Generation Z and Millennials are to come into a great deal of wealth over the next couple of decades but who will be there to advise them?
Understanding now how these young people think and what drives their behaviour as consumers may help to give insight into how advisers can attract the younger generation.
FTAdviser caught up with the award-winning US-based consumer experience expert and futurist Blake Morgan, to see what lessons UK advisers can take from the US experience in meeting the needs of Generation Z and Millennials.
FTAdviser: How important is ESG to the younger generation and is this shaping their purchasing decisions?
Blake Morgan: ESG is incredibly important. Millennials and Gen Z want to make a difference in the world, even through small actions like what products they buy or where they invest their money.
Young customers expect organisations to take a stand for important issues, including environmental and social causes.
They want to support companies that align with their values and that they can be proud to be associated with.
Modern customers have many options as to where they can put their money, so if they don’t agree with an organisation’s stance, they can easily take their investments elsewhere.
FTA: What is the role of technology in a younger client's purchasing decision? Do they still need the so-called 'personal touch', and do they care if they get that from a real person or an intuitive AI chatbot from a service provider?
BM: In general, younger customers are more accepting of automation and technology in customer service than older generations. They want to know they are interacting with a bot, but they tend to not care as much about not talking to a human.
To them, it’s more important to have convenient interactions than to have a human. However, young customers still care about the
personal touch when they have more complicated issues.
For routine maintenance, updates and questions, they tend to prefer automated services that provide quick responses. But for
more complicated issues or advice, younger customers still want the option to talk to a human.
The best companies blur the line between full automation and full human service with the ability to seamlessly transfer customers to a human representative when they have a more complicated issue.
FTA: Are younger clients more careful about where they spend their money, whether for ethical or other reasons?
BM: Younger customers want to interact with transparent companies that make it clear how they operate and what they stand for. Many young customers are willing to take the time to research the most sustainable and responsible companies.
That doesn’t mean younger customers are exclusively using sustainably sourced brands, but it shows that they value an organisation’s mission and values and are willing to slow down their decision-making to choose the best company for their needs.