It is not surprising that Gen Y or Millennials are considerably more engaged with digital technology and social media than their previous generations. As millennials are heavy users of portable devices such as smartphones to access internet, they are connected with their favourite brands no matter where they go. Being the largest demographic in the marketplace, they are changing the way brands interact and engage with customers as they have a completely different view of customer service as compared to other generations.
Social media and other online channels have become a significant source of customer service for millennials. They follow the brand they like on social media, post product reviews on Facebook, share links about products on LinkedIn and engage with brands on Twitter.
Is has become imperative for brands to stay in touch with millennials and offer exceptional customer service on social media platforms as
• Millennials spend 14.5 hours each week texting, talking, and accessing social media on their smartphones.
• 81% of millennials use social media to interact with customer service.
• Millennials across the global check their phone, on average, 43 times a day.
• 22% expect a 10-minute response time on social media.
All in all, millennials need a different customer service model as their expectations are quite high.
Let’s learn how brands can provide a phenomenal customer service via social media channels and improve their credibility:
Turn Regular Customers into Brand Advocates
Brands should include social media content that can enrich the reader’s life. They can convert their customers into brand advocates by delivering entertainment and enrichment on these sites. Instead of simply talking about their products and services, they should focus on customer needs while posting content on social media. There is a need for companies to leverage their consumer’s appreciations, comments and even criticisms in order to strengthen their customer relationships and brand image.
Brands should look forward to having two-way communication with millennials to bolster their loyalty. Millennials desire to interact about their concerns and experiences with companies and like to have timely, personal and straightforward communication.
So, use your social media accounts as an opportunity to build real and strong bonds with the customers and be 24*7 available as they might need you anytime of the day.
Keep the Communication as Real as Possible
Gen Y consumers prefer to deal with live people than with recorded voices and conventional scripts. Allow your customer service reps to put faces to names by letting them add their photograph on social media profiles. Make sure the conversation revolves around the customer’s specific needs and not based on marketing your products and services. Deliver a communication experience that is both personalized and productive.
Adjust your Tone of Voice to Match the Customer
Companies should learn to tailor their tone to each customer. Ensuring that you aim for messages that speak authentically to the attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and personalities of Millennials will help in engaging and winning over this diverse generation. Social customer service agents must understand that the right tone depends on the customer they are communicating with. So, adjust your tone to match the customer. For example, if the customer is angry and infuriated, focus on empathy and use tone that is apologetic and reassuring. If the customer is not fluent in your language, be more careful with nuances like slang.
Select the Best Suitable Social Media Platform for your Business
If Facebook happens to be the best social media platform for one business, it might not be the same for you. The most crucial aspect here is to figure out “where your customers are”. If you are not able to find the answer to this, simply carry-out a survey via email asking your customers “Which social media platforms do you use the most?”.
Go where your customers(majorly millennials) actually are and deliver support experience on their favoured channel. For example, if most of your customers are professionals who use LinkedIn, create a special LinkedIn group that can offer 24*7 support to customers. They can get their issues resolved on LinkedIn only rather than calling or sending an email.
Always Respond on Time
Millennials grew up with mobile devices and can access the web and social media anytime. They can hook up with a brand easily and in return expect companies to be always connected to reply to their issues. They expect access to responses in real-time.
According to a consumer research study, “more than half of consumers on Facebook expect a same-day response to questions and posts, where 52 percent of consumers using Twitter expect a company to respond within two hours.”
If you want to keep millennials happy, respond instantly to their questions, comments and complaints, especially during important crisis situations. Being active on social media and carefully listening to customers will showcase other potential customers that your company actually cares and is committed to providing exceptional customer service.
One Gartner study found that companies who ignore support requests on social media see an average churn rate that’s 15% higher than companies who don’t.
Carefully Listen and Monitor Social Media Mentions
By monitoring what customers are saying about your band, you can immediately barge in to quick fix complex situations or just get engaged with your customers. Gen Y use social media for various purposes such as
• Appreciating a company for an awesome customer experience
• Attempting to get an actual response from a company about a service issue
• Draining frustration about a bad customer experience
These are certain situations for which you need to be alert and instantly come for rescue.
Quickly responding to negative comments and taking measures to correct them is a fantastic way for a brand to promote itself and enhance its market image.
Instead of staring at your social media feed all day to know when your customers need help, you can opt for some useful social media monitoring tools which will alert you when you get mentioned.
Take your Customer Interactions up a Notch
Social media monitoring also enables brands to reach out and surprise customers in positive ways, creating unforgettable experiences. For example, a CitiBike customer in Newyork, tweeted about falling off his bike in the rain. The company then delivered a gift card to him for a new pair of jeans. The customer was taken by surprise and appreciated the company on Twitter for this friendly gesture.
Make Efforts to get Recommendations
Millennials are known for seeking opinion of friends and colleagues in order to make key purchase decisions. They read product reviews and trust online word-of-mouth to a great extent. They tend to share their experience (good or bad) with others and that is what the companies need to capitalize on. Make your satisfied customers (millennials) write positive reviews and talk about your brand on their blog or other social media accounts. This will boost confidence about your company among potential buyers and encourage them to take purchasing decision in your favour.
Influence them to Join your Community
Millennials love to collaborate with brands and are eager to be a part of brand communities where they can spill their ideas and suggestions to improve the brand/industry as a whole. Leverage the potential of social media mentions and pick up people who you think are relevant enough to join your community and engage them in meaningful activities related to your business. According to a research, creating communities is one of the key social media trends these days, wherein the current customers can answer prospect’s questions and be a part of community discussions on your website.
Unlike older generations, millennials require a unique customer service experience. Effectively blending technology, social media and personalized customer service, companies can keep them loyal and delighted.