Small businesses face an uphill battle in capturing the hearts of younger customers, as a mere 22% of Gen Z believe their customer service rivals that of larger competitors.
This is particularly concerning for smaller fashion brands, considering that 75% of spending by Gen Z is on fashion.
The Small Business Customer Service in 2023 research, from FM Outsource, looked into what customers want from small businesses and what they’re actually offering. Despite reservations from Gen Z, the research revealed that older generations are more confident in the capabilities of small businesses. An impressive 60% of consumers, aged 55-64, believe they can offer the same service level as well-known brands.
According to past research from FM Outsource, 38% of Gen Z require a wide range of channels to provide a good quality customer service experience. Yet, small businesses are not meeting this expectation, with over two fifths of young people believing they are contactable across fewer touchpoints including social channels. Comparatively, older customers are less concerned: with 21% expecting numerous conact channel options.
The discerning customers of today also think smaller brands are not as accommodating when it comes to the availability of customer service, with 33% believing so.
Martin Brown, CCO at FM Outsource, commented: “Gen Z are the customers of the present and the future for small businesses. Therefore, having support and loyalty from younger generations is key to long-term success.
“Unfortunately there is room for improvement when it comes to small business customer service. Particularly within the fashion industry, smaller retailers have an opportunity to capture some of the fashion-conscious Gen Z. However, this won’t be possible without catering to the needs of this generation.
“Ultimately, consumers are looking for swift and effective resolutions to their problem or query. In the case of younger people, this means offering a wide range of channels, including social media, email, and telephone to give them various ways of getting in touch. It also requires businesses to provide support outside of traditional working hours. With most young people either in full-time education or employment, providing support in the early morning and evening will satisfy their needs. We can support small businesses to provide a 24/7 omnichannel service that will address the misconceptions amongst younger demographics, increase customers and encourage growth.”