Customer Service for the Digital Generation – Part One

As discussed in a previous blog post, customer service has evolved from a voice-only channel to include digital channels – SMS, email, web chat, etc. That evolution is due, in large part, to changing demographics and age group preferences.

The Importance of SMS Messaging

The number and frequency of text messages exchanged brings to question the overall communication preferences for younger generations. For SMS texting, there is a direct correlation between the age group and the number of text messages sent per day.

The pie chart below shows the results of another recent survey of university students, which revealed some fascinating insight into how they preferred to communicate using their phones.

The data is clear – there was an indisputable preference for non-voice channels for millennials and Generation X middle age. As a business, it would be reasonable to assume these users would expect to use the same channels when interacting with their trusted brands.

The Impact of Social Media

The use of social media for customer service is relatively new, and, not surprisingly, the opinion of businesses that offer a social media channel is directly related to age.

Age group Percentage that views social media as favorable
18-34 80%
35-54 59%
55 and up 35%

How These Trends Impact Customer Service Preferences

While the data shows an overwhelming preference for digital channels in personal communications, is the same true for customer service? Although a lesser percentage, there is still a significant 63% preference among millennials to attempt to use online methods for customer service rather than calling.

All these trends present businesses with new challenges when it comes to planning their future customer service plans and resources.

The next blog post in this series will discuss what conclusions businesses can take from this data and which technological solutions they can leverage to address their customer service challenges.

To learn more about the changing trends in customer service, visit

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