Customer Experience News & Trends

What millennials really want — and 5 ways to deliver

Millennials have incredible buying power — and you can win their business and loyalty through customer service. Here are five ways to build a customer experience that impresses them.

Every generation has slightly different shopping and service preferences. Millennials’ preferences are particularly important these days because their buying power grows as their careers and incomes do.

Here’s what they expect you to do, and how you can deliver:

Get faster

To get a better outlook on millennials, consider this: They shop at convenience stores twice as often as people of other generations, a Boston Consulting Group study found. They want their experiences short, sweet and convenient.

“Patience is not a virtue among millennials,” says Anand Subramaniam, VP of worldwide marketing at eGain Corporation. “Make sure your service organization sets fast service levels to please millennials – and better yet, all customers.”

What’s fast? Now they expect email responses in hours, not a day. Social media responses need to be immediate. Failing to respond to either will end relationships.

Make your website smarter

Millennials want the right answers fast. They’re frustrated when they can’t consistently get a single, right answer from a company’s website or through social media.

The good news: They’re willing to look up information and even dig deep on your website for it. They prefer it. But if they can’t get what they’re looking for, they won’t be pleased having to call for help.

Two keys to making your website more appealing to millennials:

  • Offer a variety of search options with a deep base of knowledge. Go beyond keyword searches and include natural language searches that incorporate the phrases and language your customers use.
  • Offer real-time chat to guide customers through searches that may take several steps to find the full answer. That helps ensure that they’ll get to the right answer.

Make employees smarter

Because millennials are willing to get answers from websites or social platforms, they’re less likely to call your customer service professionals. But, when they call, they’ll likely have more complex or complicated questions they couldn’t get answered through self-service.

Reps need to be ready for these bigger issues. The most important factor: Train reps to know where to find answers, rather than try to train them to know all the answers. Updating databases weekly, if not daily, will help them give customers the right answers to complex issues.

Get broader, stay unified

Although online channels are their preference, millennials will use any channel they can to interact with your organization. They expect those experiences to be seamless. If they real-time chat, post on social media and email you in one day, they expect that the customer service rep who picks up their call the next day will know about all of that.

If you can’t capture all of their interactions, it might be better to limit the number of contact channels you offer so you can keep what you do seamless.

Be proactive

Millennials (perhaps surprisingly) like to be guided. They aren’t as headstrong as some tend to think. For instance, they use smartphone GPS apps 26% more than baby boomers, an Experian study found.

They’ll take your guidance if you offer it. The more helpful content you offer through social media and on your site, the more likely they’ll be to follow it. Guide them through service issues via chat. Give them sales advice through articles and blogs posted on your social media sites. Remind them when it’s time to renew contracts, replace products or schedule maintenance.

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