How to Provide Great Customer Service to Millennials


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Millennials are frequently branded as entitled and privileged. They expect good things to happen to them without putting in the work. Part of this label comes from having grown up in a connected and digital world where a quick response is expected. As a millennial myself, I dislike this label and generalization, however even I find myself easily growing impatient with experiences that are impersonal and untimely. With such a high bar, is there a way for your customer service to wow them?

Today, many millennials and consumers in general are able to avoid human interaction with brands entirely. They can order clothes, groceries, and even a car on their phones. However, there is an opportunity to turn these impersonal experiences into personal ones that can create brand advocates and loyalty.

As convenient as all these digital experiences are, something is inevitably going to go wrong. When that happens, brands need to kick it up a notch to wow their millennial customers. Here are a few simple steps that will set your brand above the bar.

1. Be real. Auto-generated emails are great for saving time and ensuring every customer receives a response. However, you may be surprised to find that many millennials will wait a bit longer to receive a response from a real person. This can open a dialogue and really give your brand a chance to shine. This digital generation regularly has conversations electronically, so they will feel right at home working this way.

2. Be timely. If a real person is responding to each customer service outreach, it’s obviously going to take a bit longer and your customers will understand. However, it doesn’t buy you days or even weeks to respond. Make sure that your customer service team has enough manpower to handle all incoming requests. Using a social media engagement software can help organize and speed up requests coming from social.

3. Be empowered. Make sure that your customer service agents are empowered to help your customers. If they aren’t able to remedy simple and common problems on their own, your entire system will become bogged down, which will frustrate both your employees and your customers. Millennials only have so much patience and little tolerance for being transferred to multiple different departments to remedy what should have been a simple problem. Train your employees how to interpret different situations and set expectations for how to create happy customers.

Uber, a millennial-favorite brand, is well known for their fast, personal responses. If a driver is rated below a certain threshold, Uber reaches out to the customer to learn more about the experience and try to prevent it from happening again. They also personally respond to all complaints. Their customer service agents are empowered to provide refunds and even credits to remedy an unhappy customer. These simple steps can quickly turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one that will want to sing your praises.

Nordstrom, another customer experience leader, has also proven the strengths of personally interacting with their customers. They’re known for their fun, fashionable responses on social media. They obviously can’t respond to every single mention, but they do succeed at creating delight by complimenting a shopper on a recent purchase, answering a question, or even thanking them for the mention. Even more importantly, though, they go above and beyond when helping their unhappy customers. They have created a returns process that is world class and prompted many millennial customers to share their successes with the brand.

Millennials continue to prove to be a unique generation with their own sets of needs and wants. However, the techniques you use to approach them should expand to your entire customer set. Just as an unhappy customer has no problem complaining on social media, a happy millennial won’t hesitate to share their exceptional experiences, both on social and via word-of-mouth. Don’t miss this opportunity to create long-lasting loyal customers and potentially even attract new ones!

Kate Zimmerman
Kate is the Sr. Product Portfolio Manager for Higher Logic. She gets to dream big every day, helping Higher Logic continue to build and develop a leading customer engagement platform.


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