Six Ways To Better Serve Baby Boomers
You hear a lot about the buying power of millennials. They are now the largest generation, and you might be tempted to focus your marketing and sales efforts only on them. That would be a mistake. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) still make up a significant share of the home-owning segment (nearly 50 percent) and are recognized today as an important target market for contractors. Why? Not only do boomers want to age in place as they retire, nearly one third of them still have an adult child in their home. That can be a compelling reason to add on or to remodel.
How does your team approach these mature homeowners? Do you treat them exactly like the rest of your customers? If so, it’s time to adjust your approach. Baby boomers are a unique breed, and making a few adjustments to your sales and customer service techniques can help you to capitalize on this lucrative market. Here are six proven ways to give baby boomers the service they demand:
1. Put It In Writing
Baby boomers have a lifetime of information in their heads, and sometimes that can lead to them losing track of details. They appreciate having things in writing. Not only does this include your normal forms and paperwork, you should also be sure to have brochures handy and even offer notepads with your company logo on it. Boomers trust things that are in writing more, and anything you can do to gain their confidence is a good thing.
2. Avoid Jargon And Technical Terms
As the “internet of things” becomes more and more a part of everyday life, boomers are getting in on the action. However, while an internet-connected thermostat offers tremendous benefits (monitoring and adjusting the temperature in your home from anywhere, for example), it does come with a little bit of a learning curve. How do you download and sign in to the app? What happens when the Wi-Fi goes down? To help boomers understand these new kinds of technology, skip the specialized jargon. Instead, use words they recognize. If the unit you are installing is called the XZ931, just refer to it as a “smart thermostat” and make life easier for everybody.
3. Don’t Underestimate Their Connection To Technology
In a related topic, don’t assume that baby boomers are technology-averse. They have smartphones, too. They use social media like crazy. Many boomers love their gadgets just as much as gen x-ers or millennials. Be sure to recognize this fact for what it is – a huge opportunity. Seniors may need a little help to get set up with new technology, but once they have the hang of things, they enjoy the benefits just like everyone else. Ask them about smart lighting or recommend a new shower that offers a customizable experience. Use technology to become the problem solver they are looking for.
4. Make Things Easy
Don’t make these customers jump through hoops if you can help it. If a process is necessary, explain why it is necessary and offer to help them complete it. Give boomers the option to fill out paperwork online, and you might be surprised at just how willing they are to take you up on it. They’ve spent their lives working hard, and now a little convenience can go a long way in building a strong relationship with your baby boomer customers.
5. Show Respect
Nobody likes to feel patronized, and baby boomers are perhaps more sensitive than most. They are used to being the ones with the answers, and it can be challenging for them to accept help – even when it is your job. Make sure that your sales and customer service team communicate in a respectful manner without being condescending. Take this into account with your marketing materials and other paperwork as well.
6. Reward Their Loyalty
One of the best parts about working with baby boomers is that once they find a company that they like, they seldom look elsewhere. Encourage this loyalty by rewarding it. Let them earn discounts through a loyalty program, for example. Give your best customers special treatment. Most of all, genuinely express your gratitude for their business. Everybody wants to be appreciated, and baby boomers are no different.
Make baby boomers a priority for your business, and it will almost certainly pay off. They’re unique customers, and in some ways that is what makes them great to deal with. Do right by them, and they will stick by you through thick and thin, something that can be rare in modern times.
Sources: https://www.hiri.org/news/316124/Why-baby-boomers-are-a-diverse-home-improvement-market-with-buying-power.htm, http://advisor.tv/post/5-ways-to-improve-customer-service-for-baby-boomers, http://www.usan.com/contact-center/how-to-show-customers-respect-the-baby-boomer-edition/, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244043