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Guest Post: How Good Customer Service is Defined by 4 Different Generations

This week we feature an article by Pem Brooke, Marketing Manager of SuperStaff. Pem discusses the importance of shifting customer service tactics in order to cater towards customers from each generation. Not many companies think about generational gaps and differences when it comes to dealing with their clients. Some brands think that dealing with customers […]

This week we feature an article by Pem Brooke, Marketing Manager of SuperStaff. Pem discusses the importance of shifting customer service tactics in order to cater towards customers from each generation.

Not many companies think about generational gaps and differences when it comes to dealing with their clients.

Some brands think that dealing with customers with uniform responses and procedures increases their efficiency and effectiveness—when, in fact, some customers may feel alienated if the support agents of a company do not match their communication styles with the expectations of the age group they are dealing with.

Businesses must keep their eyes on the sky and their ears to the ground when it comes to this world’s rapidly changing trends, themes, and pulse, but must never neglect the lifestyles, attitudes, technological aptitude, and the overall customer service expectations of their clients according to generational differences.

According to research conducted by New Voice Media, US-based businesses lose up to $62 billion yearly from having bad customer service. Score says that 91% of your clients will leave your company for an alternative brand if they experience bad customer service.

There is definitely no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to dealing with clients, but having a heightened level of awareness on their needs will give you a degree of mastery when it comes to enhancing your brand’s customer support efficiency, increasing client service ratings and raising customer retention by a great deal.

The Four Generations of Clients

It really depends on the industry and scope of work your business does, but most companies deal with clients from four major generational groups: Matures, Baby Boomers, Generation or Gen X, and Millennials.

Marketing and communications expert Kelly McDonald provided some guidelines in her book, Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You, so that readers could gain a better general understanding of each generation.

  • Matures- born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers- born between 1946 and 1964
  • Gen X- born between 1965 and 1981
  • Millennials (also called Gen Y)- born in between 1982 and 2004
  • Gen Z- born from 2005 to present

Our focus in this article will remain with the first four on the list, as Gen Z’s are still making their way into the world and therefore do not have as much spending power compared to the older sets.


Often described as “traditionalists,” this consumer age group combines two generations—the “Greatest Generation,” also known as the GI generation, born in 1924 or earlier, and the “Silent Generation,” composed of individuals born in 1925–1945. Matures have seen some of the darkest times in history, including the Great Depression and World War II.

Matures by now are mostly in their retirement years. A lot of them find adapting to technology and complicated instructions to be quite tedious. Some may have a degree of online and computer know-how, but it can still be a challenge for them to deal with procedures that require advanced technical knowledge. They are used to traditional forms of communication like handwritten letters and phones.

The key to dealing with the Matures is to up your personalization when providing customer support. Treat them with patience and special treatment. Teaching your agents to utilize tools for remote assistance, as well as screen-sharing features whenever possible, will speed up processes and help this generation gain better understanding of how your products or services work.

Baby Boomers

Boomers are the first generation to grow up with television sets in their living rooms. This has given them the inherent interest and ability to keep up with global trends and phenomena.

According to a study, boomers put a premium on price points above all other things when considering a product or service. They like using emails, have appreciation for vis-à-vis meetings, text messaging, and the telephone.

Known as big spenders (since they have the highest disposable income among the generations), they value brand loyalty but also reported to be more willing to try out new products. In fact, over 85% of boomers are comfortable doing online browsing and shopping.

Your brand could succeed in marketing to this generation through social media and SMS. Baby boomers are not likely to download and utilize digital applications for transactions. They still prefer brick-and-mortar stores, with 67% of those surveyed reporting that they still prefer buying at their local retailer even if the item is available online.

Generation X

The middle generation, often labeled as the bridge between baby boomers and the millennials, Gen X individuals are now mostly in their 40s. At this point, a lot of them are at the height of their earning capacity and are very busy with juggling a variety of tasks on their plate—managing home ownership, businesses, child-rearing, and much more.

This generation is mostly computer literate, with more than 80% of them reportedly using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Gen Xers value independence, as well as individual choice. They prefer high-tech communication methods, optimized systems for smooth processing, and give credence to being fully informed before diving into the nitty-gritty of things.

Having a wide selection of support channels will be useful when marketing to them, including email marketing, social media targeting, and many more.


These adults have grown up with computers and the internet. They use both tools extensively in their everyday lives for a wide variety of tasks—including self-learning, entertainment, and making connections with the people and communities they value in life.

As consumers, millennials are an omnivorous breed of customers who are most likely to utilize each point-of-sale avenue available. Millennials in the younger set (20–23 years old) are proven to be more likely to purchase in physical stores compared to their older millennial counterparts aged between 32 to 35, who will most likely shop through mobile apps or online stores.

Synchrony reports that 82% of millennials say that word-of-mouth is a primary motivator when it comes to their purchase decisions. As a brand, you can gain millennials’ trust and loyalty by showcasing good reviews on your products or services whenever possible, encouraging these digital natives to follow you on socials, and giving them real-time customer support that addresses their needs efficiently.


Providing the best customer experience is possible if you have a good grasp of your client’s lifestyles, needs, wants, and generational communication preferences.

Having proactive solutions in place, such as flexible working hours, for your customer support team is also advantageous, especially for bigger businesses, since clients from different generations have varied timetables when it comes to upsurges in their activity level and idle times.

Use different channels to communicate with them, and run tests to see which customer service solutions fit for your brand and your customers’ needs. Adjusting your communications strategies accordingly will boost your efficiency, and in turn, your company’s bottom line.

Pem Brooke is the Marketing Manager of SuperStaff. Prior to working at Logiscale, he handled a small marketing agency in Los Angeles. In his free time, he pampers his dog all day long.

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