Generation Z Consumers Most Impatient, Quickest-to-Curse, Yet Most Likely to Call Businesses of Any Demographic, Marchex Study Finds

Dec 15, 2016

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2016-- Generation Z has surpassed Millennials as the consumer group with the shortest attention spans who are the fastest to hang up while on hold and the quickest to curse at customer service agents, according to new data from Marchex, (NASDAQ: MCHX), an advertising analytics company. Surprisingly, Gen Z also has a much higher tendency to make old-fashioned phone calls to businesses they’ve found online than any other age group, the study found.

Analysts from the Marchex Institute, the research and insights arm at Marchex, examined anonymous data from more than 2.3 million consumer phone calls to businesses throughout the U.S. in 2016. The nationwide data found key insights for businesses eager to develop marketing and customer service strategies for today’s youngest group of adults, which the study defines as consumers between the ages 18 to 24. This age bracket represents the oldest tier of Gen Z who are now entering the workforce and starting to gain purchasing power.

As digital natives raised to digest information rapidly across multiple sources, Gen Z consumers seek both online and offline options to reach businesses through texts, phone calls, social media, e-mails and even in-store visits, according to the study.

Specifically, the study found:

• Gen Z consumers are 60% more likely than the average consumer to hang up if the phone is not answered within 45 seconds, showing they may value fast, responsive customer service more than other age groups.

• Gen Z-ers are also 30% more likely to curse over the phone at a business than the average consumer when they feel their needs aren’t being met. Marchex Call Analytics technology analyzed consumers’ usage and frequency of the most common curse words in the English language for this study.

• Contrary to popular perception, Gen Z-ers do not prefer digital-only interactions; in fact, this group is the most likely of any age group to click-to-call a business from a mobile phone after searching for that business online. For example, they are 2.6 times more likely to actually call a wireless company, 2.5 times more likely to call a cable company, and 1.6 times more likely to call a hotel than the average consumer.

“Businesses tend to arrive late to the party when it comes to understanding young adult customers,” said Sabrina Gravlee, Analytics Manager at the Marchex Institute. “Gen Z is fast-emerging behind Millennials with new needs and preferences, and this data shatters the stereotype that Gen Z-ers tend to avoid talking to businesses. The truth is Gen Z places a premium on connecting in real time over the phone.”

Gravlee urged businesses to pay special attention to Gen Z’s digital fluency on various devices and platforms. Most Gen Z consumers call immediately after a digital interaction – such as after searching for a business on their smartphones – which illustrates the high level of comfort this demographic has in combining online and offline actions during a purchasing process, she said.

“Gen Z consumers can be speaking to a customer agent, research everything that agent is saying and simultaneously tweet about how great or awful their experience is,” Gravlee said. “The faster businesses can understand the patterns and preferences of Gen Z, the faster they can gain footing with this next wave of consumer growth and ensure their own success.”

More on this study can be found on the Marchex Blog.

About Marchex

Marchex is a mobile advertising analytics company that connects online behavior to real-world, offline actions. By linking critical touchpoints in the customer journey, Marchex’s products enable a 360-degree view of marketing effectiveness. Brands and agencies utilize Marchex’s products to transform business performance.

Please visit or @marchex on Twitter (, where Marchex discloses material information from time to time about the company, its financial information, and its business.

Source: Marchex

For Marchex, Inc.
Mark S. Peterson, 206-390-0204

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