Skip to content

Understanding and adapting to the communication patterns of younger people

  • 4 min read

Anyone who interacts with customers or clients in any way, shape, or form, needs to understand the different communication styles and needs between different generations. If you assume that all your customers feel most comfortable using the telephone you risk losing those under 30 and if you only offer a chat option on your site, you will lose all those who prefer the telephone.

Meet the Alphas

Children born between 2010 and 2024 belong to Generation Alpha. They have been part of the digital world since birth, have grown up with super-fast internet, smart technology, multiple screens, social media, and streaming services as a natural part of their lives.

Add to that they will be exposed to powerful AI technology from a very early age, and you have a truly digital generation. And it’s not a small one. By 2025, this generation will be 2 billion people large, making it the largest generation ever, larger than the previous generations X and Z.

How this young generation will communicate and what they will be influenced by is difficult to predict, they are still noticeably young, but they have grown up with at least one screen within reach and we know that the pandemic has played a big role in their lives. Advances in AI, the climate crisis and an uncertain world will probably also be influential parts of their lives.

Generation Z

We know more about the communication patterns of Generation Z, the slightly older ones born between 1995 and 2010. These digital natives move comfortably between different screens and often use several at the same time. Their communication is characterized by speed, they expect quick answers and lose interest quickly while their communication style is informal. Another keyword is online, they live, shop, and communicate online.

No phone calls, please

The majority of Generation Z avoid talking on the phone unless they must and have grown up with social media. Many of us, from previous generations, prefer the phone as a means of communication when we contact customer service, especially when the subject is difficult or the emotional level is high, but it simply does not apply to the same extent in this age group.

How does this affect the customer service field?

In the field of customer service, there are several important reasons to understand and be interested in younger generations. Partly because they prefer to communicate online and via text rather than voice, but also because many of those who meet and support our customers belong to the younger generations. And most often they work with the phone as the main tool, while they privately avoid talking on it when they communicate.

Micro family influencers

There is another upside to understanding and adapting to the communication patterns of younger people. Their digital nature and deep technical knowledge have made them important influencers in many families. Restaurant visits, travel destinations and important purchases often go through the family’s Generation Z.

So, whether we want to attract, support, or make them our customer, we need to understand their preferences, needs, and expectations.

Getting to know the Alphas first hand

Before Christmas, we had the chance to visit a school and organize a full-day AI workshop together with two classes of fourth graders, the Generation Alpha. We had an exciting day together where the ten-year-olds explored the possibilities of generative AI and got to test different chatbots while we gave them a safe introduction to the technology.

Of course, we also took the opportunity to talk about important topics such as source criticism and the importance of keeping certain information private. We are happy and grateful that we got the opportunity to participate and conclude that it was a very educational day for everyone involved, not just the students.

Share this post on social!