While there are a plet0hora of options out there for millennials and adults to reach out to brands through, it should not be forgotten that senior citizens still make up the population that purchases products or services. And they do also have concerns that they need to raise with the brands and businesses through customer support. Surprisingly such a population is also moving towards online shopping. Hence, this article aims to cover how customer service for seniors can be covered effectively by businesses.
Before delving into customer support services being carried out for senior citizens, here is a breakdown of what customer service is.
Customer service is a support that is offered to your customer, before or after they use/buy your products or services, and that allows them to have an easy and enjoyable experience with your brand. Businesses that aim to grow and retain customers need to have a customer support department. It is available via email, text messages, social media, live chat, etc. Businesses today have a customer service department, whether large or small. Xfinity customer service, which caters to new and existing subscribers of one of the largest telecommunication services in the US, has multiple channels of communication for customers, whichever they prefer. Having these options makes the customers feel that they are being valued.
Customer Service for Seniors
Coming back to the topic at hand, elderly customers have different needs than those of your regular customers, and the customer service reps have to make extra effort to cater to their needs.
As mentioned already, dealing with senior customers comes with its own set of challenges. The techniques and approaches you use to deal with middle-aged adults and millennials cannot be applied to them, because;
- They might not be tech-savvy
- They might have hearing or memory loss due to the health deterioration which is very common among the elderly
- They are slow at communicating
- They don’t care about being patronized
Senior citizens often have a hard time understanding the basics of modern technology such as fixing a simple computer issue or resolving any billing problem. This is why they need to be provided extra attention and help by customer support.
What can be done?
Following are some of the steps that customer support reps could take to make the transition easier for senior citizens.
Treat them with respect
On calls with the customer service reps, elderlies often feel like they are being patronized even though that is not the case. Hence, the customer support agent needs to be extra cautious about the kind of tones they use while communicating with any elderly. Instead of talking down on them, the agent should treat them with respect.
If resolving their issues is taking too long due to their slow communication, the customer support rep must not let his frustration show, instead, he should work to see how the issue can be resolved on their terms.
Deafness and forgetfulness are very common among senior citizens that come with age and these make it challenging for the message to get across to them. Therefore, it would be better to write down the information on a notepad or email to make the whole process easier for them.
Realizing their economic standing helps to forge a lasting relationship with senior customers. Since they live off retirement funds, they can benefit from receiving special discounts and coupons. If brands can provide them with special discounts, it will help to create good relationships with elderly customers.
Patience is the Virtue
Since they are slow at communication, senior customers often take a longer time to understand a request, make any decision, and respond accordingly. For the customer support rep, patience is the key to virtue. He needs to slow down, listen and gather all information about his senior customers which will make it easier for him to deal with them.
Maintain a Helpful Attitude
Although millennials nowadays prefer self-help tools, elderly customers still want to communicate with the customer service reps on the phone or face-to-face. Hence, customer support reps need to maintain a cheerful and helpful attitude while in conversations with senior customers.
Obviously not every communication experience with elderly customers will go as smoothly as you expect it to. But if concentrated efforts are made towards improving the customer experience for elderly customers, the risk of losing customers for any business will decrease.
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