How do Generation Z communicate with brands?

09 April 2018 / Brían Taylor

With digital constantly evolving, it can be hard to know which of the latest industry developments are genuine opportunities (as opposed to buzz words) and should be pursued to cut through to the Z audience. What are they looking for from brands on social and online?

Take Chatbots as an example. If Z have a brand query, 54% say speed of response is the most important element. This would suggest that a chatbot would streamline some simple brand queries and services Z need. Not the case here. Only 16% feel that automated bots will be able to give them the answers they’re looking for. What’s more, 60% say that automated responses make them feel less valued by a brand (Figure 14).

Below; Figure 14 - "Imagining you have a query for a brand, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?"

Generation Z generally tend towards seeking human interaction in all situations other than for something as simplistic as requesting a catalogue (Figure 15).

They want brands to appreciate them and give them good service and aren’t willing to compromise this for speed. If a bot is on the cards (and it will undoubtedly move from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential within the next 3 years), the critical questions for brands moving into this area are what business challenge can it help solve? What consumer benefit can it offer? If it’s style over substance, it simply isn’t going to get traction in anything more than the short term.

Interestingly, online chat with a support team member is the next best query resolution for Z after face to face, suggesting that it’s not the physical that is driving the current cynicism of bot adoption, but the expertise on offer. Brands that can hit the right combination will be reaping the rewards.

Below; Figure 15 - "How would you prefer to address the following tasks?"

Key brand points

1. Consider the role bots could have within your marketing mix and whether the role they would be performing adds the same, or more, value to the task you are automating.

2. Don’t confuse automation bots with those that deal with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI. A bot can automate, but it’s the value in NLP that can truly unlock future opportunities and offer exciting marketing communities.

3. Roll out your customer service strategy cross-channel. Ensure it is consistent physically, socially and via a bot if you desire. The brand should remain consistent regardless of the person, technology or process by which service is being delivered.


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