Customer Service Tips for Dealing With Different Generations

Whether in person or on the phone, we all serve a variety of customers, different genders, ages, races, religions, education, economic statuses and language skills.

A great customer experience leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher sales. And that great customer experience begins with your ability to connect and relate to the customer. But how do you do it? How do you develop great rapport with customers, especially when you might only have an instant to make that connection? And how do you prepare your team to deal with customers from different age groups and generations?

The bottom line: If your customers aren’t happy, your organization suffers.

Customer service agent posingIt’s up to you to make sure every encounter you have with customers is 100% outstanding. But that’s easier said than done when you’re dealing with the communication issues that arise from different generations trying to reach an understanding. Throw in an angry and frustrated customer and an inadequately trained customer-service member and it could be a recipe for disaster.

The good news is that with a little patience, a little understanding and a little training on the proper techniques to communicate and resolve issues between age groups, you can soon have your customer service teams handling any situations with the professionalism that will keep your customers coming back and your business ready for success.

Tips for Serving the Silent Generation/Veterans (born 1922 – 1945)
• Don’t rush things and keep your interaction to a relaxed pace
• Establish rapport by being respectful in the old-fashioned way. Don’t forget to watch your language
• Be a bit more formal, leaving a respectful distance between yourself and your customer. Remember to avoid being too chummy or over-personal

Tips for Serving Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Baby Boom Generation• Be personable, especially in your greeting. If you know their name, use it when you greet them
• Take time to check in and find out how they’re doing
• Treat them like friends
• If they are regular customers, give them something extra to ensure continued patronage

Tips for Serving Xers (born 1965 – 1980)
• Be efficient. Competence matters more to Xers than schmoozing
• Make yourself available to share information. Know your stuff so you can give facts, figures and details
• Don’t hover. Give the customer a little more room and allow Xers to make their own decisions
• Don’t be put off by Xers’ aloofness. Most won’t be warm and friendly to you

Tips for Serving Ys/Nexters (born 1981 – 2000)
little boyBe respectful—don’t talk down or condescend to them just because they’re young
• Be sensitive to the generational clash between Xers and Ys
• You don’t have to do a song and dance, but pick up the pace and look lively. Ys are all about being entertained

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