What do older generations want from customer service?


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It may surprise you that one in five Twitter users are aged over 50, over 59 per cent of seniors have made an online purchase in the past three months, and a colossal 28 million seniors have a Facebook account. Clearly, digital tools are not just for the younger generation.

Baby boomers have broken into digital, and businesses should sit up and pay attention. It’s already established that millennials prefer digital channels for communicating with businesses. In fact, 80% of millennials find making customer service calls ‘highly inconvenient’, and a third of younger consumers only make a total of two phone calls per week.

So, why are companies still clinging to the telephone as their primary service channel? It’s been widely assumed that the telephone – that trusty bastion of customer service – is the channel of choice for digital-sceptic older customers.

With every passing month, that assumption becomes increasingly invalid. The notion that only generations Y and Z are taking advantage of web-based service methods is a fallacy. Online tools are revolutionising the customer service experience for consumers of all ages, not just the generation weaned on the web. Importantly, instant messaging applications have emerged as the preferred method of consumer to company communication.

In a digitally connected world, more and more customers are choosing chat platforms over traditional methods of communication. Not only is the older generation becoming more familiar with new forms of technology, but also identifying the clear benefits these methods bring over conventional forms of customer service.

When surveyed, 54 per cent of those aged 45 and over believe that live chat is the most convenient service method. A further 25 per cent also noted that using live chat to communicate makes it easier to multitask while making customer service complaints and queries. What is more, 24 per cent stated that there was a benefit of holding an electronic record of the chat.

The numbers don’t lie: web chat has spread into baby boomer business comms. In this infographic, we explore live chat for the older generation, and what older generations really want from customer service.


Full-size infographic available for download here: https://www.whoson.com/infographics/live-chat-older-generation/


  1. Nice article and love the info-graphic. Many customers that fall into that “senior generation” still like the phone. But, like you say, many of them also interact in the channels that companies typically think – wrongfully so – are reserved for a younger generation.


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