Published: February 17, 2016 | Comments
The future of online customer experience is self-service and optimizing your knowledge base search is vital to securing the loyalty of the emerging economic buying power — Millennials. According to Ad Age, people aged 17-34 today – Millennials or Gen Y – will spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017 — that’s next year.
Millennials have been called many things over the years, but their DIY approach to finding solutions online, mobile and technology adoption, and decision-making power at companies are what you should focus on. Research from the Center for Generational Kinetics shows that 65 percent of Americans feel good about themselves and a company when they can solve their problems without talking to customer service.
By optimizing knowledge base search, you’ll not only convert and retain more Millennial customers — you’ll satisfy other generations who expect to solve their problems without picking up a phone.
DIY Customer Experience is the Future
According to Forrester, 72 percent of US online consumers prefer to use your website to get answers to their questions instead of contacting you via telephone or email. This includes everyone — Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen z — but research has found that 40 percent of Millennials prefer purely online service.
Younger people have grown up with more technology to help them through their buying process and they expect answers without having to talk to anyone.
Think Amazon. Have you ever talked to an Amazon customer service rep? While Amazon isn’t a good model for the personal customer experience you need in your niche, it’s a great example of what people expect online — seamless interactions without humans guarding steps in the buying process.
Millennials check their smartphone first, and increasingly, so does everyone else. 50 percent of all Millennials say their smartphone is more important than their computer — that’s partially because they’re on the go more than anyone when researching and making decisions.
They expect autocomplete search for their questions when they’re in a hurry and if your knowledge base isn’t up to speed for mobile, people will drop your company like a bad app and move on to the next.
If you want to satisfy younger customers, your knowledge base search needs to surface your most important content fast and use synonyms to deal with smartphone typos. This will only become more important as Gen Z, successors to the Millennial throne, take over the landscape. These kids are digital natives and even higher expectations for your technology to date.
B2B & SaaS Customer Experience
Millennials are also becoming major decision makers with budgets to spend on enterprise products. Their DIY customer experience expectations don’t just apply to hip eyeglasses and e-commerce experiences either.
In fact, optimized knowledge base support is even more vital for your complex SaaS features and technical B2B products. If you’ve ever been on the other side of the phone, you know how easy it is to be turned off by B2B and SaaS salespeople.
A seamless knowledge base experience that works on mobile could be the difference between getting a meeting and being ignored forever by someone who just doesn’t want to talk on the phone to get their answers.
Whatever sector or industry you find yourself in, self-service customer experience can’t be ignored and the knowledge base is the foundation of that platform. Optimizing knowledge base search will make it easier for all customers to make decisions about your product and will help you win the loyalty of Millennials and every other generation out there.