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April 2, 2018   |   Customer Experience

Communications by Generation: Adapting to Gen X Customer Preferences

Communications by Generation: Gen X

Today’s utility consumer landscape is extremely diverse, spanning the gamut from 18-year-old renters to 80-year-old retirees. Utility providers must find a way to communicate with each generation on their own terms, utilizing the channels and methods they prefer.

In the first post of our Communications by Generation series, we discussed how the preferred communication styles of millennials can inform utility providers’ strategies for engaging these younger customers. In this second installment, we’ll take a closer look at how Generation X customers prefer to communicate and transact with vendors.

Gen X: Adaptive Consumers

Gen X-ers currently span the ages of 38 to 53 and represent the smallest of all living American generations. That said, these 65 million individuals have a very unique perspective as they have been witness to an explosion of modern technology advancements in their adult life.

1 | While they weren’t born in the digital age, many Gen X-ers have embraced today’s technology.

Per month, Gen X-ers spend a whopping 3,188 minutes/month online via smartphone apps. Some of this mobile activity extends to payments; 33% of Gen X-ers utilize mobile payments, the second highest percentage among all generations. While online, 80% also prefer email as a communication channel.

What it means for providers: Mobile alerts and notifications, as well as text and mobile payment channels, should be a key element of any strategy meant to target Gen X-ers. All communications—regardless of their channel—should also be integrated with a strong email strategy.

2 | For some Gen X-ers, however, traditional channels win out.

Gen X-ers have highly diverse communication preferences. While some have certainly embraced mobile technology, 86% still bring in their mail every day, and 68% say they regularly use direct mail coupons and promotions.

What it means for providers: There is no “typical Gen-Xer”—Generation X is an eclectic group with varying communication preferences. A multi-channel print and digital billing strategy is the best method for providing Gen-Xers with the options that meet their diverse needs.

3 | Personalization tends to go a long way with Gen X.

Gen X-ers often feel neglected by companies looking to onboard a younger consumer base. In fact, 54% report frustration at their needs being ignored by brands. As a result, personalization is a feature that Gen X-ers crave, and 44% prioritize a company’s ability to deliver services that meet their individual satisfaction.

What it means for providers: Personally engaging with Gen-Xers in the form of 1-to-1 communications, proactive offers, and customizable billing and payment settings is a promising strategy. Additionally, providing value-added services such as high bill alerts or personalized energy reduction tips can increase Gen-X customer satisfaction.

Reach the Full Range of Gen X-ers with Level One

Gen X is an adaptive generation whose members are at varying levels of digital adoption. Level One can help you craft the right multi-channel solution to reach Gen X-ers on a personalized level, creating powerful opportunities to garner more engagement, participation, and satisfaction from this market segment than ever before.

Learn more by downloading our latest infographic, Effective Communication for Every Generation: Embracing the Multi-Generational, Multi-Channel Billing Reality, where you’ll discover much more about the preferences of Generation X and other adult generations.