Are Millennials Changing the Customer Service Experience?
Since 2017, the millennial dollar has been more valuable than the baby boomer buck, in spite of the massive wealth disparity between the two generations. As the largest consumer demographic, millennials consumers are shaping the way companies handle customer service issues. Customer care professionals are paying more attention to the needs of millennials, and that means several things for answering services.
- Speed. Millennials customers expect a rapid response from their customer service channels. Some expect a social media response within 10 minutes. Whether on social media, phone, or SMS, there is little excuse for feet-dragging. You need to be quick on your feet on multiple channels of communication.
- Availability. Many millennial employees are expected to be contactable around the clock, so in return they expect 24/7 opportunity to engage with the companies responsible for the products or services they use.
- Personalization. Millennials will trade personal data for better, customized service. Make sure you are building a profile of your regular customers/clients in order to reward loyalty and find a winning formula.
- Text support. Millennials far, prefer texting to receiving phone calls, which are thought of as intrusive by almost two thirds of the age group. Rather than following up on calls to answering services with calls from numbers that will not be recognized, and likely sent to voicemail, consider sending a text or Facebook Messenger message with the pertinent information and the opportunity to call back to follow up.
Ways Millennials are Redefining Customer Service
Millennials are, in many ways, the first generation to seek out and specialize in customer service roles. Many millennials expect their job to offer instant gratification in one form or another. Customer service provides that opportunity, as it makes for quick and potentially fulfilling interactions where consumers appear with expectations, customer service reps respond and do their best to meet those expectations, and a resolution is reached within a few minutes.
With this in mind, it’s worth examining the ways that customer service is changing on both ends of the exchange. Millennials are more likely than other generations want to solve their customer problems without actually interacting with another human. One in three millennials would rather clean a toilet than to complain to a customer service rep. How do you cater to these millennials who hate phone calls and avoid driving them away? One option: nearly half of 18-34-year-olds surveyed in 2017 had complained on or to a social media’s brand page or account, rather than over the phone.
Joined-up thinking is integral to millennial era customer service. Don’t publicize a new product or deal and fail to alert your answering service about the details. That makes you look amateurish.
How Millennials are Changing Workplace Communication
“This meeting could have been an email.”
“This phone call could have been an email.”
“This email could have been a shorter email.”
The clarion call of the dissatisfied millennial employee, to the extent that you can buy ‘this meeting could have been an email’ scented candles and printed mugs, there is little that depresses millennial employee engagement than obligatory inefficiency. Business communication is a strength of theirs. They grew up learning how to communicate quickly and fluidly by text, code-switching between a range of registers formal and informal. This applies to inter-business communication as well as intra-business communication.
The best way to negotiate this difference between generations is by taking into account the prevailing preferences of your employees and then lay down clear guidelines for all employees so that there is consistent work culture and people know what to expect.
All in all, both the changes that millennials are spearheading from within companies and the changes companies are making to adapt to their millennial customers’ needs are transforming companies across all sections of the economy. Employers overlook them at their peril.