The Customer Experience Impact of Millennials and Generation Z

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No matter the size or industry, every organization knows that it is hard to ignore the emergence and impact of Millennials and Generation Z. In fact, according to Accenture, Millennials already account for approximately $600 billion in annual spend in the U.S. alone, while Gen Z are already accounting for upwards of $143 billion in annual U.S. spend, according to a report from Barkley As more Millennials and Gen Z’s enter the workforce and grow into key roles and decision-making positions, their impact on the market will continue to rise.



The opportunity to capture these emerging demographics is there, and the time to do so is now. However, in a saturated market, being able to stand out above the competition requires more than a flashy product or slick marketing. The 2019 State of Service report by Salesforce found that 80% of customers now consider experience with a company to be as important as its products. As the influx of Millennial and Gen Z customers continue to rise, so does the importance of providing a unique and personalized customer experience.

Generation Mobile
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Millenial and Gen Z customers love their smartphones. But unlike previous generations, Millennials and Gen Z’s are using their devices for almost everything, except talking on them. Consider the following:

– 92% of Millennials own a smartphone.
– Nearly 100% of Gen Z’s own a smartphone.
– 61% spend five or more hours a day on their smartphone.
– 75% of Millennials say they would rather text than talk on the phone.
– 52% of Gen Z say their smartphone is their most important device.

Not only do nearly all Millennial and Gen Z customers own a smartphone, they are using them a lot. And the reality is, the majority of the time they are spending on their devices is being spent doing something other than making a phone call.

No matter the generation, people today communicate both visually and contextually. When communicating with friends, family, and colleagues, a typical conversation today involves calling, texting, sending photos, videos and more, sometimes all within the same conversation or interaction. The difference between Millenial and Gen Z customers and previous generations is that Millenials and Gen Z’s expect to interact with brands in the same way that they would with each other. Empowering Millennial and Gen Z customers with the ability to share content and information with support agents in multiple ways and in real-time can help make their experience feel unique and tailored specifically for them.



Personalization
Millennials and Gen Z’s live in a world of endless options making it more difficult than ever for businesses to make a lasting impression. In this highly competitive environment, personalization is everything. Consider the “cocktail party effect” When you’re at a cocktail party, chatting with dozens of people, conversations become blurred and vague. However, as soon as someone addresses you by name, or references topics of interest, you tune into that specific conversation and remember it, and are much more likely to reconnect with that person later on.

In order to personalize the customer experience, support organizations must look at connecting the entire digital footprint of their customers. Customers provide a wealth of data and feedback across multiple endpoints, channels, and interactions. By pulling all of this data together, support teams can get a more well-rounded view of who their customers are and what makes them tick. With this wealth of knowledge, support leaders can tailor self-service options, train their agents to provide more personalized and proactive responses, and create the type of hyper personalization that Millennial and Gen Z customers have come to expect.

Tech Savvy Customers Require a Tech Savvy Contact Center
A contact center is a reflection of customer experience. Meaning if your call center is not equipped with the right technology and integrations to handle mobile-focused and tech-savvy Millennial and Gen Z customers, the overall experience will suffer.

Adopting technologies such as conversational AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help in identifying intent and more strategically connect customers with the appropriate agent, bot, of self-service option to resolve issues not just faster, but more efficiently. CRM, Workforce Management (WFM) and Quality Management (QM) integrations help support leaders arm their agents with more contextual data by surfacing key customer information in real-time. WFM solutions and QM integrations make it easier to make strategic staffing decisions, provide better channels for agent training, and make for better and more aligned reporting. A tech savvy contact center not only helps create a better customer experience, it can also help transform support from a cost center to a revenue driver.



Millennials and Gen Z customers create lots of news and buzz across a wide array of topics. However, there’s no denying that their influence, impact, and purchasing power will only continue to rise. Laying the foundation of a personalized support experience that is tailored to mobile habits and technology awareness of Millennials and Gen Z’s will help companies of all sizes and industries increase the loyalty to their brand and help themselves stand apart from their competitors.

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