How Generational Differences Influence Your Firm’s Success

December 3, 2018
How Generational Differences Influence Your Firm’s Success

Generational differences probably explain some of the different behaviours in your firm. This is no different among your clients and prospects.

At FirmChecker, we specialise in helping law and accounting firms make good decisions throughout their buyers’ life cycle. In this post, we look at why it’s important to offer your clients different modes of communication. This will help make sure they’re getting in touch with you, not your competitors.

How Generational Differences Influence Communication Methods

 

Baby Boomers

According to a recent finder.com.au survey, 68% of Baby Boomers still prefer phone calls to text-based methods of communication.

Anecdotally, this is because phone calls are harder to ignore and tone of voice can provide important information.

Generation Y (‘Millennials’)

The difference between ‘Boomers and millennials is quite stark. Only 27% favour a phone call over text-based methods of communication, whereas 73% will choose email, messenger apps or SMS.

We’d infer several reasons:

  1. Timidity associated with holding more junior positions at work/in society
  2. Not wanting to waste time playing phone-tag or disturb people who are busy
  3. Habit – people are comfortable with what they’ve grown up with

Generation X

Interestingly, Generation X are a little closer to Gen Y in their preferences, with only 43% preferring phone calls.

Across All Generations

generational differences in communication
Data Source: finder.com.au survey of 2011 respondents

What you should do about it

In the context of your buyers’ life cycle, these generational differences are deeply important at two key stages.

Here’s what you should do about it.

  1. Winning Work: Offer easy, text-based communication methods such as:
    1. LiveChat
    2. Appointment booking software for your own site (such as Appointlet or Calendly)
    3. Booking engines on 3rd party sites like FirmChecker (this is available as a part of our Premium Package)
    4. At the very least, a very responsive ‘[email protected]’ email on your website
  2. Retaining Clients & Improving your service: ask for feedback in text based forms. Face-to-face feedback is inefficient and will skew towards older generations. Our premium subscription is handy for this, giving you a plug-and-play unique feedback link for your firm.

Finally, you should consider that 56% of Australian adults avoid phone calls. This number will most likely get bigger, with millennials tipped to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Accordingly, it doesn’t make sense to only cater to less than half of Australian adults if you want your firm to thrive. You should therefore keep generational differences in mind.

 

About the Author

Ben Farrow is the Managing Director of FirmChecker and a consultant for Beaton Research + Consulting, the leading management consultants to professional services firms in the Asia-Pacific region. He holds commerce (economics and finance) and law (JD) degrees from the University of Melbourne and digital marketing certifications from Northwestern University. 

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