In many talks regarding generational divides as they pertain to business, one or two generations are singled out. Discussions about digital transformation, for example, tend to include Millennials and Generation Y simply because of their upbringing during the current technology’s heyday.
A more useful phrase is “digital natives”, a group of individuals who were born, raised and continue to thrive in the age of tech. Instead of remaining exclusive to a single generation or group, this term includes everyone relevant to the modern customer journey.
How Digital Natives Perceive CX
By 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. But they’re certainly not the only ones that are going to make a difference in years to come.
The iGeneration — or Me generation, as it’s being called in some places — is one of the most recent. Also called Generation Z, it includes those born in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. Currently, there is no definitive end date for the generation, but most of these people have had access to the internet from a young age. As these individuals come of age, enter the workforce and become household decision makers, it’s important for businesses to resonate with them.
And as we’re seeing — through the manifest of mobile-first and on-demand mindsets — the iGeneration tends to emphasize how they feel, which directly influences their buying decisions. If they aren’t having a positive experience or relevant interaction with a brand, they simply won’t invest.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is an isolated sentiment of that particular generation. It’s really not. Customer demand has evolved considerably over the years, to the point where everyone in the digital space expects the same journey.
In the past, organizations largely saw customer experience as a separate element of their products and services. Today, however, customers demand more seamless, positive interactions that serve as part of the core experience.
Incorporating CX: The Top Five
These trends explain why digital natives are transforming the current state of business. Tech-savvy individuals demand more active, omni-channel experiences from the brands they support.
As a result, businesses are kick-starting their digital transformation to deploy next-gen, contextually smart experiences that honor the mobile-first mindset. This is true of both the future customer experience, as well as the future workplace experience.
Here are the top five ways this can be done:
New technologies and apps are constantly being released, so business must remain agile to keep up. More importantly, they must be able to react in a timely manner as their audiences demand access to the new experiences. Digital natives themselves have a willingness to try new things, and are attracted by everything new and innovative - so organizations must mirror this flexibility.
"Audiences are receptive if and when you take risks to delight them in new, innovative ways. On the other hand, they are much less forgiving if you offer the same tried and true opportunities via sub-par experiences. @TheCXApp”“
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Voice Activated Experiences
Beyond mobile, voice-enabled experiences have moved to alternate platforms — Alexa and other smart home devices come to mind.
This technology is on such an advanced level that user experience and UI developers are now creating content specifically for voice interfaces. It is a prime example of how a creative new medium has quickly gained traction. Companies must also be prepared to offer more voice reliant experiences across a variety of available platforms.
Mobile has also repopularized some mediums or content forms. For instance, audio-based content like audiobooks, podcasts, conference talks and so on. Digital natives are, for the most part, characterized by a great thirst for learning. They’re interested in constantly picking up new skills, and business has to align to this desire.
A great deal of modern communication must be able to match these new channels, particularly when it comes to on-the-go, bite-sized experiences.
Taking Risks Through Innovation
Audiences are receptive if and when you take risks to delight them in new, innovative ways. On the other hand, they are much less forgiving if you offer the same tried and true opportunities via sub-par experiences.
When it comes to creating truly engaging stories around your products, you must not be afraid to get creative and try new things. In fact, that’s exactly what you should do - albeit in a carefully tracked manner, so that you can continue to optimize. This type of attitude, combined with a mobile-first mindset, will ensure you are poised to delight the up-and-coming generations of customers.
Location, Location, Location
Yes, location three times, just like in the real-estate industry. Interestingly, it applies well here too. In the modern mobile customer experience — especially when crossing boundaries from digital to physical experiences — location does matter.
Where is your audience? What have they done to interact with or around your business? Are these interactions via physical experiences or digital?
The idea is to take location information to create a smart, engaging space for your customers. You can really wow them with next-gen, location-specific mobile interactions.
Resonating with the Modern World
In the end, the goal is to provide more personalized, modern interactions through mobile and various other CX tools. This will delight digital natives, but it’s a strategy that appeals to people of all ages.
While Millennials definitely stand out with respect to technology use, there are a surprising number of other generations that embrace digital lifestyles too. 67 percent of Baby Boomers and 30 percent of the Silent Generation, for example, own and use smartphones regularly. Millennials and Gen Xers hold the highest numbers, at 92 percent and 85 percent respectively.
There is no generational divide that applies to whom you’re targeting when you deploy mobile-first CX campaigns.