The Gen Z cohort understands intuitively how technology works and how it can make our work and personal lives easier. With South Africa currently suffering from a technology skills shortage and losing access to migrant tech workers, Gen Z is often held up as the silver bullet for the problem. Indeed, 49% of employers surveyed by the Open University’s Bridging the Digital Divide report believe that the digital skills shortage will be resolved as young workers who are digitally native enter the workforce.
But that’s only half the story. As a generation focused on work-life balance, not just technology, and with a lack of skilled workers available to employers, they’ll be pickier than any other generation when it comes to the organisations they’re happy to be employed by.
So it’s not just about bringing a tech-savvy workforce into your organisation; you need the environment and the infrastructure to grab their attention in the first place.
Empathy, Compassion and Customer Service
With that innate understanding of technology, Gen Z workers are more focused on where they can add value as humans. They instantly see mindless, repetitive tasks as the work of machines while seeing the things that make them human – empathy and compassion, for example – as strengths to be used in the workplace.
Those human attributes are valuable skills in people-centric industries such as customer service, where even now, a good deal of repetitive question answering and order tracking is still completed by human agents. This type of inefficiency doesn’t appeal to a Gen Z workforce.
As an employer, having the right tools in place is crucial to attracting Gen Z employees. A company that has a tech-savvy approach to doing business will be more attractive than one that’s treading water, waiting for a Gen Z customer service whizzkid to come and save it. However, 47% of employers in the Open University study said that a lack of digital skills is impacting their organisation’s ability to implement new time- or cost-saving technologies.
But there are things you can do right now, regardless of the technical ability of your current team. With the right partner, you can build a stable, easy-to-maintain digital infrastructure that offers ROI now and also benefits a new generation of employees. In customer service terms, there are numerous ways you can streamline your processes and make yourself more attractive to the next generation of employees.
Mobile Service Cloud
Mobile Service Cloud is a complete suite of customer service tools designed to boost your team’s productivity and efficiency, which includes:
Manage conversations from any channel in one inbox. Agent Inbox makes external and internal conversations easy to follow and manage.
Real-time conversations with your customers boost conversions and sales value. Live chat lets you be there for your customers when they need you most.
Create chatbots to do the heavy lifting of answering simple, repetitive queries while you focus on the thing that really matters: personalised customer service.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can all function effectively in a remote setting, provided the technology is there to support us. Gen Z is keen to take advantage of remote working, evidenced by 75% saying they’d prefer a hybrid or remote working pattern in Deloitte’s Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey. That’s another reason that putting labour-saving, cutting-edge technology in place is a great way to attract a more mobile Gen Z workforce.
An AI Future
With AI technology becoming ever more sophisticated, the thrust of workplace conversations is often ‘who will technology replace next’. In reality, it’s less about replacing and more about removing some of the more binary, robotic elements of workers’ day-to-day duties. Gen Z don’t see technologies like AI as a threat, more a tool to be used to improve their ability to perform at work, and it’s a view we wholeheartedly share. If technology can help us to work more efficiently, improved work-life balance is a hugely desirable by-product.
2026 and Beyond
And finally, who knows Gen Z buyers better than themselves. By 2026, Gen Z’s consumer spending power is predicted to overhaul Millennials. With a focus on excellent customer experience, customer service expectations will likely rise even further. Gen Z’s focus on human-centric attributes means they’re ideally placed to deliver the great service they expect to find elsewhere.