While there is a plethora of articles out there about how to deal with millennial customers, the same can't quite be said for baby boomers. But the truth is, seniors still make up much of our purchasing population.
In fact, the number of seniors is increasing quickly. The percentage of the population age 65 and over increased from 4.1 percent in 1900 to 13.0 percent in 2010 and is projected to reach 20.9 percent by 2050. This demographic is also increasingly taking to online shopping. The number of consumers age 66 and older using this outlet to purchase products has incrased 4 percent each year.
If your customer base skews toward seniors, there are a number of unique needs to consider. Here are five special steps you can take to make your older customers feel welcomed, comfortable, and valued:
1. When in doubt, write it out.
Many seniors have trouble remembering small details and thus appreciate having things in writing. Whether it's a brochure or a quick note reminding the customer when their order will be ready, small gestures will have a big impact. Keep a notepad and pens by the cash register for convenience, or include specific next steps on receipts and in emails.
2. Keep coupons handy.
Seniors, many of who grew up in hard economic times, love a good deal. Loyalty rewards programs, weekly sales emails and monthly coupon books all make it easy for your customers to take advantage of the promotional deals your company is offering. Brainstorm with your marketing team to find unique ways to offer great discounts.
3. Hire meticulously.
Seniors are typically less likely than younger shoppers to impulse buy, and they often have questions for the sales personnel. Hire patient, kind customer service representatives to accurately answer any in-depth questions and make customers feel confident in their purchase decisions.
4. Show respect.
One common pet peeve of many seniors is feeling patronized while shopping. No one likes to be talked down to. Make sure that your sales and customer service representatives are trained to communicate in a respectful, non-condescending tone. Your marketing collateral needs to reflect this respect as well.
5. Communicate often.
Seniors appreciate the human approach. Whether it's a phone call to follow up on how a product is working for them or a personalized email to wish them a happy birthday, human gestures show that your company truly values its customers on a personal level, and this does wonders to cultivate a strong and loyal relationship.
Seniors are an important, but often overlooked, demographic. Tailoring your customer support to their unique needs will help you build customer loyalty and position your business for success as the demographic continues to grow and change.