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For Customer Experience Professionals

How Consumers Research, Buy, And Get Service

Preferences For Channels Differ Across Generations

March 31, 2008


  • By Bruce D. Temkin
  • with Olga Melnikova,
  • Harley Manning,
  • Steven Geller

Why Read This Report

Forrester asked consumers about the channels they use when researching, buying, and getting customer service. In-person interactions, both phone and store, dominated these activities. But consumers were not very satisfied with most interactions. Our research also looked at channel preferences across generations. No surprise: Older consumers prefer to research in a store while younger consumers prefer the Web. It turns out, however, that Gen X showed the most preferences for buying online. Firms should improve all of these interactions by examining the experience from the customer's viewpoint, using personas, and tapping into Forrester's self-help evaluation tools.

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