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How Each Age Groups Complain About Poor Retail Experiences

by Imogen Wethered

The heart of retail customer complaints: failing to understand the changing demands of the generations

For as long as customer service has existed there have been customer complaints. And these complaints can have a significant impact in terms of the perception of the brand, as customers will essentially associate their negative experience with your brand.

In fact, having a misaligned strategy which is clearly unstructured, does not encourage employees to embrace the very founding’s of the company’s existence and can unfortunately have a negative impact in how the very people who you see as your top brand advocates or evangelists culminate to try and tarnish your reputation as a business. This can often result in complaints on social media and staff appearing apathetic as opposed to sympathetic, resulting in lower footfall or customers trying to look for an alternative solution or store elsewhere to resolve their problem.

Tolerating poor customer service

Over the last few decades, we have become accustomed to tolerating poor customer service. It’s been instilled in us as part of our value systems and our culture. Once a customer comes to the fore to complain about a product or a service in-store or at a restaurant, suddenly more people follow suit via that channel. The credibility, responsiveness and ability to be able to empathise with that particular customer or millions of customers in some cases has brought the following question to the forefront of the fourth estate – Are organizations failing to embrace the evolving requirements of the generations which have enabled them to exist?

Adapting to the changing and evolving requirements of the generations

As a generation, never have we experienced such a changing landscape with Baby Boomers, (those born in 1946 – 1960), Generation Y and Millennials challenge retailers with their differing requirements in terms of how they go about engaging with customers. With over nearly one third of customers failing to complete a purchase due to poor customer service, the team at Qudini decided to deep delve into the reasons why this may be the case as this has had a clear impact on the retail bottom line and has caused major concern.

Getting into the mindset of your customer

As the retail landscape has changed, organizations have failed to keep up with the ever-evolving mindset of their customer bases, how they like to consume and interact with brands and, most importantly, what they associate your brand with. The technical prowess of millennials, those born 1980 and 2000, has caused vast concern for brick-and-mortar retailers due to the lack of research which has been carried out into how to compete with the online competitors for market and mindshare.

For many, mindshare has been harder to achieve due to trying to keep track of the exponential growth in the number of channels which customers like to engage with the brand. While Millennials are seen to be more digitally savvy, there is an array of similarities between them, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) and Generation X (1965 to 1979).

Personalization of the brand and the development of commercial relationships

Recent research highlighted that the older generation has shifted their customer journeys online whereas millennials have been found to prefer shopping online as long as they have access to their social networks and get to experience new and upcoming technology trends in-store. Half of millennial and generation z shoppers said they use social media to solicit opinions while shopping, and this influences buying behaviours in 40% of both age groups. A quarter of millennials admitted to returning purchases after receiving feedback on social media later, and generation Z’s return rate was more than 60%. Generation Z and younger millennials were more likely to embrace emerging shopping technologies like in-store or restaurant apps to pay for services.

Since the take-up of online and telephone banking in the early noughties to organizing purchases and finances through apps, many outlets have since closed or had to adapt the way they interact with their customers.

Commercial relationships between brands and their audiences have changed from generation to generation, particularly with the necessity of having to send queries, book appointments, place orders and make complaints across different retail channels. Brands have had to uniquely tailor applications and integrate channels in order to ensure that each interaction is tailored to the individual’s schedule, way of working and lifestyle. To add to that, each channel used to communicate with the customer will be answered by chatbots, offering tailored services.

Responsiveness to industry demands

At Qudini, we try and innovate in response to industry demands, research and observations and tailor our offerings accordingly. Having launched an array of exciting new service offerings over the past five years, we want to help retailers be able to make that transition from offering products or services and help them align their customers’ demands to the business strategy with the help of our centralized customer experience management platform

With research conducted by The Times highlighting that by 2025, 11% of consumers will be outsourcing their shopping to artificial intelligence, looking into a favored brands or letting AI choose the brand based on promotion or price. With the ability to change and adapt to one’s environment being one of the key pillars to societal existence, retailers cannot afford to overlook market trends, buyer behaviors and technology.

To find out more about how retailers can align and improve their customer experience management strategies, contact the Qudini team here.

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Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

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Our Upcoming Webinar will present consumer insights on how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Sign-up below for Tuesday October 12th (2pm ET | 11am PT).