Michiel Gaasterland
Michiel Gaasterland
Chief Brand Officer
Feb 12, 2020

Trend #1: Customer Service just changed forever


This is the first post in our series of 'Seven Customer Service Insights for 2020 and Beyond'.

Welcome to the Twenties! It might sound like hype that customer service has changed forever, but it’s a 100% bona fide, genuine, fact. 2020 signals a major demographic tipping point with big consequences for customer expectations, customer experience, and customer service.

In 2019, millennials (those born between 1980 and 1997) overtook Baby Boomers as the most populous generation in the US. Generation Z (those born after 1998) is close behind.

Both Generation X and Baby Boomers (previously the biggest discretionary spenders) are set to slow their spend as they prepare for retirement. The pattern is the same across Europe.

As a result, Generation Z now commands 40% of all consumer shopping. With Millennials, they now dominate every aspect of online shopping and offline retail visits, and will further dominate total consumer spending in the coming couple of years as well.

Driven largely by this demographic shift, shopper expectations are now at an absolute all-time high. They want a response from your customer service in less than a minute, 24/7 and from any channel they choose. They want to be treated nicely, as a person not a ticket, and they want their issue resolved in one conversation without having to repeat any info, thank you.

Got that so far?

Good, because 73% of these customers say that just one extraordinary customer experience raises their expectations of all other companies. Amazon is the main culprit — and 64% of millennials make half or more or their online purchases from that very company [DigitalCommerce360].

64 per cent! 


The net result is that not only are consumer expectations at an all-time high, but their expectations are being driven by a force (Amazon) you will never compete with.

Today’s consumers are heartbreakers too. Amongst other research, PwC's CX study found that more than 50% of customers nowadays will leave a brand that they love after just one bad experience. And up to 92% will leave after two or three.

And what is the main reason they will leave a brand? The answer is poor customer service: almost 70% of people leave a brand because of a poor service experience!

As avid shoppers ourselves, we empathise. Poor customer service, whether it’s in a bricks and mortar store or online, is one of the most frustrating experiences ever. When companies get it right (as more are doing) it’s amazing. And when they don’t, it’s terrible.

Takeaway Reset your thinking on your customers. Expectations are at an all-time high and they’ll leave in a heartbeat if you don’t meet them. Delivering great customer service is your best chance to stop them leaving. Get your customer service house in order.


Seven Customer Service Insights for 2020 and Beyond

Introducing Seven Customer Service Insights for 2020 & Beyond

#1 Customer Service Just Changed Forever

#2 Measure What Customers Value

#3 Fix Customer Self-service

#4 Get Chatbots Right!

#5 Learn How to Love Live Chat

#6 Prepare for Hyper-personalisation

#7 Adapt to Conversational Commerce

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Customer service, millennials, Shopper expectations


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