I was recently invited to speak at the Online Customer Experience 2010 conference in London where I did our Mind The Gap presentation on the different generations. As part of this event I’d like to share some of my thoughts and ideas on how to strengthen the online connection you have with each generation.

Here are my headline top tips for delivering online customer experience for Baby Boomers:

Who are Baby Boomers?

Depending on where you are in the world, Baby Boomers are those people born between 1944 and 1964. In the UK Baby Boomers can be divided into two distinct groups, those born during the post-war rebuilding Europe period of 1944 – 1952 and those born during the boom and swinging London years of 1953 – 1964.

Why are Baby Boomers important?

Baby Boomers control over 75% of the personal net wealth in the UK. Recent studies reveal that Boomer purchases account for:
– 80% of luxury cars
– 74% of prescription drugs
– 80% of luxury travel
– 25% of gadgets and toys

Online customer experience Top Tips

1. Time is money: Baby Boomers are always busy. They want to know if you can save them time, and if you prove you can they will pay more for this experience. Your online experience needs to convince them early on that they will not be wasting their time and that you have an efficient and effective process that will guide them along the customer journey.
2. They value excellence Image is important to Boomers, they want to shop with the best. If you have won awards display and mention these awards on your home page. Boomers may pretend to be cynical about these awards but they want to know you have them. They are likely to test you so ensure that your service/product continues to deliver to the same level that won you the award!
3. They are not a mass market After all Baby Boomers did invent the concept of one-to-one marketing. Boomers like to feel that products have been designed by Baby Boomers for Baby Boomers. The products and services you offer must be tailored for their unique circumstances. They are not going to buy your product if they think you have designed or are targeting your product for another generation – older or younger.
4. Image, image image Baby Boomers are attracted to celebrity endorsement (be careful though as this can turn off other generations), they want to be associated with successful people, products and companies. You need to be displaying images of Boomers that are on average 10-15 years younger than the actual age of the Baby Boomers you are targeting.
5. Control Baby Boomers always want to be in control, they almost certainly will delegate the task of delivery to you but they want to know that they have the ability to influence and be fully in control should they feel the need to intervene. This is of particular importance to online financial service experiences. The need to be in control can be met by keeping Boomers “in the picture” at every stage. Send them emails to update them on progress. Ask them if you can text or tweet them progress updates.
6. Offer them the personal touch: Continuing with the theme of control make your contact details especially phone number clearly and easily available. Don’t make them search endlessly to find a telephone number. Boomers value the personal touch and it is important to them to be able to pick up a phone and speak to someone who can sort out any problem they may be having.
7. Make them feel special and unique Boomers are a special and unique generation they have completely changed the world, they are the wealthiest generation and most successful businesses are run by Baby Boomers. They see themselves are pioneering and even revolutionary. Offer them services designed uniquely for them, never call them “seniors” or the “over 50’s market”. Tell them how you have tailored your services and products for them and how this will benefit their lifestyles. Most importantly deliver what you promise or you will have them on the phone demanding a refund and an apology.

If you would like to learn more please read on of our white papers on Generations

Dean van Leeuwen is a co-founder of TomorrowToday International a dynamic organisation that shows companies how to create workplaces where employees love to do their best work and customers love to do business. Dean is a highly sought after presenter and recognised expert on customer experience strategies and employee engagement. He is available to speak on this and other topics. Quote this blog and receive a discount

TomorrowToday Global