Attracting customers involves more than just designing an appealing product and creating an unforgettable marketing campaign – the service and experience a company provides before, during, and after a sale are just as important. In recent Voxburner research, we discovered that 71% of US students and 69% of UK students list good customer service as the most important factor when in-store shopping. And with 45% of US students buying a product online which turned out to be fake, trust is also a big factor for Gen Z online shoppers, with 77% worrying that a product could be fake or faulty.
So which brands have earned the trust and loyalty of Gen Z with their winning customer service? We take a look at three brands of Gen Z’s favourite brands and share the customer service strategies that make them so popular.
Shopping at Lush is efficient and interactive, with staff highly attentive to customers’ behaviour, a buzz of activity to keep customers engaged, and customized technology to speed up queues.
If you ask a Lush staff member for a product recommendation, they won’t shrug their shoulders or begrudgingly direct you to their website. They undergo thorough training to understand the store’s inventory and each product’s ingredients – and better yet, they will almost always end your Q&A with a demonstration of the product they’re recommending.
Customers will rarely need to ask a Lush staffer for a recommendation – usually they beat you to it. They’re trained to observe your shopping patterns and recommend products accordingly… they might even hear you’re celebrating a special occasion or think you need a pick-me-up and send you home with a free product or two as a random act of kindness.
Lush doesn’t look like a beauty store — it’s a candy store without candy, a witch’s lair without magic. You walk into rows of boxes with gold-plated soap bars and pink-watered tubs fizzing with bath bombs. Better yet, you quickly realise that the glitz and glamor are natural and great the environment – something that means a lot to Gen Z (you can read about this more in our Youth 100 report) . And better still, it’s personalised – a secret to Gen Z success. In front of each product is a clear label explaining each ingredient and showing the person (not machine) who made it.
As if the attentive staff and display of the store aren’t enough to make the customer experience, Lush has replaced traditional registers with Android tablets. This technology allows customers to avoid queues by enabling them to check out with any staff member in the store… they really tick every Gen Z’ers box.
Lush is number #72 in Voxburner’s 2021 Youth 100.
As well as their products, ASOS attracts Gen Zers thanks to their payment and ordering systems. ASOS understands that ‘being a student can mean you’re low on funds’, and structure their systems with that in mind. While online platforms such as Amazon require you to pay in full, ASOS offers three flexible payment plans. Customers can pay the total price within 30 days of your purchase, pay in three interest-free monthly installments, or pay in four biweekly interest-free installments.
However, it’s worth noting that some Gen Zers are wary of features such as this, with Gen Zer Rachel Thomsen saying: “I think, if I can’t buy it now, I don’t need it. I wouldn’t stagger payments if it’s not worth it. My friends and I talk about Klarna and we’re suspicious – what happens if it gets to that stage and we don’t have the money to pay?” (Voxburner+’s Future of Finance deep dive). If you are to partner up with Buy Now, Pay Later schemes, make sure you provide the necessary support to make your young consumers feel secure in their purchases.
ASOS also offers unlimited next-day delivery, free delivery and return and student discounts. According to Student Beans, 52% of students in the US and 62% of students in the UK cite free delivery as a big factor in their decision-making when ordering online.
Additionally, ASOS strives to make the shopping experience customizable. It offers Style Match, an app that allows customers to take pictures of any outfit, anywhere. The app then matches the outfit to the closest product on ASOS. To further customize the search experience, ASOS has a tool called Fit Assistant, which offers size recommendations based on the customer’s measurements. And with Gen Z being a generation full of unique individuals who are determined to be themselves, it’s no wonder that this brand is such a hit with them.
ASOS is number #22 in Voxburner’s 2021 Youth 100.
As we discovered in our recent The Future of Gen Z Travel report, price is important for 16-24s. However, whilst ‘the cheaper the better’ is normally their preference, they aren’t afraid to invest in a more expensive item/experience if it comes from a trusted brand, which is where Lulu Lemon comes in.
With most of their leggings costing upwards of £70, Lulu Lemon is expensive, but the company is only growing in popularity – its revenue during the first quarter of 2021 increased 88% from the previous year. So what keeps people coming back? Aside from its niche focus on creating high-quality athletic apparel and dedication to well-being, Lululemon’s customer service is a crucial selling point.
Lululemon’s ‘quality promise’ is that its products last five years. If a product develops rips, tears, or breaks during that time, you can take it to any store for them to ship it to an outsourced seamstress free of charge. If you’ve had your product for more than 5 years, sometimes a staff member will send it out for a free repair at their discretion. As for products that still have a warranty and cannot be repaired, Lululemon will either provide a full refund, give you store credit for the purchase, or allow you to exchange the product for a different one.
A warranty policy like Lululemon’s eliminates any uncertainty about whether products will last and makes Gen Z students stripped for cash willing to make big investments.
- Gen Zers like to be able to handle, test and experience products before buying
- Free delivery (whether next day or otherwise) is a massive pull for young people
- Make sure the quality of your products and customer experience is reflected in the price
You can read our Youth 100 and The Future of Gen Z Travel reports on Voxburner+, as well as much more! Subscribe to Voxburner+ now to access the latest reports, exclusive stats and a network of leading youth marketers here.