a market that represents almost half of the population, controls the lion’s share of the assets, and is responsible for most of the discretionary spending. Looks like an ideal client and customer, wouldn’t you say? You’d think that this market would get kid-glove service and gold level attention.
Sadly, and surprisingly, this is not always the case.
We are talking about the Baby Boomers and Seniors, and a recent Ipso Reid poll showed that while Boomers acknowledge their significant spending power, 40% feel ignored by the businesses that serve them. Furthermore, an ad hoc survey conducted in a popular retirement city revealed that their seniors felt downright invisible!
Ignored and invisible. Not an attractive way to be received by the businesses and professionals wanting your support.
Bottom line: You shouldn’t have to work hard to give them your money!
The Next ‘ISM’
In our society, we have a history of confronting some big social issues, issues such as racism and sexism. We haven’t got them licked yet, but we have had the courage to identify the issues and start the work. The next great ‘ism’ that needs our attention is ‘Ageism.’
Ageism is an attitude. It is a way of looking at older persons with stereotypes that are typically not very positive. Take a moment now and think about the top 5 words that come to your mind when you think about getting older, and this might reveal some of the stereotypes you are being exposed to. When ageist attitudes are reflected in particular behaviors, this results in discriminatory practices. They can be subtle and they can be absolutely blatant.
Perhaps you have witnessed this yourself. A mother and adult daughter enter an establishment, and the service personnel communicate directly to the daughter, assuming she will speak for her mother. A professional decides not to take on older clients, complaining that they take up too much time. Products and services that are hard to access, and messaging that disregards and minimizes the value of a maturing population. It is in the language we use, the birthday cards we send, and the jokes that we tell.
A New Wave in Service
But that is changing. Businesses and professionals are learning about the power of the age 50+ market, learning what they want, what they need, and how to serve them better. They are taking the time and making the commitment to make their products and services more age-friendly, and their interactions more respectful.
They are sifting facts from fiction, and recognizing the inherent value of all members of our communities.
These are the businesses and the professionals that ‘get it’ and they are getting the business – and rightly so!
Age Friendly Movement
Inspired by the United Nations endorsed Age-Friendly City initiatives, Age-Friendly Business® made the commitment to build upon this noble foundation, and to invite businesses and professional services to participate in the Age-Friendly Movement.
When businesses and professionals make the commitment to learn more and serve better, they have earned the right to display the Age-Friendly Business® purple wave of service excellence. The purple wave (representing the age wave) is fast becoming recognized as THE symbol of excellence in service for the age 50+.
Experience the Difference
When businesses and professionals do the right thing, the right way, and for the right reasons, everybody wins! The quality of interaction improves, customers and clients receive exceptional and relevant products and services, and businesses prosper. It just doesn’t get better than that!
Demand the purple wave of excellence from everyone who serves you – you deserve no less!
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO