One word describes this next generation…”Convenience”. The word is anywhere, anytime, however the consumer wants it. They are also called the iGeneration because of their being immersed in their cell phones, social media and technology as a whole. They are the first generation born into the internet revolution, are currently between the age of 7 and 20 years old and make up 25% of the U.S. population! What might have taken Gen X’ers years to learn, they do by instinct. Just when you thought you have begun to understand your “Millennial” customers better (21-35 years old) you now have a different animal to prepare for.
How will your business have to change to serve Gen Z?
Generation Z’ers are an extension of Millennials in many ways but have a few distinctions that might impact how you reach them.
- Gen Z’ers are more frugal than Millennials and will seek out to find the best value. They are less loyal than even the Millennials!
- Like Millennials you will reach them online and will need to, now more than ever, utilize the internet and social media to communicate and transact business. You will never see the Gen Z’ers in your office paying a bill or signing up for service. They will only show up when there is a problem.
- Gen Z’ers are about efficiency and believe that online is not only a more cost-effective way to purchase services but also the easiest way to do business.
- Gen Z’ers have higher expectations than millennials. If you do not provide fast, efficient service they will go to someone that does. They are also less tolerant of technology “gaps”.
The Non-Negotiables for your next generation of customers
1) Your Website. Make sure your website is “responsive”. That means the layout and format changes based on the type of device (phone, tablet or computer screen). You can be confident that 100% of your Gen Z customers will want to use their cell phone or tablet to transact business. Also, make sure your website offers the ability to manage their account, payments and communicate seamlessly. This is no longer an optional service, it is expected.
2) Your Customer Service. Your people need to be competent and responsive. While Gen Z’ers will primarily access your website for information they will call when there is a problem and have little tolerance for ignorance, mistakes or slow response. Train them well and make sure they have the ability to manage multiple activities with grace and professionalism.
3) Your Value Proposition. Gen Z’ers are not loyal and will go where they see value. They are less price-conscious than Millennials but care more about what they get. Communicate the value you bring to them on your website, the phone and in how you operate. Make it easy for Gen Z’ers to do business with you and they will love you for it.
4) Your Software. Make sure your software allows your CSR team to answer questions quickly and accurately. Your software should eliminate multiple entry and minimize human error. Communication needs to be seamless from the back office to the truck. This provides efficiencies, enhanced communication and flexibility for your customers. Don’t compromise on your software…it is the fuel behind customer acquisition and retention.
Alpine Technology has been serving the Waste Industry for over 38 years with useful and powerful software. It’s office software, Visual RAMS-Pro, is used all over the world. It’s seamless in-cab solution, Visual On-Route, has revolutionized how truck software can be used to make hauling operations more efficient and profitable.