Memes to explain the connected customer

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I’m a millennial. This isn’t a confession, just a fact. And as a millennial, I enjoy an insider perspective.

Every year, for the past few decades, market experts have speculated on the wants, needs and desires of the millennial generation. Consider me the status quo. I tend to embody the average millennial in many ways – my love of social media, my overzealous emoji use, my pref for abbreviated vernacular…

Millenial Social Media

… And this year’s State of the Connected Customer from Salesforce hit the nail on the head. What do ‘us’ millennials want?

A lot.

We are now the dominant spenders, and we’ve set new expectations for the modern business. Our money talks, and we’re influencing businesses at all levels.

In this year’s report, there was a notable slant toward the connected/innovation culture of millennials. Here is just a snapshot of some of the top stats, as told by memes:

No time for that

• 64 percent of consumers expect companies to respond and interact with them in real time.

• 71 percent of consumers say that customer service provided on any day at any time has influence on loyalty and 69 percent say the same about personalized care

Millennials were raised in the fast paced, on-demand crucible of the dot-com boom. While teachers were coaching us on how to accurately navigate the Dewey Decimal System, we were sarcastically rolling our eyes and leaning on Wikipedia and SparkNotes to get us through class.

The “we want it now” mentality of the generation has not gone away. Instead, it has grown into business culture. We all have phones at our sides, email constantly at our fingertips, and text messages ready at the go. We expect the same from companies we interact with. Companies have worked tremendously hard to “humanize their brand.” Now, we expect them to live as us humans live, in a 24hr world of connectivity.

I'm a big deal

• 74 percent of business buyers say sending personalized or exclusive offers and discounts has a major or moderate influence on their loyalty.

• 63 percent of millennials agree they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.

• 52 percent of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.

At first, it was kind of creepy. We went on Facebook and BAM! There was an ad showing us the exact shoes we’d been looking for all month. Big brother was shoving into our inbox all these deals for things we not just wanted, but we NEEDED (or so we told ourselves). It was unsettling … and then, it was awesome.

We loved the adoration of brands fawning over us. They sent us love notes and flowers in the form of deals, discounts and freebees. “This is the way we deserve to be treated,” we told ourselves. And now, that is our benchmark for a good customer/business relationship.

Take my money

• 62 percent of consumers say they purchased products they didn’t even know existed 5 years ago

• 70 percent say that knowledgeable sales reps influence their loyalty

We like to spend money. And the easier you make it for us to spend money, the more we spend. We don’t mind being educated and told about the hot, new, life changing product, as long as it is relevant to us. We ask a lot of questions, scroll through countless forums and unabashedly take to the phone and web to grill sellers about their products.

How do we feel about the phone?

Let’s talk. No seriously. Actual conversation is not something millennials are against. We enjoy conversation and still actually call people – just less frequently and with more purpose. When we chat with friends we use all channels at our disposal. We text, email, message and call our social circles, and even when switching channels, we maintain the in medias res understanding of previous conversations. We expect the same from businesses.

Appealing to the new generation of buyers is simple:

1. Connect all the communications channels to your business in a unified dashboard (probably a CRM).
2. Customize the conversations with each customer to be hyper relevant.
3. Be available as much as possible.
4. Share information.

Ben Noble
Ben Noble is a Five9 futurist and thought leader. He specializes in contact center technology and has a deep understanding of inside sales and customer service markets. Topics of interest include: AI, IoT, CRM, SaaS, PaaS, UCaaS, cyber security, cloud technology and CX.

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