Studies that examine trends and consumer expectations in the global business world reveal again the fact that customer service is far from satisfactory. Throughout the analysis, the population has been categorized in the following manner:
People born between 1925 and 1947 are considered the Silent Generation because of the socialist regime in certain countries under which they had to follow certain standards. Therefore, they had little liberty regarding the act of purchasing. Baby Boomers are the next type of consumers; they are people born between 1948 and 1962, consumers of drastic changes in the world due to the outcome of the World Wars and the arrival of mass production, women’s rights and regularization of labor laws. People born between 1963 and 1981 are considered Generation X – the first modern consumers, but still more limited than Generation Y, those born between 1982 and 1999. Generation Y are the consumers that think services should be provided on their “own terms,” as the study points out.
High-quality customer service is defined by price transparency, timely service access, and honest business practices. Marketing tools such as brochures and promotional offers leave clients with a negative experience if the business fails to meet its promises or to offer timely and transparent services.
In the categories of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and Generation X, customers feel uncomfortable using online services and online payment systems. They prefer direct communication; believe that online services are a means for businesses to be lazier. Clients that deal with long waiting times, unspecialized answers and poor communication skills from employees have negative business experiences. Also, businesses that request personal and financial information create discomfort among consumers because clients feel they cannot trust the security systems used by businesses.
Regardless of the technological benefits, such as wider coverage, easier access, and less expensive services, and saving transportation fees, being stuck in traffic and waiting in line, these customers still prefer direct communication. Most request person-to-person communication because it gives them a more personal and intimate experience, and modern consumers desire to feel important to the business.
As for the modern consumers, Generation Y, they require the latest technological innovations that can guarantee fast and timely customer service. They do not want to wait in line or over the phone for minutes or hours. Modern consumers have less and less patience, even though they demand more patience from the employees of businesses.
Unfortunately, speed is not enough. When getting in touch with an employee, regardless of status, domain or expertise, clients need someone that will offer practical solutions to their problems. Not only that, but they want employees to be trained in customer care skills, including patience, openness, diplomacy and charisma. They want employees to be smart in reading non-verbal and paraverbal communication and to use positive and engaging speech. Whether you work as a cashier, web designer, accountant or mechanic, you must know how to positively and openly communicate with your customers.