The Silver Tsunami. Are you prepared?
The US Census Bureau data estimates that one in every five Americans will reach retirement age by 2030. And beyond that, by 2035 some 78 million people will be over 65, while 76.7 million will be 18 or younger.
If you are a Field Service/support executive, what do your teams look like? The experienced technicians come from an era where they have acquired their knowledge and experience through the use of manuals, support from suppliers and mentors, and just plain “time on the planet”. One of the field service executives we talked to said “…it takes me two years to train them and two weeks to lose them…” And when they go, they take all of that knowledge and experience with them. For the most part, this information and know-how isn’t written down anywhere. Instead, it’s in their heads.
How are you preparing your teams to be ready when the experienced techs leave?
Are you acquiring tools so that the next generation of service techs that join your team have what they need? What are you doing to make joining your team as attractive as possible to the next generation of service techs?
From our general research, here are some observations to consider:
- Most sources declare that anywhere from ½ to ⅔ of customers will start to look for alternatives to your product if they have had even one bad customer service experience. So there cannot be a service/support gap once the senior techs start to retire;
- Gen Z has entered the workforce. According to the Forbes Technology Council, almost 90% of them believe that AI will help improve their jobs. Are you looking at AI to help your service/support organization? There are many offerings out there but their benefits and how their technology works are vague;
- Your customers are becoming more tech-savvy and are using multiple channels to improve their own experience. They want to use mobile apps to contact support. They use social media to ask questions. What kind of channels do you have in place today?
So it should be clear to service executives that providing your teams (and your customers) with more digital technology should be a priority, but where do you start? We think AI should be a priority and can be relatively easy, as we posted earlier here. But whatever you do, make sure you come up with a strategy. The Tsunami is coming…
Still want to know more? Check out our companion INFOGRAPHIC where we have captured many of the industry trends and facts about this phenomenon.