Why do millennials matter so much to brands? For one, they represent a massive population—in the U.S., they are expected to overtake Baby Boomers this year as the country’s largest generation. But more importantly, their expectations and preferences embody what many companies feel the customer experience should be for all demographics: superior service, technologies that drive efficiency, and authentic brand-customer relationships with a touch of fun. To put it simply, millennial customer experiences should be considered the gold standard for how you treat all your customers. Here are five things this savvy generation is looking for in a brand.
No, millennials don’t like long customer service interactions. They just want to talk to you in a productive, meaningful way. Millennials value time and authenticity above all, and they need to be able to trust you before they give you their business. According to Social Report, 62% of this generation values brands who are authentic and care to engage with them. For example, you can share interesting video content, ask them fun questions on social media related to their favorite products, or simply send them thank you gestures (a free gift, a fun message) after they make a purchase. If they find you interesting, they just may support your brand.
As you probably know, this generation loves their social media platforms. While this may not be true of all demographics, it’s absolutely essential to optimize your social customer service, as older generations are still active on these channels. Facebook and Twitter are excellent for engaging in customer service interactions as well as sharing brand news and video content. But don’t forget Instagram and Snapchat: Statista states that 64% of people aged 18 to 29 used Instagram as of January 2018. Edison Research further points out that 72% of Americans aged 12-24 have Snapchat installed on their mobile phones. These two platforms, however, are not ideal for customer service interactions; rather, their highly visual and ephemeral nature make them perfect for brand storytelling.
Millennials love their smartphones, so your brand needs to offer them the best service on the go. According to Microsoft, this generation uses their mobile devices to contact customer service at a rate of 43%. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, stay proactive on social media channels (they love to access them from phones), and offer them chatbot assistance through messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Telegram.
When this generation makes a purchase, they like to think that they are also contributing to a greater cause. So if your company supports charities, eco-friendly practices, and other organizations that champion ethical behavior, your millennial customers will love you for it. A Nielsen report found that 73% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product that comes from a sustainable brand. And if an influencer advocates for your company, even better: Forbes claims that 58% of millennials like advertisements more when they feature a favorite digital star.
The more you invest in creating great customer experiences, the more millennials will support you. American Express cites that 21% of millennials will pay more to companies who excel at customer service. Furthermore, the same study cites that 84% of millennials believe companies are meeting or exceeding their service expectations. While that may sound like good news, don’t sit back and relax. Aim to offer stellar service all the time—just meeting expectations is not enough to stay ahead of the game. The millennial generation is a sharp, forward-thinking demographic that merits every brand’s attention. By constantly striving to give them great experiences, chances are that you will delight your other customers as well.
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