The New Generation of Consumers: Gen Zs
Today, the majority of online and offline customers consists of Millennials and Gen Zs, with Alphas on their way. By 2026, Gen Zs will have massive spending power, outgrowing Millennials.
This generation is raised by the Internet, social media, and technology. They are practically born with a smartphone in their hands —it's no wonder customer expectations are very high. According to research, 85% of Gen Zs see online shopping as an experience rather than a transaction.
You’d be surprised by the buying motivations of Gen Z. This new generation of customers chooses products that help express their individuality. Personalization is key: Gen Z customers are willing to pay more for targeted products for their individual needs. Moreover, they look beyond products and services, researching the company's values and social causes. Gen Zs won’t buy products and services from brands that don't practice what they preach.
Growing up with the Internet, Gen Zs are accustomed to having information at their fingertips. This generation prefers using non-company guidance (such as Google Search, YouTube, or Reddit) to resolve their issues independently, even if they have the option to contact customer service. Interestingly, they even turn to social media for financial advice.
The Customer At The Heart of Your Business
We must realize that customer expectations are ever-changing. Customers only buy from companies that align with their values, offer a great experience, with products and services targeted to their individual needs. For many companies, this is not easy to achieve.
To build a customer relationship, you need to focus on what the customer wants and needs and how he or she prefers to interact with your business based on customer feedback. Becoming customer-centric requires a 180-degree change in how your entire company thinks and operates. Every employee should put the customer at the heart of your business.
This shift is more than just offering personalized customer service or sending tailored offers. You have to understand and help customers throughout their entire journey, building and cultivating a long-term relationship with them. Forrester expects customer-centric business models to yield at least 700% ROI over 12 years, resulting in businesses optimizing long-term business goals and sustainable growth.
How To Create a Customer-Centric Business Model
As mentioned above: becoming customer-centric is not easy nor fast. It’s a transformation journey. First, you have to stop thinking inside out and think like a customer. What are their wishes? What do they want to achieve? Then evaluate how your company can implement these thoughts into action.
Here are five tips to start your business transformation:
1. Get to know your customers.
To become customer-centric, you have to focus on the type of customer relationships that you want to provide and understand what they want and need. Get in touch with them, listen, and ask for feedback. With these valuable insights, you can further optimize your company's business strategy. You might even get new ideas or extend your service, enhancing your customer experience.
2. Build an authentic brand.
What does your company stand for? What is your company's mission? Is this reflected in all your communication? Evaluate your brand strategy and ensure customers resonate well with your brand. Shared values are the basis for a great relationship. Express your values on your website, on your social channels, and in conversations with employees and customers.
3. Be transparent.
Sharing your values is step one, but acting on them is step two. Ensure your organization believes in what it stands for and acts upon them. Show your customers what you are doing and why you are doing so. Be transparent about your pricing and terms and conditions. It might be worth embracing automated and live chat platforms as customers are looking for information and support anywhere online or offline.
4. Offer proactive, personalized service.
In every relationship, communication is vital. Ensure customers get the service they expect: whether is self-service or assisted service. See every contact as a relationship-building opportunity. Engage with customers one-to-one and help where you can, as soon as possible.
5. Commit yourself.
A transformation won’t work if you don’t commit yourself. You’ll have to get the entire organization involved. Develop a strategy with achievable goals. Unsure on where to start? Our advice: start small and work your way up with your team with the right solutions.
Customer Service as a Starting Point
Your customer service team knows your customers best. Transforming your business into a customer-centric company starts with customer service. They are the ones interacting most with your customers. They can express your values and be the face of your brand. We believe this transformation will reshape customer service into a revenue-generating discipline.