Published: January 02, 2018 | Comments
With ranks of over 76 million, Millennials have now overtaken boomers as
the largest group of consumers in the United States. What makes this
generation all the more important to consider when designing a customer
service strategy is the power of their influence. According to a study by
Edelman Intelligence, 74% of Millennials believe they can affect the
purchase decisions of fellow Millennials as well as those of older
generations, such as their baby boomer parents. Millennials are sharing
more than just pictures of their lunches. 7 out of 10 said they felt it was their responsibility to share their customer service experiences, good or
bad, with the people they know.
And here’s something else you may not know -- Millennials follow through.
Millennials are much more likely than non-Millennials to rate products or services online, to the tune of 64% vs. 46%. This means that people are
going to hear about your millennial customers’ experience with your brand.
Sadly, the majority of businesses are ignoring these powerhouse consumers –
or at least not doing anything different to address how they interact with
their favorite brands. According to Gallup, only 25% of millennial
consumers are “fully engaged.” In fact, they have the lowest overall customer engagement score of any generation.
The reason for this, counter to common belief, is not that they are
arbitrarily disloyal. They simply have high standards, expecting excellence
from the businesses with which they interact. What defines excellence? A
whopping 51.5% of Millennials will switch brands if they have a poor
customer service experience. Given the multitude of options available to
today’s consumer, why wouldn’t they? Once they do find a brand they like,
80% of Millennials will continue to give that brand their business. With
widespread ball-dropping in terms of how Millennials are being treated by
companies today, the door is quickly closing to seize a competitive
advantage by engaging Millennials and treating them how they expect to be
Below are five critical millennial customer service expectations and the
corresponding strategies that will help your company better engage and win
over this powerful and enormous market segment.
1. Millennials expect fast and accessible customer service.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with smartphones, real-time
responses, and constant access to information. As a result, they have come
to expect this from the customer experience that brands provide. 71% report
that the most important thing a business can do is value their time. 25% report expecting a response within ten minutes to a social media customer query, and that number jumps to over 30% when they reach out to customer
service via text message.
Meeting this expectation requires a dynamic customer service mix of 24-hour
availability via mobile chat and/or Facebook Messenger, digital chat
agents, and giving front-line agents the authority – and the requisite
skills and supporting technologies – to resolve issues quickly.
2. Millennials expect digital self-service.
“Millennials are self-reliant and technology dependent,” says Jason Dorsey,
Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. The
research bears this out: Three out of four millennial customers prefer solving customer service issues on their own, online. Businesses should
implement solutions like virtual agents to respond to this preference.
3. Millennials expect seamless, multi-channel customer service.
Only after Millennials have been unable to find answers via self-service
will they turn to front-line customer service agents. When they do, 68% demand an integrated, seamless experience available on all channels.
Millennial customers want to be able to start their customer search query
online and transition to live chat, social media, mobile, and even a phone
call without having to restate their issue again and again.
Accomplishing this requires an integrated customer service cloud that uses
prediction to anticipate what consumers want to get done, in whichever
channel they prefer, equipping customer operations, customer service, and
customer experience professionals to engage consumers and resolve inquiries
efficiently and effectively at every touchpoint.
4. Millennials expect a conversation.
As the most well-educated generation to-date, Millennials are not fooled by
insincere customer service. Today’s young consumers want to engage with
brands directly in ways that are genuine, transparent, and relevant. As a
result, it is no longer enough for brands simply to exist on multiple
social media and mobile platforms. When Millennials interact with brands,
they want to feel that the interaction is authentic, meaningful, and
According to Accenture, Millennial consumers expect the brands they like
and follow to be active participants in their online and live conversations, responding quickly to customer service inquiries.
5. Millennials expect convenience.
Millennials are “convenience consumers.” Contrary to popular belief, this
does not necessarily mean that Millennials are lazy or impatient, but it
does mean they demand the right information via the right channels at the
right time. Utilizing advanced natural language technologies in your IVR or
in the virtual agent can significantly improve user convenience, by making
it easier for your customers to interact with you using familiar
Ease and convenience can be enhanced during live interactions as well.
Today’s best CX technologies allow voice agents to easily share interactive
content with callers on their smartphones, leveraging the touch screen
capabilities that Millennials love. Published studies show that customers,
particularly Millennials, are anticipating more customer service channels
available as options at all times to meet their needs.
You Need Fast, Integrated Solutions to Keep Up With Millennials’
Millennials live in a fast-paced, digital world that moves at the speed of
innovation. Tired or antiquated CX technologies will drive this vitally
important market segment away in droves. Below are the types of omnichannel
technologies that Millennials are craving:
Digital service channels such as live chat (32%) and mobile apps (27%),
which scored highest in the study above on future investment.
Chat technology that makes customer service conversations more
intuitive and makes escalation to a phone agent seamless with the
transfer of information.
Texting (SMS) or Facebook Messenger to meet the Millennial need for
social media outreach.
The ability for voice agents to share an “online canvas” that provides
rich visual interaction between customers and agents during a call.
Speech technology that combines voice and digital channels for faster,
easier digital journeys even when customers reach your IVR.
Virtual agents that let customers ask questions in natural language for
more self-service resolutions or are used as tools by customer service
agents for to improve both AHT and FCR.
The ability to reach a live, CX-oriented phone agent when needed, a
technology that’s not going away.
*Chart via Verint: The Digital Tipping Point (2017)
How will your business adapt to better serve the next generation of
customers? Share your comments below!