Gen Z: Why they should be at the heart of our strategy
When it comes to describing Generation Z, most people may think of words like lazy, entitled, and selfish. But this generation is the future of your business and holds significant purchasing power with over $360 million in disposable income. It's time to start understanding Gen Z and their unique characteristics and values to ensure your business success.
Generation Z, also known as Generation Now and Generation Empathy, are born between 1997 and 2012. They are the most connected and technologically advanced generation, having grown up with the internet, mobile phones, and social media. This exposure to technology and diversity has made them more accepting and empathetic than any generation before them. They don't remember a time without constant connectivity and have seen significant societal events and advancements, shaping their values and perspectives. It's time to start getting to know Gen Z and their unique traits.
How technology has affected Gen-Z
Generation Z has grown up with constant access to technology, shaping how they share, socialize, and receive information. They have a smartphone in their pocket at all times and can access anything they want, whenever they want. But this constant connectivity also comes with its challenges, with some feeling emotionally attached to the internet and experiencing increased feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Gen Z has a strong set of values that influence their purchasing decisions. They prioritize socially responsible and eco-friendly brands, with 76% expressing concern about humanity's environmental impact. It's clear that understanding Gen Z's relationship with technology and their values is crucial for businesses to succeed with this generation.
Generation Z is known for their empathy and inclusivity, traits that have often been lacking in leaders. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and Gen Z excels at this. As CEO and best-selling author Mimi Nicklin explains, empathy is about "perspective taking" and "understanding where [others] are coming from." This empathetic nature makes Gen Z the most inclusive generation yet and is a valuable trait for businesses to tap into.
Gen Z want to feel heard, valued and understood
Generation Z is known for their tech-savviness and their thorough research of products and brands before making purchasing decisions. Like Millennials, they expect businesses to show social responsibility, but they also require authenticity and trustworthiness. With short attention spans, Gen Z can quickly spot a fake and will not hesitate to move on to a different brand. As Mimi explains, "for many Gen-Z's, they don't think that we understand what they want, and for many of them, they think we don't know how to adapt to them." It's clear that businesses need to adapt to the demands of Gen Z in order to succeed with this generation.
Customer empathy and what it means
Gen-Z's are quickly becoming the next generation of customers, which means we need to put customer empathy at the heart of our organisations.
Customer empathy is the ability to put yourself in your customer's shoes and understand their pain points. It's also about understanding what a customer experiences when they use your products or services.
Organisations that don't priories empathy risk losing this generation of customers.
An organisation that builds empathy throughout its operations can lead to better products, a better customer experience and increased customer satisfaction.
Mimi explains how empathy can help with decision-making.
"In the corporate world, [empathy] is data that can enable better decision-making within your organisation or even your sales teams. It's your innovation pipeline."
Putting empathy at the heart of your strategy
As the next generation of customers, Gen Z is quickly becoming a key target market for businesses. With a strong set of values and a high level of empathy, it's important to put customer empathy at the heart of strategy in order to connect with and retain Gen Z customers. By understanding their needs and experiences, we can create better products, improve the customer experience, and increase customer satisfaction. By building empathy into our teams and organisations, we can foster stronger emotional connections with Gen Z and inspire advocacy for our brand.
Better understand your customers
Empathy requires actively listening to our customers and keeping an open mind to gain insights into their needs. It means demonstrating that we understand the customer as an individual, are interested in their issues, and are willing to shape our response around their needs. This can help us build trust and foster stronger relationships with Gen Z.
Not sure whether it's worth building customer empathy into your strategy? Research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that the top 10 most empathetic companies increased their monetary value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 companies and generated 50% more earnings. This shows the potential benefits of prioritizing empathy in our business strategies.
Customer voice and storytelling
Bigears helps organizations connect with their customers on a deeper, more human level. With over 17 years of experience in the customer experience space, our team of linguistics, speech, and data experts use innovative technology to bring the power of voice and storytelling to businesses.
Our CEO, David Gaffney, explains, "We make customers' thoughts, feelings, and emotions heard. It's exciting to help organisations understand and empathise with their customers and see the positive impact it has in the long term."
Bigears provides ongoing and project based CX services to get the most valuable insights from your customers. Using the latest tools, we enable you to truly listen to your customers and quickly act on their feedback.
Gaffney says, "We have always believed that the voice is the key to understanding your customers better. By listening to customer stories, rather than just reading them, there is a depth and understanding available that would otherwise be lost."
Our programs enable your entire workforce to understand and empathize with your customers, leading to a better customer experience and increased motivation to provide it.
Gen-Z is our next generation of customers. They want to be heard, valued, and understood. If we want our organisations to succeed, we need to learn from Gen-Z and make empathy the heart of our strategy. We must ask our customers the right questions, actively listen, and keep an open mind to gain insights into their needs.