This might seem an obvious question for a communications service provider (CSP) to address in its billing communications, but too often groupings of customers are treated in the same way, regardless of their individual preferences, usage habits and demographic characteristics.

This failure to engage in a personalised manner makes customers feel undervalued and unappreciated by their service provider and, for the service provider, causes unnecessary costs and lower customer satisfaction. And this is particularly clear as Generation Z – the current generation of 16-22 year-olds – enter the marketplace as bill payers. These people are digital natives and have different expectations even to those of the previous Generation Y. Even more than previous generations, they are looking for more personal and visual communications.

This has been borne out in our recent research which polled 3,200 consumers in eight countries. The research uncovered that Generation Z customers want a more conversational relationship, with greater clarity and advice regarding their telecoms bills. More than half (59%) said they would like their bill to tell them how to save money, demonstrating how they see the relationship as a two-way process based on trust.

In addition, this generation welcomes interaction with its providers and is receptive to information about other services – provided it is relevant. This might see customers being offered relevant premium content, according to their previous consumption, or additional services such as more data or a new device. Later, this activity could be integrated with services from other providers from across the value chain.

However, Generation Z customers aren’t demanding person-to-person contact. They’re happy to interact through automated channels and recognise that automation is an enabler of the personalised service they’re looking for. Our research uncovered this with 50% of Generation Z users saying they would like access to a chatbot to manage their services and almost one third (32%) saying they agree that chatbots would make a good alternative to traditional customer care. There’s a win-win situation developing, which is being enabled by technology such as chatbots, providing customers with the personalised communications they prefer. These are accompanied by tailored offers, while service providers reap the benefits of providing better customer care at a lower cost of operation.

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