If we were to sum up what brands need to know about Gen Z customer experiences preferences (and employee experience preferences) in a few words, it would go something like this: they’re different. Revolutionary even. This may seem like an oversimplification, but when you think about it, Gen Z grew up in a world that is more connected than ever, has more access than ever, and accomplishes everything faster than ever. It makes sense, then, that their standards for customer and employee experiences would be higher than ever too.
Because Gen Z makes up 26% of the global population, their preferences should already be playing a significant role in your business strategy — and their influence will only grow! That’s why we put a magnifying glass over these emerging consumers and employees — to give you the intelligence you need to create a positive impact with Gen Z, whether you’re trying to convince them to become loyal customers or recruit them to be engaged employees.
Here’s what you need to know, according to our recent 2022 Experience Trends data:
What Is Most Important for the Gen Z Customer Experience and Employee Experience?
Tip #1: Seamless and efficient experiences are a must.
It doesn’t matter what channel or touch point, your customers and employees should have a sense of consistency every time they interact with your brand. And for Gen Z, seamless experiences are table stakes when it comes to maintaining their loyalty. Gen Z shops both online and in-store, so it’s imperative that they are able to experience the same level of convenience, personalization and general experience excellence across the board.
Tip #2: Gen Z Is unlikely to complete a traditional CX or EX survey.
Get ready for a mic drop moment: Gen Z is simply less likely to fill out a traditional survey. In the course of our research we found that:
- In the U.S.:
- Only 19% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
- Only 22% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
- In Canada:
- Only 28% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
- Only 41% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
So what feedback collection methods should you be using if you want to gauge the Gen Z customer experience? We suggest micro surveys, social media and review sites and live chat to gain the intelligence you need to compete for Gen Z’s loyalty.
Tip #3: Social media influencers have significant reach.
Gen Z’s first exposure to your brand is likely via social media, and more specifically through social media influencers. We asked Gen Z consumers about whether they used an influencer code to make a purchase in 2021, and if they are likely to use influencer discount codes in the upcoming year. Here’s what they told us:
- One of three emerging Gen Z customers had used a social influencer code in 2021
- One of three emerging Gen Z customers are planning to use a code in 2022
From these numbers, it’s clear social media influencers will continue to, well, influence the emerging consumer. If you haven’t considered leveraging influences to acquire new customers, then it’s time to start!
Tip #4: Strong brand values are make-or-break.
Gen Z has high standards when it comes to the brands they support, and even higher standards for the brands they work for. When looking into a possible employer, our research found that Gen Z is looking for three primary values. Here they are, as explained by Gen Z:
- Culture: “[I] am likely to choose a [company] that allows me to express myself […] and [get] creative with mentorship and support.”
- Diversity: “I’m looking for [a company] that bring in diverse [experiences and] talents that can challenge one another.”
- Connectivity: “I believe that success [means] bringing everyone together […] we all [want] to be part of the equation [not just our executives].”
To successfully recruit this value-driven generation, brands should take care to emphasize these core values in job descriptions, internal messaging and beyond.
Tip #5: Gen Z has little tolerance for bad behavior.
We’ve all seen the news stories: customers in-store or aboard flights displaying outlandishly bad behavior when confronted with mask policies or low stock of desired items and taking their anger out on employees. We were curious about what Gen Z thought of these displays and whether it affected their perception of the brand involved.
We asked, “What would you think if you witnessed a customer acting aggressively toward an employee at a place of business?” Gen Z responded with overwhelming compassion for the employee in the situation, and even mentioned that “I would interject […] No one should be treated that way.”
What are you Doing to Prepare for the Next Generation of Consumers and Employees?
As Gen Z becomes an even more prominent customer and employee segment, their CX and EX preferences will become even more important to your business. So determine what are you doing today to emphasize and enable Gen Z customer experience expectations. Learn how to connect with them and collect feedback from them in order to understand how they perceive your brand.
Radi Hindawi, Principal, Strategic Services at InMoment, has extensive expertise building market-leading services and consultative teams. He has significant knowledge and background in helping organizations transform simple data into direct ROI actions, with a core focus on helping various stakeholders execute their strategic objectives through innovative approaches. Jim Katzman, Principal, CX Strategy and Enablement, brings a wealth of sales and customer experience knowledge. Prior to joining InMoment, Katzman accrued valuable experience on both sides of the sales relationship while working for such big names as Verizon, America Online, and Asurion. He is adept at using customer feedback to pinpoint deep-rooted problem areas within organizations and is even more proficient at fixing them.