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Today, 43% of the world’s population is 25 years old or younger. This youthful group is impatient and ready to change the world. Change for this generation “has everything to do with people and very little to do with political ideology,” according to a new global survey, some 70% of young people believe that social media is a force for change, says the survey. To read the rest of this article, click on the link.

After I posted this statment  on Facebook, I received several comments about how difficult it is to know your customer.

I understood the comment but thought, a customer is still a customer, what has really changed is how they communicate. Through the years the demographics may have have changed but how they communicated was still the same. We all used the  telephone,watched  television and  read newspapers.We also used the Yellow Pages.

It appears that this is about to end.

Think about it; the new generation isn’t reading the traditional newspaper. They’re subscribing to Google feeds.   If you’re not familiar with Google feeds, check out this highlighted link.

Here is the list of the generations:

2000/2001-Present – New Silent Generation or Generation Z
1980-2000 – Millennial or Generation Y
1965-1979 – Generation X
1946-1964 – Baby Boomer
1925-1945 – Silent Generation
1900-1924 – G.I. Generation

Ask yourself, how are they communicating? Who is my present customer and am I speaking their language? Will they be my customer in ten years? If not, who will be my customer and what communication tools are they using?

The Baby Boomer and earlier may respond to direct mail, emails, or a newspaper advertisement. If so, get their addresses and find ways to communicate using direct mail. Next ask yourself,  how long will they be my customer and am I prepared for the next generation?

Which of your  customers are using  social media, smart phones, texting and ‘show rooming?’ (Looking through your showroom and then ordering online.) Are you up on these tools? What is your strategy?

Are you joining  your customers on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.? This is probably the Millennial and Generation Z.

Imagine that  Generation Z knows little about ‘life before Facebook.’ Can you communicate with their language?

Customers give a business worth; without them there is no business.  Today’s business owner must be savvy and able to deal with today’s sophisticated consumer.

If you’re planning on being in business in 10 years,you must be prepared to connect using their language.

Whether you like social media or not, your next wave of employees will expect it. They have grown up with social media and it’s their primary communication tool. If you choose not to use the tools, you run the risk of alienating and losing employees.

By using social media tools, communication can be a lot quicker both internally and externally. Social media helps with internal branding and commitment. Looking at your Facebook page and positive comments will make everyone in your company feel proud. What about the generation after them? They will come with  their own set of social media tools and standards. Other challenges will be your training program. What are your online standards?

Once you define your customer base, connecting will be much easier.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She uses various tools including social media communication, customer service training and customer retention strategies.

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