5 Things Brands Need to Know About the Gen Z Customer Experience (and Employee Experience)

If we were to sum up what brands need to know about Gen Z customer experience preferences (and employee experience preferences) in a few words, it would go something like this: they’re different. Revolutionary even. This may seem like an oversimplification, but when you think about it, Gen Z grew up in a world that is more connected than ever, has more access than ever, and accomplishes everything faster than ever. It makes sense, then, that their standards for customer and employee experiences would be higher than ever, too.

Because Gen Z makes up 26% of the global population, their preferences should already be playing a significant role in your business strategy—and their influence will only grow! That’s why we put a magnifying glass over these emerging consumers and employees in our recent 2022 Experience Trends report, to give you the intelligence you need to create a positive impact with Gen Z, whether you’re trying to convince them to become loyal customers or recruit them to be engaged employees. 

Here’s what you need to know according to our data:

What Is Most Important for the Gen Z Customer Experience & Employee Experience?

Tip #1: Seamless and Efficient Experiences Are a Must

We’ve spent a lot of time on the InMoment blog discussing the importance of a seamless experience. It doesn’t matter what channel or touchpoint, your customers and employees should have a sense of consistency every time they interact with your brand. And for Gen Z, seamless experiences are table stakes when it comes to maintaining their loyalty. Gen Z shops both online and in store, so it’s imperative that they are able to experience the same level of convenience, personalization, and general experience excellence across the board.

Tip #2: Gen Z Is Unlikely to Complete a Traditional CX or EX Survey

Get ready for a mic drop moment: Gen Z is simply less likely to fill out a traditional survey. In the course of our research we found that:

  • In the US:
    • Only 19% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
    • Only 22% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
  • In Canada:
    • Only 28% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
    • Only 41% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey

So what feedback collection methods should you be using if you want to gauge the Gen Z customer experience? We suggest  Microsurveys, social media and review sites, and live chat to gain the intelligence you need to compete for Gen Z’s loyalty.

Thinking of adapting your approach to customer experience surveys, and customer feedback in general? Our experts have derived a four step process to help you leverage all of your data, and only send surveys when they’ll be most effective. Check it out for free here!

Tip #3: Social Media Influencers Have Significant Reach

Gen Z’s first exposure to your brand is likely via social media, and more specifically, through social media influencers. We asked Gen Z consumers about whether they used an influencer code to make a purchase in 2021, and if they are likely to use influencer discount codes in the upcoming year. Here’s what they told us:

  • One of three emerging Gen Z customers had used a social influencer code in 2021
  • One of three emerging Gen Z customers were planning to use a code in 2022

From these numbers, it’s clear social media influencers will continue to, well, influence the emerging consumer. If you haven’t considered leveraging influences to acquire new customers, then it’s time to start!

Tip #4: Strong Brand Values Are Make-or-Break 

Gen Z has high standards when it comes to the brands they support, and even higher standards for the brands they work for. When looking into a possible employer, our research found that Gen Z is looking for three primary values. Here they are as explained by Gen Z:

  1. Culture: “[I] am likely to choose a [company] that allows me to express myself […] and [get] creative with mentorship and support.”
  2. Diversity: “I’m looking for [a company] that bring in diverse [experiences and] talents that can challenge one another.”
  3. Connectivity: “I believe that success [means] bringing everyone together […] we all [want] to be part of the equation [not just our executives].”

To successfully recruit this value-driven generation, brands should take care to emphasize these core values in job descriptions, internal messaging, and beyond.

Tip #5: Gen Z Has Little Tolerance for Bad Behavior

We’ve all seen the news stories: customers in store or aboard flights displaying outlandishly bad behavior when confronted with mask policies or low stock of desired items, and taking their anger out on employees. We were curious about what Gen Z thought of these displays and whether it affected their perception of the brand involved.

We asked, “What would you think if you witnessed a customer acting aggressively toward an employee at a place of business?” Gen Z responded with overwhelming compassion for the employee in the situation, and even mentioned that “I would interject […] No one should be treated that way.” 

What Are You Doing to Prepare for the Next Generation of Consumers & Employees?

As Gen Z becomes an even more prominent customer and employee segment, their CX and and EX preferences will become even more important to your business. So what are you doing today to emphasize and enable Gen Z customer experience expectations? How are you connecting with them? How are you collecting feedback from them to understand how they perceive your brand?

You need to have a strategy in place, and our experts are here to help. Learn how our XI Platform can support your efforts to create optimize Gen Z customer experiences by reaching out to us here or in the chatbot at the lower right hand corner of your screen.
You can also read more from our 2022 Experience Trends Report here!

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The InMoment Team

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