How to meet Millenial service expectations
Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States, with some 75.4 million of them visiting America’s shopping malls, small businesses, and retail outlets. Now more than ever, meeting their customer service expectations is vitally important for any business that hopes to remain afloat well into the 21st century. Nonetheless, many business leaders are baffled by America’s tech-driven youth, who seem to flout age-old customer service standards. So, what should today’s customer service reps do to meet the needs of the growing market behemoth that is the millennial generation?
It’s not easy to retrofit your entire customer service experience, but with the right steps, your company won’t have to take a brand-new approach, but merely build upon its existing services. For all of the buzz surrounding them, millennials are just like their predecessors; they want happy, quick service with a smile that leaves them content and ready to come back for more.
Embracing the digital age
More so than ever before, customer service reps need to be prepared to embrace the digital age and engage with customers where they’re most comfortable: on the web. Millennials are the most avid consumers of tech gadgets and services, and love to do their shopping online. As a result of this, some 64% of millennials reported that social media is one of the most effective channels for them to seek customer service, with 52% of them actively using social media to resolve their issues whenever one appears.
For your business to meet the customer service demands of millennials, then, you’ll need to venture into their territory, and have a heavy online presence that’s easy to find and navigate when something goes wrong with your products or services. As technological advances continue to occur at a staggering pace, it will only become more vital to invest in a digital approach to customer service now, rather than being left behind and having to play more catchup in the future.
Smartphone apps, social media accounts, and easy-to-navigate websites are all things that millennials will happily resort to rather than standing in line to meet face-to-face with an actual human employee. Adopting this tech-heavy approach into your business strategy is also a good way to cut back on cost. The average American interacts with customer service some 65 times per year, a high figure, but you can grow that even further and reach out to more of your customers with complaints if you rely on easy-to-use digital approaches rather than burdensome in-store offices.
Given that some 76% of Americans view customer service as a “true test” of how a company values them, it’s crucial you don’t fail the millennial test, and lack any sort of online presence. There’s nothing that spells out doom for a company more than having millennials shrug off their aging business model, so your company will want to invest the necessary funds to stay relevant in the era of ubiquitous smartphones and heavy data usage.
Building a pleasant experience
A customer service experience these days isn’t defined by how quickly it resolves a customer’s problems, but rather on how welcome and engaged it makes them feel as it assist them. Given millennial’s habits of posting virtually every negative experience they have with businesses online, even if its a company that helps you fix a cracked iPhone screen, it’s important you make them feel welcome and work to reduce any frustration they may have as you try to resolve their issues.
Consumers have always been more loyal to companies that appear to take their feedback seriously, and millennials are no different. Social media campaigns in particular, especially ones that highlight individual users and respond to them by name from well-known corporate accounts, often go viral and are praised by customers for their fun and engaging way of dealing with their issues.
Building a pleasant experience means building a hasty one, too. Given the familiarity with tech most millennials possess, they’ll expect an automated response at the very least within minutes of them submitting a ticket to your customer service task force. Be sure to engage with them frequently, and remind them periodically that their concerns are your highest priority.
As always, it’s also vital that you be authentic. Millennials don’t want to feel pandered to, and they’ll only grow more frustrated, or worse, outright refuse to purchase your goods and services, if your attempts to connect with them feel forced. This means you may need to invest some serious money into a social media presence if you’ve not done so already, and have a healthy IT department as well as relatively youthful staff that’s capable of understanding today’s fast-changing digital trends.
Building a millennial customer service experience isn’t impossible, and is indeed vital for any modern company hoping to stay relevant. Don’t be afraid to engage America’s biggest generation on their own territory, and you’ll soon find yourself flying high with their praise on social media.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As head of social media strategy, Alex is directly responsible for the customer experience and...