As the first generation born into the modern digital world, millennials are changing the definition of exceptional customer service and transforming the customer experience. Also known as Generation Y, or anyone born after 1980, this generation has always had technology at their fingertips and in recent years has proven to be a population of savvy, socially conscious, and vocal consumers who care about the brands they do business with. Here are six ways millennial customers are reshaping the customer experience–and why brands should take notice.
They are the ultimate omnichannel customers. The millennial preference for using multiple channels such as social media and live chat should inspire brands to take the omnichannel approach if they haven’t already—and to make sure the experience is optimized. Millennial customers want the option of using the channel they prefer when they feel like it, so brands with a strong omnichannel presence are sure to appeal.
Their need for speed encourages new and savvy ways to deliver great customer service. We are living in a fast-paced world, and customers are demanding faster service than ever. Millennials in particular are used to communication on the go, often through their smartphones and social media accounts. This generation’s need for speed is therefore a compelling reason for brands to invest more in self-service assistance, such as visual IVR options and webchat, while also optimizing service on social media channels.
They have a voice, so brands should have one, too. The millennial generation is concerned with identity: speaking up for what they believe in and presenting themselves on social media as the people they want to be. Social media is itself a platform for storytelling, with users eager to support brands, social movements, and cultural tastes that match with their personal beliefs. For this reason, brands should also be willing to tell their story, whether it be sharing a humble account of a homegrown family business or showing support for social or environmental causes. Millennials are known to support brands with a social conscience, and long-term loyalty begins with appealing to customers on a human level. And don’t underestimate the power of social media for expressing one’s opinions: Positive comments can lead to brand advocacy, while negative customer experiences can quickly lead to customer churn.
They value authenticity. Millennials like to keep it real: authenticity and genuine feelings are highly valued. When brands share content on their social media sites, launch marketing campaigns, and interact with customers in any context, their actions and language should always reflect genuine, consistent values. For example, customers shouldn’t question if a brand is sincere about supporting a cause from one moment to the next—a brand’s image should be consistent and easily identifiable. In addition, customer service agents on all channels should be authentic in their approach—using language that builds trust in customers and makes them feel valued as individuals.
They want their opinions to count. Customer feedback is always critical to improving a brand, but millennials also like it when their tastes and preferences count as well. Brands that implement marketing campaigns to learn about consumer favorites (such as voting for a favorite product) frequently appeal to millennial customers. Millennials like to feel that brands develop products and services designed for them, reflecting their tastes and values.
They are mobile. A Nielsen study found that over 85% of millennials own smartphones, while an Annalect study asking U.S. millennial smartphone users how brands should use digital media found that having mobile-friendly websites and apps was the top priority cited. As mobile customer service garners more and more demand, brands should take note that millennials are a driving force behind it and want excellent service on the go.
As a tech-savvy, vocal, and forward-thinking generation, millennial customers are key to leading brands into the future and transforming the customer experience into an increasingly efficient and authentic one. Learn about Vocalcom contact center solutions for delivering excellent social customer service.