So what does this all mean from a customer service perspective?  Generation Y is the growing sector in the consumer market today; we baby boomers are on the way out and so are the preferences we have for real conversations with real people. These are still needed as the ultimate in resolving issues but the “instant gratification generation” want to be able to solve their issues quickly and cheaply using the channels they know and understand.  If we get it right they are happy and sometimes they tell their friends; if we get it wrong then the whole planet knows 5 minutes later as the viral messages bloom across the networks. Companies must seriously address these customer service challenges with this generation; it’s not a choice of whether to address it, it’s a question of when.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Tweedale
Guy Tweedale, Senior Vice President, European Operations, has more than 18 years of experience in the IT industry. He brings a wealth of knowledge in the enterprise software arena to Jacada, with a strong focus on business process automation and enhancement in key areas such as customer management, field-based activities and financial control.


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