Each generation has grown up with different technologies and social movements. Knowing these differences and understanding preferred channels is an important part of CX strategy. What exactly are the preferred channels of each generation, and how can you capitalize on them? We explain it all in this article. 

The channel preferences of different organizations

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. This is the first generation that grew up with television, which kept them informed of the latest news around the world. Research shows that Baby Boomers value price above all else and are more interested in an extensive product selection than in a personalized customer experience. This translates into a strong preference for personal meetings and phone calls. You will therefore have less success with this generation via SMS or social media. Email remains the preferred digital channel for this generation. 

According to research by Facebook, Boomers usually start their customer journey in-store, but increasingly shop online (just over 30%) and on mobile devices (just under 20%). They use apps much less frequently than younger generations do. 

Is your target group Baby Boomers? Then choose the following service channels: 
– Live in the store
– Telephone 
– E-mail

Generation X

You belong to generation X if you were born between 1965 and 1980. This generation grew up with technical developments such  as the Walkman, computers, e-mail, and the first mobile phones. This was also the first generation to include the internet in their daily lives. E-mail became the most important form of communication for them and is still their preferred method of communication. 

When it comes to social media channels, this generation, uses Facebook and YouTube in particular. However, they prefer to use these channels for private matters rather than for contact with companies. 

Does your organization focus on Generation X? Then use these channels: 
– Telephone
– E-mail
– Facebook


Millennials were born between 1981 and 1997. This generation came of age with modern technology and social media. Dealing with technology therefore feels very natural for this generation, and they switch easily between multiple channels and devices. 

Although millennials still use email, they also embrace contact via chat apps for communicating with businesses. This is certainly their preferred method of communication. They prefer not to pick up the phone to call a company but stick to the direct and quick form of (written) communication. Research also shows that millennials value personal interactions with brands more than other generations. So, an investment in a personalized customer journey, and the personalized experiences that go with it, is a good idea if this is your target group. 

Are millennials the ideal customer for you? We recommend you use these channels: 
– Web-based chat service
– E-mail
– Facebook
– Whatsapp
– Telephone (although they don't like to use it. This channel remains good for more complex problems and questions). 

Generation Z

This generation was born after 2000 and is known as the 'digital native'. They grew up with smartphones and the 24/7 online existence. This generation is least attracted to traditional channels such as phone and email. More than 80% of this generation looks to social media when making a purchase, with 44% claiming Instagram us important to their purchasing decisions and 21% considering Snapchat as important. It is striking, however, that this generation also attaches enormous value to the real 'shopping experience' and will therefore often still but something in the shop. 

They rely more on digital communication than any other generation, but at the same time expect their interactions with companies to be personalized and tailored to their needs at all times. They are natural multitaskers. The most effective communication with this generation will therefore be short and visual. 

Is your product made specifically for generation Z? Then focus on: 
– WhatsApp
– Instagram
– Facebook
– Web-based chat service

Visible shift from public to private channels

Which channels are frequently used by Dutch consumers? In the graph below, you can see that especially WhatsApp is an important channel for each target group. 

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In addition to the clear development from generation to generation, there is the shift in preference from public to private channels. Not only is the number of private messaging initiatives, such as Threads (from Instagram) and Teammates (from LinkedIn), on the rise, but consumers also increasingly need human interaction in their contact with companies. 

For you, as a company, this is an excellent opportunity to integrate private channels and public channels. So that you can easily continue a conversation with customers who see an advertisement or other public content on one of your private channels (such as WhatsApp). This makes the distance between your company and your customers a lot smaller, making every contact moment more relevant and promising.  

Social messaging is the new standard 

The majority of today's consumers are generation Y and Z. If you are a company that targets these generations, it is therefore wise that you make use of modern contact channels. These are various parties who can help your organization with the use of social messaging channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Take our partner SaySimple, for example. They are experts in the field of social messaging for organizations. 

About SaySimple

SaySimple helps customer-centric companies to grow through smart use of social messaging, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. We believe that the power of software, sharing our knowledge and smart use of data are indispensable to structurally offer a better customer experience. Together, we will ensure that social messaging becomes a valuable addition to your other communication channels and contributes to the growth of your business. 

Insocial en SaySimple work perfectly together!


SaySimple and Insocial work together to achieve the best possible customer experience on modern contact channels. SaySimple helps you with setting up and applying the channel and Insocial helps you with measuring the experience on this channel. Our solutions connect perfectly. Want to know more? 


Read more about SaySimple


This article was written by Insocial in cooperation with SaySimple.