Retailers beware—there has been a generational shift in the grumpy customer image. According to new Australian-first research, the ‘grumpy old men’ stereotype has been replaced by unhappy young couples.
It seems 92 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 were much more positive about the level of friendly customer service they receive from Australia’s major companies, while young childless couples held the highest levels of dissatisfaction. In addition, 79 per cent of 36 to 45 year olds recorded the lowest average scores for all of the customer service experiences.
What must be good news for retailers is that face-to-face is considered the friendliest channel for customer communication by 65 per cent of respondents, while the phone was voted the least friendly communication channel used by Australian businesses. A separate study revealed that friendliness is the biggest factor in delivering a great customer experience.
Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) chief executive, Anouche Newman said the generation change comes down to Australian businesses struggling to deliver authentic and friendly customer service across all communication channels. “Young people are more willing to jump online rather than wait to talk to someone over the phone and friendliness can be harder to communicate in an online environment,” she said.
In contrast, older people are used to communicating with providers and suppliers over the phone where they are more accustomed to waiting and where many businesses focus their customer service efforts.
“The issue is that few businesses are providing a genuinely holistic approach to customer service and are not delivering the same quality of friendliness when they connect with consumers online,” Newman said. “Many businesses are also more focused on the functional aspects of products and services, as opposed to the emotional connection with customers.”
The research, commissioned by the CSIA, was conducted by consumer insight group Antenna, which surveyed 2000 Australians across 15 industries including retail.
This story originally appeared on Appliance Retailer.