For the past decade, there has been article after article claiming that Millennials are ruining everything from breakfast foods to the napkin industry, and there’s no denying that Millennial culture has made an impact on the business world.
“Ruined” definitely isn’t the word that we’d use, however. Millennials have a tendency to research more, to put more value into experiences, and to be more loyal than other customers. They’re willing to spend more on quality, including brands offering quality customer service. One study even found that Millennials will pay around 21% more on average from a business with great service.
In this post, we’re going to look at the Millennial influence on customer experience, and how your brand can adapt if it hasn’t already.
Mobile is a Necessity
Millennials grew up during the rise of mobile devices, and it’s no surprise that they want their experience with businesses to take place in part on their phones.
Millennials are embracing mobile as a key part of the customer experience in the following ways:
- They’re downloading and engaging with brand apps, including shopping apps. One survey found that at least half of all Millennials have at least one branded app on their phone.
- They’re signing up to text with businesses. This can include texting with customer service agents and signing up for push notifications or delivery updates.
- They’re engaging more on mobile sites. They’re browsing, buying, and interacting with businesses on mobile more than ever.
Businesses need to have a strong mobile presence, including at the very least a mobile responsive site.
Faster Service is the Expectation
Millennials want everything fast. They want their orders to be shipped quickly, and they want to receive faster response times when trying to get in touch with your customer service teams.
Most Millennials actually expect a response across most platforms within 24 hours, though the faster the better is ideal. And when they do make phone calls instead of using live chat or texting, they don’t want to sit on hour-long call times. Taking advantage of phone services that offer advanced and call routing and intuitive auto attendants is the way to go.
Self-Serve Options Are Preferred
While it’s clear that Millennials prioritize brands with outstanding service, the reality is that they don’t want to need to rely on it if they don’t have to. If they have a question, they’d rather try to find the answer themselves.
This is partially why self-serve options are being increasingly popular, with up to 70% of Millennials actually expecting them.
This may include FAQ sections that go over branded policies, or support desks that can help users troubleshoot their own issues before reaching out to contact a business.
And the best news is that self-serve options are great for your business, too, because they’ll save you an enormous amount of time your team would have otherwise spent responding to those customer messages.
The Feedback Culture Isn’t Just for Internal Employees
Millennials will happily share their thoughts on a recent customer experience. They’ll submit feedback forms you send via email, they’ll leave public reviews on your social media sites, and they’ll be pretty vocal in general.
If you welcome more feedback and even suggestions from your customers, they’ll tell you exactly what they think. This can show you blind spots that you may have been missing, and may even give you excellent new ideas for products or services that can help you outperform the competition.
Make it a habit to send out feedback forms to users, and to check your online reviews. Acknowledge the feedback and concerns where appropriate, and thank them. If there’s a poor experience that needs to be resolved, you can identify those in the process.
They Expect Authenticity & Transparency
While you may not necessarily think of the word “transparency” being a core part of the customer experience (rather, you might think of it as part of the employee experience), the Millennial influence on customer experience has trickled down to all consumers expecting authentic and transparent communications from businesses.
Here are a few examples of what this might look like:
- A public or at least open recognition of when the company messed up and an apology with information about how it will be fixed
- Public statements about changes in the company, including safety updates about how something like COVID-19 is impacting everyone involved
- Proactive updates about something like a delayed shipment or increases in pricing before they find out the hard way, including an explanation
If customers don’t feel like they trust a brand, ultimately they’ll take their business elsewhere. We can partially thank social media for this, as Millennials are now used to an “authentic” look behind the scenes from major brands.
Businesses have needed to make shifts in how they operate and serve their customers, but this has really forced businesses to stay up-to-date on the latest technology while embracing more authentic relationships with their customers. The Millennial influence on customer experience a win-win for everyone involved, even if the growing pains were a little tough.
Some members of older generations have been complaining about Millennials expecting changes for years, but not all change is bad. Most of the impacts that Millennials have had on the customer experience are positive overall, allowing brands to build longer-lasting and more positive relationships with customers.