Many businesses are faced with the problem of attracting and retaining millennial customers. According to Millennial Week 2014, out of the total world population, 1.8 billion are Millennials. The same report states that 7 out of 10 Millennials think it is their responsibility to share feedback with companies after having a good or bad experience. Therefore, businesses have to evolve and create an environment which is welcoming and appealing for Millennials as well as other strata of population.
It is important to determine the factors which impact decision making in different groups of customers and work towards fixing loopholes in service quality. Removing the generation gap is important for companies to serve and meet the needs of customers. Some of the ways through which businesses can mitigate the generational gaps are as follows:
Focus on Recruitment Strategies
Businesses need to develop a recruitment strategy that favors the hiring of a flexible workforce. Being accepting and receptive to change should be one of the hiring criteria, so that better service experience can be provided that is not only convenient, but is tailor-made to serve the younger generations, considering their unique needs.
Moreover, human resource department should also ensure generational diversity, i.e. every age group is fairly represented in the workforce, as opposed to having a workforce that belongs to a single age/generational group. Diversity also offers the added advantage of exposure from different age groups, cultural paradigms, work knowledge and experience.
Develop Training Programs
Businesses should organize training programs, particularly aimed to understand the target customer base. The training program could include games, exercises, and on-the-job training scenarios to aid the process of identifying the needs and wants of customers. Customer Service Representatives can also be trained to be more flexible and receptive to the cultural and environmental changes so that they can better facilitate younger customers.
Periodic training programs would help employees stay in touch with emerging trends. This will enable CSRs to operate with the same wavelength, as they learn more and more about various perspectives, ideas and cultural attitudes.
Identify Customer Pain Points
Customer Service Representatives must be able to identity pain points from customers’ perspective, rather than judging the situation from their own standpoint. Businesses serve a diverse range of customers who come from different cultural backgrounds. CSRs must be able to appreciate the subtle differences and needs of these customers and try their best to accommodate them in any way possible. CSRs should be trained to handle different kinds of customers and their needs. For example an angry customer is handled in a different way as compared to an inquisitive one. Moreover, the element of empathy is important in this regard, instead of being indifferent and handing out pre-meditated solutions that might work for some customers and might not work for others.
Ensure a Strong Social Media Presence
Customer Service Representatives must be encouraged to proactively interact with customer on various social media platforms, since a significant proportion of young customers are active on social media websites. Many young customers share feedback about companies on social media. Staying active on social media platforms will also provide insight into questions such as: How younger populations think? What are their demands and pain-points? What their expectations are from brands and products? Answers to these questions could help aid the process of product development and product enhancement in the company.
Use of Technology
Millennials are the biggest consumers of technological gadgets and services, and their dominance in the technological sphere keeps on increasing as more and more services become available online. It is important for customer service representatives to be tech savvy and proactively communicate with customers online. This will help CSRs increase sales and deliver high quality customer service. Many companies are developing dedicated apps and portals for customers to enhance the customer service experience, this is fast becoming a norm for all retail websites.