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January 24, 2013

Bridge the Generation Gap

There are four generations in your customer base, and each prefers a different way of communication. Understanding each can help you bridge the customer service generation gap.

Traditionals: These customers were born between 1922 and 1943/1946. They are high-touch customers who want a lot of personalized attention. When dealing with them in person, be very polite and courteous and use active listening skills. Show how much you value their business with customer loyalty programs that are communicated via snail mail letter, not email.

Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They like both in-person communication and email. They like being treated as individuals, but also want to feel part of a tribe. Ask for their opinion about products and services and give them feedback on what you learn from them. Acknowledge them with special offerings that feel custom-made.

Gen X: Gen X came along approximately between 1964 and 1980. They are high-tech customers who want fast, easy communication. Keep messages and choices simple. Gen X is very interested in work/life balance, so tie messages to both work and lifestyle for maximum impact. Flexibility and credibility are the keys to customer loyalty. Use reputable, real testimonials to overcome this generation’s tendency toward skepticism.

Gen Y: This is the youngest generation, born between 1980 and 2000. They are young, hip and all high tech. Communication must be fast, fun and visual. Use colorful graphics and short videos to get your messages across. Involve Gen Y on social media using various outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. This generation has a short attention span, so keep them engaged.

Want to know more about multi-generations? Check out my new ebook Leading 4 Generations

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