Since creeping past 40 (fine, 41), I’ve started contemplating my life (because contemplating life begins at 40). I’ve started wondering which generation I fall into when it comes to my approach to work, business and life in general.
I know that my business is all about tech, and in particular, tech that enables the best possible customer experiences (CX) in the world of business and consumerism, but this is where I sometimes feel torn.
If we’re looking for the best customer experience, is technology always the answer? Yes, I know I’ve recently told you elsewhere not to delay digital transformation!
However, let’s put it this way. You may be thinking that you’re doing the right thing by your business in throwing yourself wallet-first into the coolest and most popular or trendy tech for your company’s CX, but if your target market – i.e., the people who fill that wallet in the first place – are all capable of being someone’s Great Nan or Grandad, you really have to assess the likelihood that they’re going to be able to submit their customer queries to you via the ‘Gran. Sorry, the ‘Gram. If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that even Zoom is a bridge too far for a lot of people, so if you’re expecting a demographic who generally don’t have access to, interest in, or a need for sassy apps, the C in your CX becomes less about the customer, and more about the ‘coz you thought you had to ‘keep up’.
Let’s look at it from the other side. Hands up whose kids only communicate with them via some sort of messaging tool, and the only time you physically speak to them, is when you call them? This is a key observation, because although they may not be talkers, those kids are still consumers. Put simply, if they’re not willing to talk to you – the person who actively gave them the cash to go out spending in the first place – they’re not going to be too keen on ringing up a call centre when they’ve got an issue or question about what they’ve just bought or ordered, are they? Yet this is still what many businesses are offering as the one and only way of letting their customers get in touch with them – via a room full of people answering phones. I hope you don’t make those calls for them, by the way!
Admittedly, you could say that a company is doing itself a favour in providing minimal ways for a consumer to contact them and likely complain (because we never ring Customer Services and stay on hold for 20 minutes just to tell them they’re doing a cracking job, do we?), but ultimately, that approach is going to lead to poor reviews, zero brand loyalty, and a shockingly low figure when it comes to repeat custom.
Call me antisocial, but I get where my kids and the younger generations are coming from. I really would prefer not to talk to someone on the phone if I must contact a company for any reason. This is partly due to the in-between generation I’m in, and partly due to the number of calls I’m already on every day for work. I don’t even like calling to order a takeaway, so I’d like to think that any decent modern-day business will give me a realistic range of options for continuing my customer journey with them at all touchpoints.
As we look to our younger consumers and to the future of consumerism, many people prefer an online, self-serve, and sometimes social-only way of interacting. ASOS are a great example of this approach to CX. They know who their products are aimed at, they know who’s paying for them, and so they know which elements of contact to focus on when promoting the best possible CX for their business and brand.
In summary, it’s all about knowing your target market and providing a CX that suits them just as much as the product or service you offer. It’s that simple.
Now, if you have any issues with this article, please submit your concerns via the medium of a TikTok interpretive dance.
Failing that, you can still give me a call.