Millennials (born during 1980-2000, also defined as Gen Y) are now the biggest consumer group worldwide, counting about 80 million just in the US. This generation is changing the face of business and customer service in particular. Companies either rethink their strategy and cater to their needs or risk missing out on an impressive economic profit.
So what does it take to satisfy a millennial customer?
1. Make your product or service intuitive. Millennials grew up with technology, the Internet, and smartphones as part of their daily lives. They greatly rely on do-it-yourself experiences, searching for information, discovering things and make decisions on their own. To gear your business towards this group, your product or service should be user-friendly and unintrusive.
2. Offer constant product improvements and enhancements. Millennials devour information and absorb technology way faster than previous generations. They have a mindset of continual learning and development. To win over more millennials’ hearts, make sure that your product is constantly evolving, delivering updates and new features.
3. Provide omni-channel experience. Millennials are children of a digital age – their online presence is ubiquitous – on laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. They constantly jump between social media, instant messengers, YouTube, Pinterest etc. Adjust your marketing game ensuring that your website or application is running on all platforms, channels, and devices.
A study conducted by Boston’s Innerscope Research revealed that millennials switch between various communication channels at least 27 times per single hour.
4. Treat millennials not just as consumers but co-creators. Modern customers have taken an active stance in product development – they want to make a difference. They are highly opinionated and engage with the brand when their voice is heard. Successful brands not only encourage customers to share feedback but acknowledge their contribution and respond with actual improvements.
“A new brand, service or product is only started by the company; it’s finished by the customers”. (Alex Castellarnau, former Head of Design at Dropbox)
5. Value millennials’ time. Millennials live fast – they want everything here and now. This means they expect your service to be immediate, accessible and responsive 24/7. What’s more, millennials want the result on the first interaction – or they’ll move on. The need for speed in customer service is stronger than ever.
6. Provide an alternative channel to the phone support. Years of online experience have made face-to-face interaction less common. Business communication just mirrors everyday communication where people thrive on text messaging. For customer service and sales, this means that conversational commerce is winning ground. Customers won’t dial long numbers or stay on hold, they’d rather connect via a messaging application.
According to a study by OpenMarket, when given a choice between texting or calling, a 75% of millennials preferred messaging over the phone.
7. Offer a highly personalized service. With advanced analytics now accessible to all businesses, millennials expect a customized content, deals, offers and services based on their preferences, interests, location, and personality. Business should cater to their specific needs by analyzing their previous purchases, social media interactions, and activities.
8. Make customer experience not only useful but fun. High-brow, literary language, and sophisticated wordings are history in customer service. Millennials express themselves with tweets, texts, Facebook posts, stickers, and smileys. To reach them, businesses must wake up to this trend and start speaking to millennials’ in their language – informal, down to earth, easy going, and straight to the point.
If you have a small business, your perfect customer service tool is somewhere in the borderland between functionality and pricing. With that in mind, we compared 14 different customer service tools.