Bridging the Gap: The Generational Shift in Digital Adoption
Digital transformation is the natural next step in the evolution of business. Though there is no avoiding it in the long run, recent political and technological changes have accelerated the need for digital adoption across all sectors. However, while markets modernise, there remains a generation of consumers less confident in navigating the digital highway. So, how can markets with a key older demographic still drive transformation?
Digital natives thrive on new technologies, attracted by their speed, convenience and their ability to provide better customer experiences. To meet the needs of those consumers, who are now beginning to make up the lion’s share of the market, organisations have been driven to adopt digital technologies that deliver the 'anytime, anywhere' services these customers want. To stay competitive and relevant, digital technology is being deployed to carry out an ever wider range of tasks: analysing and processing data, automating operations, delivering personalisation and providing a cross-delivery of multiple outputs.
Over the last year, the need for digital adoption has accelerated, with the vast majority of consumers driven online. Organisations needed digital transformation to help them evolve with these changes, expanding digital services and shifting to remote working.
The other key change we have seen over recent years is greater inclusivity. The UK has made great strides in becoming a more inclusive society and business is playing a vital role in moving that forward. However, one of the concerns with digital adoption is that it can exclude the older, less tech-savvy generation.
The way forward is not to put a hold on progress so that the older generation can keep up, but to adopt innovative technologies which provide these important customers with user-friendly solutions that are appropriate for their capabilities. Indeed, rather than seeking to halt advancements in communication strategies, brands should instead be driving for greater progression that can better support broader demographics in intuitive ways.
For example, as consumer vulnerability continues to make strong headlines and remains a key focus in regulated industries, brands have a unique opportunity to evolve their services with technology to deliver the same exceptional level of service and experiences to different demographics and disabilities. At the same time they need to improve outcomes for those most vulnerable, whose needs aren’t necessarily being met by standard legislation.
Gaining critical insights will help organisations develop new services and implement innovative technologies that cater to different demographic needs and provide them with the customer experiences they also expect. The use of data-driven behaviour analysis and ‘single customer views’ can also provide insight into the reasons behind consumer behaviours, enabling brands to use customer ‘single-view’ profiles to identify those most vulnerable across different products, services and systems.
This is particularly important when it comes to communication. Like any other demographic, they too will have preferences for the channels they like to communicate through, the types of messages they receive and when they receive them. However, perhaps more importantly, brands will also have to carefully consider additional requirements entrenched in industry regulations.
For instance, limiting technical language and jargon that can make financial products and services difficult to understand for the aging population, or providing communications that are accessible to customers with disabilities on request, including: large print, audio and braille transcriptions, across all literature and correspondence types under the Equality Act.
Solutions for multi-demographic communications
The older generation is just one of several demographic groups that an organisation will need to communicate effectively with. The ideal solution, therefore, is one which can serve the needs of all of them and which enable the company to send the right messages, via the right channels at the right times to all demographics, the older generation included.
The most effective way to achieve this is with a single, centralised, customer communications management delivery model – such as Paragon Customer Communications' One Platform solution. This can provide the delivery infrastructure to support truly frictionless customer communications across a multitude of traditional and digital channels, while at the same time facilitating transformation at pace.
By deploying such enabling technologies, enterprises can effectively keep pace with longer-term transitions in consumer behaviour and capitalise on opportunities. While systems such as One Platform enable organisations to be flexible with change and keep pace with technology, presenting companies with new opportunities to rapidly and efficiently deliver enhanced CX.
In the case of financial organisations, which are often entrenched in complex “legacy” service models and IT infrastructures, adding an integration layer delivers the cohesive benefits without touching the legacy systems, which can be especially beneficial when considering the speed of transformation.