Why Gen Z doesn’t feel taken seriously


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Half of Gen Z consumers are annoyed by rating requests, a new poll by Bonsai Research shows. In the teens and twenty-somethings age group, only half believe that companies take their customer reviews seriously.

  • According to a new study by Bonsai Research Half of Gen Z consumers are annoyed by many review requests. In addition, only 48 percent of teenagers and twenty-somethings believe that companies take their customer reviews seriously.
  • 88 percent of consumers give their opinion: 78 percent of people rate products and services “once in a while”. And ten percent always give feedback when asked by companies.
  • Consumers want companies to react quickly: 82 percent of consumers would like a direct response to their feedback. But only 30 percent have received a prompt response so far.

In a recent study, Bonsai Research asked consumers in Germany about the customer experience. When are consumers asked for customer reviews? What do you think of the feedback options and what do you wish for? And do you think companies take their reviews seriously? The results show which industries have some catching up to do when it comes to implementing customer experience and provide important approaches as to how companies will have to change their feedback culture in the future.

88 percent of the people surveyed give customer ratings when asked to do so after a purchase, service or repair. A relatively large number of people experience inquiries from online shops (71 percent), retailers (44 percent) and telecommunications providers (35 percent). “Especially classic sectors such as energy suppliers, banks and insurance companies often do without customer feedback,” reports Martin Siek, Head of Customer Experience at Bonsai Ltd. “There are plenty of occasions where a direct evaluation would be exciting.” However, only around a fifth of consumers state that feedback was requested from these sectors in the last year after a contact such as the conclusion of a contract, service request or damage.

customer reviews
The frequency of asking for customer reviews varies by industry. (Graphic: Bonsai)

Customer reviews: Satisfied consumers give feedback more often

The prejudice that disgruntled customers in particular like to speak up turns out to be wrong: almost three quarters of consumers (73 percent) give customer ratings when they are particularly satisfied. However, more than half of the consumers (52 percent) also react when they were particularly dissatisfied. Other motives carry far less weight: almost a third of consumers rate products or services when rewards such as vouchers beckon or the company is important to them. “Only particularly positive or particularly negative experiences significantly increase the willingness to give feedback. Companies must take this into account in order to correctly interpret customer feedback and react accordingly,” explains Martin Siek. It is precisely this (correct) reaction that will become even more important in the future.

customer reviews

Requests for customer reviews vary by industry and age. (Graphic: Bonsai)

Generation Z wants feedback from companies on their feedback

89 percent of the young target group would find it positive or very positive if companies contacted them directly after an evaluation. However, four out of ten of the young respondents have experienced such a “closed loop” so far. This has consequences: Only 48 percent of Gen Z are convinced that companies take customer reviews seriously.

“Companies must actively show young consumers in particular that their ratings make a difference. Otherwise the positive basic attitude towards feedback requests can tip over,” emphasizes Martin Siek. Two-thirds of Gen Z still say they are happy to provide feedback when companies ask for it. But more than half of young customers are already ignoring rating requests more often than before. Every second young customer states that the many requests for feedback are annoying.

customer reviews
The attitude towards feedback depends on the age of the consumers. (Graphic: Bonsai)

Customer reviews: Older target groups trust companies more

In the case of older target groups, the refusal rate and annoyance factor are (slightly) lower. So far, however, millennials and baby boomers have placed even more trust in companies taking their feedback seriously and using it to make improvements. “Everything indicates that the skepticism that we are already seeing among the young target group will soon also increase among the older ones. Obtaining customer ratings and using them internally will no longer be enough in the future. Companies must also communicate to their customers that their feedback is valuable and that it is implemented in a really noticeable way,” concludes Martin Siek. (sg)

Also read: Customer feedback: Open up new sources for data-based decisions

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