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April 10, 2018   |   Customer Experience

Communications by Generation: Catering to the Conventions of Baby Boomers

Communication By Generation: Baby Boomers

In the first two posts of our Communications by Generation series—which explore the communication preferences of millennials and Generation X consumers—we discussed how understanding generational differences is key to delivering market-leading customer experiences. In this final blog of our series, we’ll explore how Baby Boomers prefer to communicate, and touch on what utility providers can do to address these specific generational preferences.

Baby Boomers: Conventional Communicators

Baby Boomers currently span the ages of 54 to 72 and make up the second-largest American generation, comprised of 77 million individuals. The most traditional in their preferred communication methods, many Baby Boomers have adopted digital communications for personal use but still feel most comfortable corresponding with providers via more conventional channels.

1 | Baby Boomers use mobile interfaces, but don’t prefer mobile payments.

According to Pew Research, 56% of Baby Boomers use a smartphone. However, only 24% report that they use mobile purchases or payments—the smallest percentage among all generations. In fact, 37% say that they don’t understand the benefit of mobile payments.

What it means for providers: Smartphones are not where Baby Boomers will be paying their utility bills. To drive Baby Boomers to other, more accessible digital payment channels, however, billers can deploy printed statements with messages and instructions that encourage gradual eBilling adoption.

2 | Mail is the most popular payment channel among Baby Boomers.

While Baby Boomers may use web and mobile devices for personal communication, they rely on traditional payment channels when it comes to their bills. 31% of seniors pay their bills by mailing checks, compared to only 8% of millennials.

What it means for providers: While utility providers are committed to engaging customers through digital communication channels, they should not forget the value of print and continue to make smart investments to improve the paper channel as well. Baby Boomers account for a large segment of utility consumers, and they prefer paper-based billing methods. Print also provides the opportunity to spur adoption of new service program offerings—3 in 10 Baby Boomers state that direct mail has influenced their purchases in the last six months.

3 | Baby Boomers’ bills and communications may require extra care.

Effective document design is must for Baby Boomers. Vision often begins to deteriorate between 41 and 60 years of age, so bills should utilize a strong font and no visual distractions. Correct billing information is also of high importance; often referred to as the “me” generation, Baby Boomers want quick access to the information that matters most to them.

What it means for providers: Investing in high-quality document design services is worthwhile, and all billing statements should be mistake-free. Baby Boomers value when companies take the time to ensure that communications are accurate and tailored to their needs.

Engage Baby Boomers on Their Terms with Level One

Baby Boomers are a generation that knows what they want. Level One can help you rapidly create and deploy a dynamic print strategy designed to communicate information clearly, promote additional services, and drive basic
e-adoption, as well as increased customer satisfaction, among Baby Boomers.

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 Baby Boomers and other adult generations.