As we enter into the new year, one of the largest generation in the history, i.e. the Millennials (also known as Gen Y) are all set to move into its spending years. It is not just about spending on commodity and experiential goods, they have reached a point where they are climbing the corporate ladder to become the highest level of decision makers. They are a force to be reckoned with as they have the power to reshape the global economy.
Millenials are changing the rules of customer service. This generation is not going to be on hold when the customer service agent is trying to figure out a way to solve the problem. The tech-savvy, digital generation loves self-service, quick response and a personal touch. Their unique yet competitive expectations are forcing the companies to examine how they are doing their business and tweak their customer experience strategy to have a sustained, profitable growth.
Here are some ways to ensure that organizations deliver the best customer experience and service to the digital natives, who might be scary sometimes but have the potential to change the way businesses are run.
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1. Offer Self-Service
The Millennials don’t like to ask for help. They are the do-it-yourself generation. Millennials would rather search (read, Google) about the problem rather than get on the phone with a call center agent. Make sure you have an updated, user-friendly FAQs section because there is a high probability of the customers to turn toward the FAQs and other such forums to get their questions answered.
An understanding is required on the part of the organizations about the balance maintained between human intervention and the lack of it. Millennials have grown up with the technology and are very comfortable with it. They do not appreciate the human gatekeepers. Empower your customers with authentic information and access to self-serving portals to win over the Millennials and those who hold a similar outlook.
2. Prompt Response
Whether you like it or not, Millennials are not the most patient customers. A quick and accurate response is essential when trying to satisfy a Gen Y customer. Consumers have high expectations for the speed of customer support. That is one of the reasons they are inclined towards self-service. Use the right technology to enable your agents to get rid of mundane tasks and speed up the process of query resolution.
3. Be Omnipresent
While dealing with the digital natives, you cannot just be relying on one platform. This generation lives on the social media. They make their buying decisions socially, in a collaborative manner. Whatever they might be doing offline, it is reflected online, in some way or the other. Other than that, the Gen Y prefers to chat/messaging (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.) rather than voice calls. Messaging is quicker and on the go. Thus, businesses need to cater to those requirements. One way of doing that is to use the artificially intelligent Chatbots. They can be trained to resolve mundane queries in an efficient manner.
To gain the heart and mindshare of the Millennials, businesses have to have to be present across various channels and deliver a consistently high level of customer support.
4. Deliver an Authentic, Personalized Experience
However paradoxical it might sound, the millennial customers seek a personal touch. They are big on ‘experiential’ environment. They are looking for something unconventional, something out-of-the-box. With the cutting-edge technologies at their disposal, companies today are in a much better position to achieve that by recording customer behavior and preferences. Using this insight, they can offer an enriching and personalized experience to the customers. For e.g., when a customer visits your hotel, record their food preferences, the room temperature, etc. When the customer visits again, the hotel can customize their room according to historical data.
5. Customer Engagement via Collaboration
The best way to promote brand loyalty is to involve the customers in your brand building. Millennials want to co-create. It gives them a sense of ownership and they feel the company values them. Organizations which acknowledge this enjoy a larger customer base. Moreover, if there is a collaboration, customers are a lot more forgiving in case of a service failure. Alex Castellarnau from Dropbox says it best,
“Millennials feel that a new brand, service or product is only started by the company; it’s finished by the customers. Companies that figure out ways to engage in this co-creation relationship will have an edge.”
Millennials are stepping into their prime spending years. That is not it. All this is happening in an era dominated by technological change and disruption. Being in the customer service and experience domain anyway requires a lot of effort and commitment. But, with the Millennials, in the companies need to be more agile and innovative. Only organizations who are able to keep up with the changing industrial landscape and pace of Millennials’ expectations will be able to withstand the test of time and emerge as leaders, rest might have to eventually bow out.