Business Irish

Thursday 22 February 2018

Younger customers expect more loyalty and social media interaction with a brand - survey

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Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Younger customers expect more loyalty, a deeper relationship and social media interaction with a brand than older consumers.

The generational differences in customer service interactions have been highlighted in a new study from Ricoh Ireland.

According to the research from the tech specialist, younger consumers demand far more information when initially considering a purchase.

They also expect a great deal of post-sales interaction to create a lasting brand relationship.

The results of the survey of 3,600 consumers, conducted by Censuswide across Europe and including more than 250 Irish respondents, found that added services are vastly more important to younger consumers than older generations.

"Understanding why young people build affinity with a brand is a crucial factor in ensuring future success, while continued attention to other age groups’ needs is integral to customer satisfaction and retention," Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK, said.

Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK
Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK

"For those that get it right the rewards are there for the taking, shown by the fact that 57% of customers spend more with brands that make them feel valued."

Some 43pc of 16 to 24-year-olds rated the inclusion of third-party reviews and recommendations, for example, as the factor that impresses them most when choosing to buy from a brand. This compares to only 20pc of the over 55s age group.

However, older customers are less patient when it comes to a difficult purchase process, with 62pc of over 55s walking away from brands with laborious sales processes. This compares to 43pc of 16 to 24-year-olds who would abandon the purchase in the same scenario.

Loyalty programmes and incentives for frequent purchases don't interest the older customer as much with only 19pc believing that this would impact brand selection, in comparison to 38pc of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Younger consumers were found to be "irritated" by not being able to interact with a brand via social media, 50pc of 16 to 24-year-olds compared to 26pc of over 55s.

"It’s paramount that Irish businesses are on social media and fully aware of their consumers’ behaviour," said Mr Moloney.

"Significant numbers of Irish consumers are using social media to interact with brands prior to purchase. This provides huge opportunities for Irish businesses to connect with, and learn about, their audience."

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