PEW Generational Chart - Customer experience expectations in 2020

Customer experience expectations in 2020

Study after study supports the fact that consumers will pay more for a better customer experience and are four times more likely to jump to the competition when a problem is service-related versus product or price-related – or if they feel they weren’t treated well. It’s this mindset that’s fuelling this generation’s business buyer.

Feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch products and services

The changes reflected in today’s consumer buying habits have impacted the way businesses research and purchase equipment, technology and print. One of the major factors driving growth in customer communications is the increasing need to keep them engaged – and appreciated – over various channels and devices.

As a group, millennials are willing to spend the most (21% more) for great customer care

Older millennials, now approaching 40, grew up with information at their fingertips. Older Gen Z’s in their early 20s and hitting the workforce, never knew life without the internet. This generation’s business buyers make their decisions and start their research online and in groups, where they collaborate and look for solutions that help them. They rarely deal with a salesperson until the later phases of their buying journey. Websites and collateral that feature equipment, speeds and feeds – and boast world-class printing craftsmanship and state-of-the-art printing facilities, all backed by a 100% quality guarantee – will not capture the attention of these potential customers. Better customer care will. And, contrary to popular belief, millennials read more than older generations do – and more than the last generation did at the same age. A survey of college students found that 92% prefer reading printed material versus digital material, 78% of millennial respondents said they enjoyed the smell and feel of books and paper, and 58% said the same of magazines. Tangible, colourful print complements immersive and interactive customer journeys with fun, one-of-a-kind experiences. Driven by the need to keep customers better engaged with targeted, personalized communication, print is re-emerging as a premium, powerful channel.

By engaging the sense of touch, you create a memorable and long-lasting customer experience that sells

According to Forbes, Generation Z and millennials combined are the biggest consumer group in history and will soon account for $4 billion in discretionary spending. Highly personalized and customized direct mail engages these buyers with a memorable brand experience. Adding finishes such as embossing, debossing, UV coating, 3D effects and foil stamping, provides a truly unique sensory experience that screams out: “Touch me!” Integrated direct mail and digital campaigns boost attention spans – people spend 39% more time engaging in direct mail versus digital campaigns alone, cites Canada Post. The corporation even studied people’s brainwaves to learn how printed mail increased conversions when combined with digital e-mail. Even simple paper statements have now become another link in the omnichannel customer experience chain, with their design and content now viewed as valuable business drivers.

Sixty-six percent of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide a good online customer experience (CX)

From paying bills to ordering business cards, the print and customer communications industry helps make it possible to perform transactions on any device, most importantly mobile, while recognizing the important role that paper plays in your customer’s mindset. “The goal of CX is to meet and exceed customer expectations. But while 48% say their CX efforts exceed management’s expectations, only 22% of customer experience leaders report their CX efforts actually exceed customers’ expectations,” according to research firm Gartner.

Above all, after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that particular company again. Plus, American Express reports that Gen Z is more than twice as likely to drop a brand for poor features or a lack of responsiveness on social media, than other age groups. Today, print and business buyers are looking for solutions that boost their brand, generate revenue and align with their causes. The printing industry can provide those solutions.
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Joanne Gore

Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: joanne@joannegorecommunications.com Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121