As we close out on 2017 and head into 2018, the millennial generation, or Generation Y, as they are called, have become the largest section of society, as reported by Pew Research Center. It is therefore, now, more critical than before to ensure business’ customer service practices and customer experience structure is designed to serve this generation the way these younger but influential consumers have come to expect.
The time available for businesses to morph their customer experience and customer support strategy to align with the expectations of this Generation Y is limited, though, at the same time, it remains a key to every business’ success story. Why? Because, Gen. Y will soon have a purchase power that rivals other generations. And it’s not only the B2C market. Gen. Y are also fast becoming decision makers at corporations and are increasing their influence on what avenues companies spend their B2B dollars.
Here are some key points to focus on –
Intuitive customer facing technology
The fundamental aspect is to remember that Gen. Y has grown up with digital devices and are far more at ease with smartphone or tablet based solutions – from browsing, information, shopping or entertainment. Given this all-round immersion into technology, and the ever-growing simplification of UI by companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, there is a new standard of intuitive tech. across the industry which millennials have come to expect as the new normal. Incommodious or slow systems and processes is something that will only serve to discourage and drive this set of potential consumers away.
Purchasing Decisions have now become a Social Experience
It should no longer come as a surprise that most purchasing decisions and sharing of customer experience has become a social exercise among Gen. Y. The success of online social sharing mediums like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Snapchat, Instagram, Blogs, Tumblr and other social sites is proof enough of this trend. Businesses that want to tap into this wide and ever-increasing consumer group would be well advised to understand the potential and the impact this social behavior can have on purchasing decisions as the online and offline world rapidly overlap.
The Case for Self Service
As hard as it may seem for a traditional business to come to grips with this point, the need of the hour, as expected by Gen. Y, is fast-paced self-service options or collaborative, easily accessible crowd-serviced solutions. There can be times where the traditional structure of a customer support/service team may in-fact prove to be an obstacle or a speedbump to a generation that is now largely looking for immediate solutions. It is important to understand that, as opposed to an earlier generation, millennials have grown used to the idea of using technology to improve efficiency and reduce the need of human interaction to ensure accuracy and data management.
The Importance of Collaboration
Gen. Y enjoy and look forward to, the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands they identify. This has a big impact when they understand that their views matter to the company in question. A generation that collaborates with a company and feels involved in the evolution of a particular brand or service is more than likely to continue as loyal consumers of the company in question for the long term.
The Importance of Company Values
A millennial’s beliefs and causes are a leading influencer in the choice of companies or brands they identify with and purchase from. For example – They are more likely to be concerned with the source of the food they consume – organic or not – than their non-millennial counterparts. Therefore, beyond just planning a customer experience strategy, a business should also plan the right method to brand/market their company to attract their target audience – Gen Y.
To summarize, millennials are looking for a similar customer experience as the generation before them – but with slight additions. Millennials expect businesses to be more efficient, more understanding of their time (or lack of it), easier to work with, more reliable and transparent and more control in the hands of the consumer.
Luckily, businesses can take advantage of the rapidly developing technological tools to help them stay a step ahead of their competition. Evolutions in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Chatbots and Natural Language Processing, Cloud and Mobility are great levers to use to help companies achieve the level of customer experience they are striving for.