Millennials, those born between 1981 to 1996, and Gen-Z, those born after 1997, are growing up to be the largest consumer group.
This consumer group has already pushed the world to a mobile-first view. Their life and lifestyle choices are greatly based on mobile technology. While millennials might have had to struggle for smartphones and tablets, Gen-Z grew up with this technology.
Moreover, Gen-Z is much more diverse and openly claims that their first love is the Internet.
The way mobile technology has advanced over these past few years has been astonishing, to say the least.
The latest generations are always connected to the outside world through their phones. In fact, the ubiquity of smartphones has made it hard to imagine going back to the ‘good old days.’
However, this revolution was not possible without a parallel shift in IT structure—both in terms of potential and security. The latest technologies, such as the Cloud, have allowed us to stay connected with everyone, anywhere, and at any time.
Just as consumer behaviours and patterns have evolved over the years, so have the tools and technologies. Today, we will talk about one such technology—cloud telephony—and how it has evolved to serve the latest generations.
Before that, let us look at how the newer generations brought change to the demand for customer experience.
How have Customer Experience expectations evolved from millennials to ‘zoomers’ during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered customer expectations for everyone—be it millennials or zoomers. While support teams were overburdened with customer queries about delays and cancellations, consumers were frustrated with slow, or sometimes even a lack of customer service.
Sensitivity to negative Customer Experiences
In a study, it was found that zoomers, or Gen-Z, are the ones to let go of negative customer experiences much quicker than millennials. The study claimed that 53% of millennials agreed that they would switch brands after a negative customer service experience, while 23% disagreed.
However, 34% of Gen-Z said they would switch and 32% said they wouldn’t. Gen-Z, therefore, is more liberal towards negative customer experiences than any other age group.
The reason for this tolerance can be attributed to their buying behaviour. It has been found that Gen-Z is more concerned with price than with the service.
While it is soon to establish this as the general trend, maybe Gen-Z grows, they will begin showing similar behaviours like the more experience-conscious millennials.
Preferred mediums of Customer Service Delivery
The different mediums of customer service are one of the biggest generational divides. While older customers prefer to be contacted via traditional mediums such as emails or phone calls, younger generations are more than open to quick digital alternatives like social media.
Gen-Z prefers self-service options
Let us not forget that Gen-Z has grown up during the great recession. This has impacted their purchase behaviours.
Now, they like doing their own research before making a purchase decision. This is also because of the countless options available to them, both online and offline.
They like being self-reliant and self-motivated. Additionally, it must be noted that they are likely to move away from your brand if they don’t find the answer to their queries through a blog, e-paper or a whitepaper.
How has Cloud Telephony evolved to serve the new generation of zoomers?
In a famous article by Sarah Landrum, she mentions the top-10 things millennials love to buy, and—guess what—experience is one of them.
For decades now, businesses have been leveraging cloud telephony solutions to deliver smooth customer experiences. From a simple technology to empower business communications for organisations, it has now come a long way.
Phases of the evolution of Cloud Telephony:
First phase: cloud call centres
Phone calls have been the most popular medium of communication in India for a long time now. Thus, in its infancy, an intelligent multi-level IVR was all that would run a cloud contact centre.
Businesses had simple requirements to serve. No brainer!
For a new business, the initial requirements were:
- Minimum missed calls
- Call details for better conversations
- Call tracking to check for performance standards
- Solutions that are cost-effective
Startups, predictably, were the early adopters of cloud telephony solutions. In addition to being the latest technology, it was also easy on the pockets of young entrepreneurs—an ideal solution.
Second Phase: supporting aggregators
With time, the services offered by businesses transcended the four walls of their offices. In no time, people were hiring cabs on the go or ordering food in just a few clicks.
The E-commerce industry was booming, providing new and exciting services to consumers.
Consequently, when the services offered by these startups moved beyond their offices, so did their expectations from cloud telephony. Connecting people was one aspect of these evolved requirements, taking control of the conversations was another crucial one.
With personal details of the customers at risk, it became imperative for the companies to secure the customer’s identity from any malicious action.
The requirements then became complex:
- 24×7 connectivity with the customers while they’re on the move
- Tracking and controlling the conversations on mobile devices
- The quality of customer conversations
- Easy integration with tools like the CRM for better service delivery
The challenges posed by these businesses were unfathomable by the traditional phone systems. As business communications moved to the cloud, there was no longer a singular way of communicating.
It was a holistic communication system, integrated with other applications, aimed to deliver a seamless customer experience.
Third Phase: supporting revolutions
The users of cloud telephony are placed at two ends of a spectrum. We have one set of users who are constantly pushing the extremities of cloud telephony by integrating it with state-of-the-art technology, like the Internet of Things (IoT).
They find that the easiest way you can get your devices to talk is through the capability of the cloud.
On the other hand, there are those who want to leverage cloud telephony just for reaching out to their audiences, as a ‘carrier’ of information. This can be done using solutions such as bulk SMSes or click-to-call.
Therefore, the evolved requirements of businesses now were:
- Omnichannel presence
- Robust tracking and analysis of calls and SMSes to drive innovative and attractive promotional campaigns
- Easy reporting to consistently innovate and improve business processes
Aren’t these requirements similar to what Gen-Z is looking for?
The evolved customer expectations—partly due to the revolutionary mobile technology and partly because of the pandemic—have set new standards for cloud telephony solutions to serve.
In a nutshell
With newer generations constantly evolving their customer expectations, technologies like cloud telephony are pitching the right services. Seamless customer experience, being omnipresent—especially on social media—are all made possible through cloud telephony and its many tools.