Only the young are using multichannel support?

We live in an age of multichannel customer service. It is common for consumers today to be using around five or six channels when they want to interact with a brand. Voice calls, chat on instant messenger, email, reviews or forums, Twitter, Facebook… and the list could go on, but those half a dozen are really the most common channels today.

This is complicated by the fact that consumers jump around the channels. A customer might email a question and call because they have not had a reply for several hours and maybe even tweet about their unanswered email – customers are hopping around channels and much of the time not even directing many of their complaints specifically at the brands concerned.

But one of the big myths about these multichannel-savvy consumers that I have heard over and over again is that it’s really only the young who are behaving like this. I know that this assumption is wrong because I can see friends and family of all ages communicating with each other on Facebook and using tools like Tripadvisor before booking a restaurant or hotel.

This research published on eConsultancy throws some light on just how much the growth of multichannel customer service has changed the way we all interact with brands. It’s true that the young (under 24s) have used social channels more than any other demographic group, but look at the over 55s in this research with 27.4% of them contacting brands using social tools.

These numbers are growing every year. Managing this complex mix of social and traditional channels is no longer just a nice-to-have function that makes your customer service team look ahead of the curve – it’s essential if you want to answer your customers.

Social Media Outposts


Photo by Mark Hunter licensed under Creative Commons

This entry was posted in Contact Centres, Current Affairs, Customer Service, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Only the young are using multichannel support?

  1. Eptica says:

    As you say Matt, it is dangerous to assume that certain demographics only use certain channels – we live in a multichannel world and most people will jump around. As research has found, even Generation Y will still pick up the phone. What people actually want is a fast, consistent answer on their channel of choice (rather than having to repeat themselves). This means delivering a joined-up service and ensuring you are on the right channels for your customers. More on generational shifts in the Eptica blog at

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