3 Strategies to Help Seniors Conquer Tech During COVID-19

Apr 14, 2020 | 2  min
author Pyxl Communications

COVID-19 has pushed many of us out of our comfort zones, but maybe one group more than others: seniors. Growing up with minimal technology to having to almost solely rely on it, is challenging, to say the least. According to the Pew Research Center, 93% of Millennials own smartphones, while only 63% of Baby Boomers and 40% of the Silent Generation own them. Forbes states that we can fully expect their technology usage to increase during the pandemic. With approximately 47 million seniors in the United States, your company should ensure your digital platforms are keeping this growing population in mind. Here are three key strategies to utilize to make the digital transition easier for seniors.

1. User-friendly 

Digital video tools, such as Zoom Video Communications Inc., have seen daily usage up 300% since the coronavirus outbreak. While a large portion of this is likely due to remote-work employees, the senior population socially connecting (while still practicing social distancing) cannot be discounted. 

Apps like Zoom are appealing to seniors first and foremost, because of its user-friendly interface. A recent study in the journal Healthcare found that “frustration” with technology was one of the largest obstacles for older adults pursuing new technology, which led to a lack of self-confidence and motivation. In order for seniors to even try the new technology, it has to be user-friendly. 

2. Cost Effective

43% of single Social Security recipients 65+ depend on Social Security for 90% or more of their income and one-third of senior households has no money left after meeting essential expenses each month. Because so many seniors have tight budgets, it’s important to be cost effective, especially when it comes to something that offers so many apprehensions.
During the coronavirus outbreak, many companies are offering discounts through their technology. Kroger is temporarily waiving their pickup fees for online grocery orders and there is no minimum threshold to meet. Zoom offers the first 40 minutes for free. And restaurants across the nation are pushing out promotional codes and their apps for discounts and free delivery.

3. Tech Support

Many seniors are trying new technology during this pandemic for the first time. It’s important to meet them in their space and provide support as much as possible. While many seniors prefer live tech support (more than 63% of those born before 1960 consider the phone to be their top channel for customer service), that may not be a feasible option for all companies.

If live support isn’t an option, work to create the best viable alternative. Make sure the “contact” or “help” cue is large and in an easy to see space. Tech support videos are great, but be sure to also include closed captioning. 

COVID-19 will ensure that technology usage will increase within the aging population. These strategies will help seniors overcome obstacles that have prevented them from making the digital move in the past, as well as keep them in this space once the crisis has ended.

We’d love to help you make sure your digital platforms are conducive to supporting seniors – contact us here today.

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

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