Azeem Ashraf (March 22, 2017)
Millennials today have stronger purchasing power than before and businesses are looking to devise strategies to attract and engage this tech-savvy generation. With the internet being at the core of their daily lives, Millennials have mastered the skill of communicating through email, texting, social media and apps. They expect companies to be available to them on all digital platforms. When it comes to customer service, what do Millennials expect from businesses? What are their needs and how can they be catered to? Here are a few essential tips on how to offer impactful and effective service to Millennials:
Instant gratification means that a desired need is fulfilled as soon as it appears. Millennials expect instant and immediate response and solutions to their problems. Technology has a major role to play in transforming their minds as such. They are connected 24/7 to the internet as are their social profiles which notify them every second there is an activity. Due to this constant exchange of information, Millennials have a natural tendency to expect this same gratification in all aspects of the businesses they connect with and invest in. Hence, businesses have to offer instant customer care or risk losing this biggest consumer group of the time. Since customer service channels such as a live chat and social media have minimum response time, these are the ones that Millennials prefer the most.
Since the boom of smartphones, customers, especially Millennials, prefer having text-based conversations for both their personal and professional needs. As texting is convenient and can easily be managed alongside other tasks, they prefer to contact one another and businesses through messaging apps and chat. In recent years, this mode of live communication has been utilized mainly by customer service, marketing and sales departments. Many businesses have adopted conversational commerce to strategize according to Millennials by offering chat on their websites and within their apps.
The cognitive bias ‘IKEA effect’ states that consumers value a product more if they had a part in its making or in its final outcome. This innate trait to create is what drives consumers to be an integral part of any business they trust and invest in. Whether it is pre-purchase input or post-sale service, Millennials often opt for a do-it-yourself approach. A report by The Center for Generational Kinetics states that 65% of all Americans say that they feel good about themselves and the company when they can solve a problem without talking to customer service. To cater to this need, businesses have to offer a vast knowledgebase consisting of FAQs, tutorials, walkthroughs, etc. Ensure that these are easy to navigate and accessible. It is crucial to categorize and prioritize queries so there is no need to involve support staff for preliminary issues. Keep in mind that for Gen Y, when they get in contact with a rep, they may have already exhausted all possible resolutions available to them, so be prepared to offer specialized support.
Millennials spend a great deal of their time on social platforms, which is why if they have a complaint or an issue, they will have it registered on the company’s social account. If this query is not resolved quickly, it will stay there for other consumers to see and know where your business lacks. Taking advantage of this public accountability, Millennials will get in touch with brands on their social profiles, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Businesses need to dedicate resources which can monitor all social channels for mentions so any query posted there is resolved or at least responded to quickly. This step is essential for ensuring customer service excellence on social platforms.
Multichannel customer support has become necessary to serve the tech-savvy generation. Millennials love interacting with businesses on various channels and expect that the business would follow through instantly even if they decide to move the conversation to a different channel. A ticketing system for queries and issues helps in streamlining the process no matter which medium is chosen. A great number of current CRMs have built-in capabilities to provide an omni-channel experience. Although it is not imperative that a business be present on every channel or social platform, however, its absence might become one of the factors for Millennials to shift to a competitor. Similarly, ensuring that official websites and apps are responsive on various devices has also become a primary customer expectation.
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