Quit Forcing Online Ordering On Your 65+ Audience

Quit Forcing Online Ordering On Your 65+ Audience

How well do you know your customers? Do you know their customer service preferences? How about their age?  

Adrienne MacAulay, Co-founder of Parsley Box, an at-home meal delivery service launched her business to deliver ready-made meals to seniors but it never took off the way she hoped it would. Not until she implemented an "old-fashioned" telephone number for her customers to call. Now, she delivers over 1 million ready meals each month. 

Starting out, Parsley Box asked customers to order online. They knew they had the right product for the right customer, but didn’t get the type of traction they expected. Even though 90% of their customers had internet access, they preferred to not order online. 

Parley Box sales began to boom after getting an 800 number for their customers.  

Adrienne MacAulay says that “if you are in business serving the baby boomer+ generations, you need to change the way you interact with them.”  

65+ customer

If your customers want to pick up their phone to place an order, make an appointment, or get customer service, you must adapt your business model to meet their needs.

In the past year, COVID-19 drove e-commerce adoption faster than we had ever imagined. More businesses embraced online shopping and ordering, and that was a positive thing for business. However, we must not get tunnel vision and focus too much on a “new toy”. Businesses still need to pay attention to customer wants and desires. 

Older customers want to speak on the phone

As mentioned in the example above, the 65+ age group wants to call a business for all their needs: ordering, appointment booking, and customer service. Chances are, they are calling on a smartphone, they just want to use it to place calls, not texts and online orders.  

Customer service on the phone

Boomers aren’t alone in their preference to talk on the phone. In general, customers still prefer talking on the phone for customer service. Phone calls tend to give a quicker resolution time and customers often feel more satisfied after a phone call and are more trusting after speaking to a real person compared to email or chat service.

Consider the customer experience

Think about who your customers are and how they prefer to engage with you. If you have a customer base that is 60+ don’t wait for them to tell you they prefer to order and book appointments online – just put the process in place to allow them to, you already know that’s the preferred method. If you have a younger audience who doesn’t click or visit your site as much as you hoped, try alternate methods.

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