Millennial customers (Gen Y) born after 1980, are customers who don’t know life without the internet and are constantly surrounded by the digital world. Their demands for better customer experience and technology enhanced services have been on the rise, pushing companies to improve the way they cater to them.
Smartphones, digital applications, Wi-Fi and all latest forms of technology are taken for granted by these millennial customers. Catering to them brings with it new challenges, those of technology as well as strategy to keep these customers satisfied.
You cannot expect a millennial customer to be waiting in your hotel or office lobby, without providing access to free Wi-Fi. Neither can you consider your official website complete, without it being mobile friendly. Millennial customers are way more demanding than their former baby boomer and Generation X predecessors.
Smartphones and Gadgets
You won’t find millennial customers standing in long lines outside offices to pay their bills, or waiting endlessly on hold to be answered by a call operator. You however will find them paying their bill through the tap of a finger on their smartphone, or quickly tweeting to a company about slow service or poor response rate at call centers.
The trend of smartphone apps is constantly growing in the UAE, making processes more efficient and saving the time and effort of customers. Design unique and innovative apps which would eliminate the hassle for the customers having to run back and forth between offices to get something done. A new app launched by the Dubai Police lets customers take pictures of bounced checks and sends them to the Police Department via their smart phones. The Police Department then takes the matter into their control and tries to solve the situation for the customer.
According to a report by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of UAE, highlighting polls released for the year 2013 by the website “Mashable”, showed that three out of four people own a smartphone in the United Arab Emirates.
This clearly shows the growth of smartphone and internet penetration in the UAE market and the need to improve the quality as well as the tools of customer service to reach out to customers.
Experience Based Service
Sloppy static websites don’t do the job anymore. Customers enjoy the experience of dynamic websites, with vibrant colors and high definition photographs. There should be a focus on creating a website which is easy to browse and visually appealing.
Millennial customers land at a hotel, already knowing what it offers, what customers have to say about it, what amenities are available and whether the hotel staff is polite or not. Amaze these millennial customers by offering personalized experience based services, which reflect the company’s values of keeping the customer at the center.
Strategize to make your customer service flexible so every customer has a unique experience and not the common service they are expecting, after reading up on reviews and feedback by other customers.
Response Rate and Convenience
The use of technology and internet has enabled people to utilize their time better and achieve more. Millennial customers value speed and expect matters to be resolved instantly. Tell a millennial to wait for three days to get something replaced and you will lose him for sure. Generation Y (Gen Y) has based their customer satisfaction on “instant solutions” and “quick response”.
Get your processes aligned and increase the speed of your service, to gain satisfied millennial customers.
Many Gen Y customers prefer the ease of self service. UAE has seen a steady growth in self-service kiosks in both public and private sector. For example, recently Dnata decided to revamp 33 self-service kiosks at Dubai International Airport which will give customers the option of self-service ticketing and check-in. This reflects an increase in demand and preference for self-service kiosks by customers.
Strong Social Media Presence
Millennial customers don’t always call businesses to ask about which product they should purchase or which package suits them best. They log onto the internet, read reviews, check forums, browse competitor websites and reach a conclusion. Keeping this in mind, ensure that your business has a strong online presence and a dynamic website, which is customer friendly, and fulfills the purpose of the visitor.
Engage your customers through social media strategies and keep them connected to your business. Multiple companies have moved their customer service to their social pages where they reach out to customer complaints and queries instantly. Create a digital presence, so customers can reach you easily.
A millennial customer will not be hunting for your phone number through a directory to find out when the box will be shipped. He or she however will pin you down on your Facebook or Twitter page, with comments on how the item wasn’t delivered and the impact it has made to their life.
Save yourself from over demanding customers, by investing in multiple trained teams catering to social media service who are reaching out to customers instantly. Millennial customers don’t understand that the office is shut post 6 pm, or that all phone lines are busy. They however, do understand and appreciate, being served in the middle of the night, when the play station stops working or their smartphone gets stuck. In order to meet the demands and needs of the millennial customer, find online tools and solutions which will serve them 24/7.