Effects of Demographics on customer service

Companies must take in to account the demographic factors / environment and identify for themselves markets they would like to target to promote and sell a particular service and or product. The focus is on the kind of people in that market that would most likely need and use the product being promoted. This marketing strategy saves the company’s resources from being wasted on trying to attract people who may never be interested in the product and or service. There are effects of Demographics on customer service as well – depending on the make of the population being targeted companies can tweak their customer service practices. The specific data that companies are able to collect with regard to the demography helps them to have pertinent information about diverse sets of people. For example – if the demography includes young, tech savvy and on the go workers, companies would need products and customer service that are fast paced and always accessible. Speed, reliability and convenience would need to be increased as per the customer base.

The kind of effects of demographics on customer service will also be guided by the information companies collect over long periods of time, making comparisons and monitoring trends within the given demography. They would be able to predict the effects of demographics on customer service now and in the future. It would also be helpful to decide which products are working well and which need to be improved or done away with completely. A younger set of people are likely to be more restless and not settle for anything that does not match their timelines or mindset. The effects of demographics on customer service for this section of people would be that the customer service agents would also need to be relatively young and be highly skilled in using the latest technology and be abreast with current ‘young trends’.

Demographics never remain constant. People move away from places, they pass away and new people are born, new skills are acquired, new people come to settle – and so it is not quite possible for companies to accurately predict what kind of products and or services the ‘new’ customers would like without making fresh analysis. The effects of demographics on customer service is perhaps even more dramatic – the fact is customers of any age want customer service that suits them and companies that are able to deliver, remain successful. Yes, companies must be aware of the changing dynamics to provide customized service else they might land up in trouble if they are unmindful of ‘what’ their customers are. It takes sustained effort and commitment for companies to have a clear picture of the demographics and be able to provide the relevant customer service.

Companies can potentially have a small market share if their information on demographics is limited. Their products and customer service would serve to benefit just a small section of people and they would not be able to attract others. Companies must be mindful of the effects of demographics on customer service and their profitability at all times. Demographic study reveals the current changes to the population with regard to age, gender, education, family income, religion and employment and marital status and more. Using this data companies can target the customer base they want based on their business goals and be able to assess the effects of demographics on customer service as it is currently. The more information companies can gather, the more successful they would be in providing excellent customer service and products and or services that will suit the population.

As people earn better, there are also changes to their lifestyle – for example choosing branded products over others in certain segments. They would also be able to afford better gadgets with upgraded technology and expect companies to match up to them. Based on lifestyle the effects of demographics on customer service would be that companies may need to change their products and invest in technology that allows customers to reach them anywhere and at any time. They would need to have more customer service agents responsible for social media communication and live chats. Companies would need to invest in aggressive marketing to position their product as a leading brand to attract and retain such customers.

If companies remain aware of the effects of demographics, they would be able to send out appropriate messages at the right time to increase awareness among their consumers and also get feedback on the kind of customer service this target base would want. Such intelligent use of demographic data attracts the consumer’s attention, turns them to customers and also enables companies to keep them as customers in the long run. Among the kinds of customer data available (behaviors and attitudes), demographic trends play a vital role. Accurately segmenting customers will allow companies to not just provide pertinent products but also tailored customer service which would prove to the foundation for success and sustainability of a company.

The effects of demographics on customer service are also visible in the kind of skills and talent available in the market. Too many changes and shifts could lead to a shortage in the kind of employee base the company is looking for, especially in customer service. With the changing face of demographics especially if the population is getting younger and smarter, the level of skill required to service them is getting higher. The market may not be producing a large enough base and or the skilled workers may also be moving away to search for better jobs in less volatile markets. Companies then need to look at a more diverse set of employees to fill the gaps – older workers, women in a hitherto male dominated or gender biased areas, migrants, part-time workers and the likes. Customers and companies both would need to adjust to the new set of workers who may prove more efficient or not so and therefore directly impacting the kind of customer service delivered.

The fact is that the effects of demographics on customer service cannot be overlooked. If companies do not constantly monitor their new staff and the changing trends they may not be able to sustain themselves too long only on the basis of branded products. They would need to look beyond these restrictions, make the best use of what is available and continue to provide customer service that distinguishes them from all others. Changing demographics is a challenge and is multiple opportunities for companies to maintain market leadership or gain it where others fail.

A major challenge that demographic dynamics poses is that companies seem to have an employee base that is not loyal – not with them long term. This reduces the bond between companies and the employees and practically nil loyalty. In such a scenario the effects of demographics on customer service is quite significant and negative. Employees with no feeling of oneness and ‘my company’ are unlikely to treat the customers of the company well. Attending to customers remains just a job for which they are paid and essentials like empathy, spirit of service and onus seem non-existent. This could result in customer dissatisfaction and ire if not corrected. Companies must learn how to leverage on high employee attrition since many times people find themselves unemployed due to lay-offs from previous companies. Harnessing these workers and explaining the value of loyalty to the company and from customers can be highly beneficial for them too. Providing adequately for such employees could in the long run turn their priorities and make them loyal enough to provide great levels of customer service.

Irrespective of reasons, companies need to improve their organizational competitiveness and efficiency to improve productivity and be profitable. The essences lies in providing customer satisfaction consistently leading to loyalty. Loyal customers are free advertisements of a company’s products and service, size of the company notwithstanding. Companies cannot let anything stand in the way of their customers and the service, even if it is something as large and practically uncontrollable as demographics.

“The level of potential physical productivity of a society depends on both the development of the intellect of its members, and a minimal standard of both demographic characteristics and of consumption.” – Robert Trout

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