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February 2024

The generations may be different, but they all want you to know them better

The other day at lunch, a group of coworkers and I were chatting about recent happenings with our families. One person shared that it was her daughter’s 16th birthday and that she was going to take her driver’s license test in a few days. Another one shared that her child had no interest in getting a driver’s license.

Think back to when you were 16…

If you were like me, you couldn’t wait to get your license and the freedom that came with it. It was a sign of independence. Today, kids get that same feeling of independence when they get their first cellphone, somewhere around 12 years old.

It's just one of the many generational differences we talk about today.

There are so many other differences we could discuss, for example, older consumers tend to prefer banking in person while millennials and gen z tend to prefer technology-driven solutions. And did you know that 76 percent of millennials are willing to discuss their salary with a coworker but only 41 percent of baby boomers feel the same?1

Now let’s talk similarities between generations

We all have different expectations, which makes it challenging when you’re running a business. What you think will work for one person or group might not work for everyone else. And who has unlimited resources to be everything for everyone?

So, what are those generational similarities that might make our jobs a little easier?

  • According to Broadridge, a global fintech leader, millennials, gen x and baby boomers choose email as their number one way to receive communications and engage with companies.2
  • And, close to 70 percent of all four generations working today expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.2 In fact, 54 percent of consumers stopped doing business with a company because they did a poor job of personalizing the experience.2

Gathering consumer insights can make your job easier

Those are the generalities, so what can you do to better understand your customers' and members' needs and preferences? That’s easy, just ask them.

  • Collect feedback to learn more about your current customers or members. You can do this in many ways: conduct focus groups, interviews, social listening or keywords research. Consumers like to provide feedback but be sure to let them know how they benefit from it.
  • Conduct a needs assessment as part of your new customer onboarding process. Ask about their goals and communication preferences and keep it updated in your CRM system.
  • You may have implemented a customer satisfaction survey and have a Net Promoter Score to measure your customers’ or members’ satisfaction. But by talking with consumers, you can ask questions that will allow you to understand their needs more intimately, allowing you to build a strategy tailored to meet those needs.

Remember, gathering customer intelligence is an ongoing initiative; needs, preferences and experiences change. Continue to gather in-depth details through regular communications, remembering to ask not just about functional needs but social and emotional needs too.

Talking with consumers regularly will help you develop insights and maximize your resources to best fulfill the needs of those you serve. No matter their age or generation, they expect it.

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1. Adam, Jamela. Millennials and Generation Z Are More Likely To Discuss Salary Than Older Generations. Forbes Advisor, September 29, 2023.

2. 2021 CX insights: Engaging the savvy consumer. Broadridge, 2021.

DOFU 2-2024