When it comes to customer experience, the newest generation of users is set to disrupt the status quo. Defined as anyone born after 1996, Generation Z has different brand expectations, including a ruthless quest for truth, and is poised to have the economic clout to make its voice heard.
Research from Bank of America that comprises a global demographic survey plus data from the United Nations and Euromonitor projects the income of Gen Z will hit $33 trillion by 2030, quickly surpassing that of Millennials. Part of this growth may be due to advancements in youth literacy rates and technology around the world, as 90% of this generation lives in emerging markets.
If you want to engage Gen Z, you’ll need to pivot your CX to align with their values. These include authenticity, integrity, and personalization. The best way to do this is through a transparent and reliable operation. In the following paragraphs, I’ll share the top three ways to create personalized experiences for Gen Z.
The demand for personalized experiences
Gen Z has grown up in a tech-centric world that caters to their tastes with custom playlists and targeted recommendations. According to a study from WP Engine and The Center for Generational Kinetics, 41% of American Zoomers will leave a website if it doesn’t predict what they need. Moreover, 66% believe sites will soon be able to ‘talk’ to each other to present a more personalized experience.
Personalization in practice
At first, integrating personalization into your CX strategy can sound like a logistical nightmare. What once worked for the masses now needs to be tailored for each individual.
But there are ways to merge personalization into your business strategy to support your bottom line and fit with your current operations. As you’ll see below, modern technology and a growing volume of data make personalizing at a scale not just possible but painless. Here are a few ways to craft personalized experiences that wow Gen Z.
- Authenitc communication with customers
With communication personalized in a proper way, the message changes and adjusts based on the person receiving it. For example, a new customer probably shouldn’t receive the same message as one who’s been with you for 20 years. The personalized messaging also needs to be consistent throughout the customer journey. Key opportunities to make communication with customers more engaging include:
Nowadays you can personalize communication through various channels: apps, websites, GIFs, videos. Visual culture, particularly video, is on the rise with this generation.
If you’re wondering how to achieve all of the above, we have an expert tip for you. First, consider what you want to say before choosing the medium. A personalized offer features exactly what customers care about (based on past behaviour and demographic data) and includes their name for an exclusive feel. It could work well in a personalised GIF or image. Here’s one example of a personalized and engaging video your customers expect to see.
- Unique customer service
Enabling seamless digital self-service is critical for customer satisfaction. Poor service is one of the leading causes of churn. Moreover, 96% of consumers will leave a brand after a bad customer service experience.
Personalizing online customer support lets you offer 1:1 service at scale 24/7, right where your tech-savvy Gen Z consumer needs it — in the palm of their hand. But quality self-serve support isn’t just for Gen Z. Across generations, fast and effective customer service is a top priority.
There are a few ways to personalize your customer service experience:
- Use a personalised chatbot. If the customer can give their name or ID number to identify their account, the chatbot can provide personalized tips to solve their problem — a lot easier than scrolling through online FAQs.
- Send personalized messages after call center calls. When the customer calls about a common issue (like claims processing in insurance), send a personalised follow-up. Video works well here, summarising options and next steps in a digestible format they can replay at will.
- Let users choose their path. Use interactive video or a customer portal where users can select where they need help and then see the next scene that shows them what to do.
One tip to keep in mind is minimising text. A customer reaching out for help is in crisis mode. This isn’t the time to blast them with fine print. Instead, add a human touch when empathy is needed most.
- User-generated personalisation
You’ve probably heard about the rise of UGC. This trend is only growing as Digital Natives take the reins. User-generated content is much more effective at influencing potential customers than the average ad spot, but the challenge is getting customers to create content on your behalf. The solution? Make it easy and fun.
For example, you can give users a web form or even an interactive video that lets them select what they want to see in their customised content. One practical example is personalized recaps. Customers choose top achievements or experiences to showcase in a highlights reel they can easily share on social media.
That’s exactly what CCP Games did with their recent EVE Online campaign. Players picked the stats they wanted to see to generate their own personalized video. This works with loyalty programs too, where less than a quarter of members are satisfied with their current level of personalisation. A personalized recap lets you remind them why they love you.
Keep investing in personalized experiences for Gen Z
While more personalized customer experiences have been gaining in popularity for years, Gen Z’s emergence as a driving consumer force has only accelerated this trend. But embracing personalization in your CX doesn’t have to be daunting. Start small. Begin with the data you have — or even without data, letting them add their own for UGC. The important thing is when you get started, and that time is now.