Millennials and Customer Service: 6 Things You Need to Know

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Millennials and Customer Service: 6 Things You Need to Know

MillennialsThe population of people born between 1980 and 2000 is currently the largest consumer group. For business owners, that means they are your target market. No matter what industry you’re in you will in some way market your products to millennial customers. So how do they want to be served? Is your company prepared to engage Generation Y, successfully sell them products, and manage their expectations?

Here’s a list of 6 things your customer service department should know about serving millennials:

1. Millennials are independent.

They have been taught to be self-sufficient, seeking answers on their own through technology. Growing up in the Internet Age, millennials are accustomed to accessing Google, Yahoo, or Bing to search indexed files of information. This group of consumers wants websites with a Frequently Asked Questions section, troubleshooting resources, and walkthroughs. If they run into a problem, they will first seek help on your website. Millennials want businesses to anticipate their problems and provide the answers in advance in a way that is simple to use and easy to understand.

2. Their time is valuable.

To be fair, everyone’s time is valuable. But while Baby Boomers grew up in an era of pots, pans, and postal mail; millennials grew up with microwaves and email on their smartphones. The level of patience is markedly different. Their time is valuable and they appreciate companies that respect that. Millennials want answers at the speed of their asking the question. They are apt to reach your company through Social Media or online Live Chat options. According to a Desk.com survey, Facebook is the most used platform for customer service questions with 25% of millennials expecting a response within 10 minutes of reaching out for service via social media.

3. Millennials prefer technology.

Are you sensing the trend here? In general, millennials believe in the efficiency and superiority of technology over the possibility of human error. Millennials don’t want more customer service. They want different customer service options. This generation of consumers wants the perfection of hybrid streamlined, mobile-optimized online service support and nothing short of excellent human assistance when appropriate. Extending call center hours and adding more manpower is not a good exchange for improving the online support experience.

4. They’re customers, not numbers.

For all their love of technology, Generation Y wants to be known on an individual basis. Precisely because they spend so much time behind a screen, when your millennial customer does have to call in to customer service or come into a store instead of shopping online, they want to feel a sense of relationship with your employees. Meaningful, engaging conversation in the midst of solving their problem will endear them to your business and provoke a positive review on their social media feeds. Millennials want a two-way relationship with the companies they frequent, this is known as the reciprocity principle. In essence, what you give them they will give you. They have chosen to spend their money with your company and they expect a certain level of service in return.

5. They also want to know you.

Inasmuch as millennials want to be known, they also want to know you. Who is the face behind the name of the brand? What qualifies them to give advice? What sparked the idea behind this great invention or leap in technology? Generation Y asks questions that go beyond how the product will better their lives or keep them at the forefront of trendsetting. They want the story behind the brand. They read the About Us page of your website. They research how your mission and vision statement lines up with your social media feed and lifestyle. Millennials care about sustainability, going green, and equality. Share with them your story, your product sources, and manufacturing practices.

6. All millennials are not all alike.

Take your customer service experience out of the box. Your millennial customers refuse to be boxed in by stereotypes and clichés. They want the freedom to connect one way one day and another way the next day. Your customer service has to be just as fluid. Boston Consulting Group identified six different types of millennials. Knowing your segment of the market will help you cater your customer service content accurately.

While most companies tend to favor either the human service approach or the technology-based support models, the company of the future will create a well-balanced dual model. Investing in digital tools like mobile apps, text message service, a vibrant social media presence, and a full menu of online support tools will improve your customer service credibility with millennial customers. Technology is rapidly advancing, ensure your business embraces the change.

For more information on how your company can deliver out of the ordinary service to your millennial customers, contact At Your Service Consulting for a review of your customer service training options.