Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) grew up just as the internet and more recently smart phones came to dominate our lives.
This generation is the first to have almost any information they require at the fingertips, wherever they are. This means that their expectations from customer service teams are different to previous generations. Millennials want to fix their queries themselves, and if they absolutely have to contact customer services, they’ll do so on their terms, on their chosen media, at a time that suits them, and they expect brands and retailers to offer a personalised, efficient service. Sounds easy, right?
In a 2014 global study of 3000 customers, 70% of millennials expected to be able to resolve their own query, on their own time, without any human input. In fact, according to 2016 report, 42% of under 35’s would rather clean a toilet than call a contact centre. With that in mind, it’s even more important to ensure when millennials do reach out to a call centre, they get their problem solved, first time round.
Millennials have grown up in a world where the information they need has been just a click away. As a result, their expectations of customer service is no different. 71% of online shoppers agree that the most important thing a brand can do to help them is to value their time.
Even more importantly, 52% of millennial shoppers will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find the info the need quickly. When it comes to social media, most users expect a response from a brand in just 10 minutes. The same applies to those who text a brand for support.
Millennials want to converse with customer service teams in their language, on their chosen media, and they expect brands to not only cater for those media, but talk in their own language. This may mean that emojis are an acceptable form of reply, or it may mean that sarcasm is the best response.
Scripts and robotic, mundane replies are no longer acceptable. Millennials want to feel ‘part’ of the brand, and as such they demand authentic answers to their problems.
In today’s connected world, shoppers expect customer service teams to know enough about them to deliver a personal service. Millennials expect agents to have access to previous purchases, address details, and delivery addresses, to speed up the customer service process and ensure that a personalised service is delivered.
Problem Solved – First time:
One of the reasons why customers would rather clean a toilet than get customer service support is to avoid having to repeat their issue several times, to get the support they actually need. This is intensified when customers have to repeat the process across multiple channels in order to get the help they need.
Help where they want it:
They won’t use the phrase omnichannel, but millennials want to be served on the channel they choose, whether that’s on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, email, or any other channel. It will be interesting to see what Facebook’s messenger update means for customer service for millennials. Customers don’t expect to have to repeat journeys across channels. If they contact a brand via email, they expect to have their query resolved via email, the same goes for social media or voice calls. This means that contact centres must invest in omnichannel contact platforms in order to really achieve the single view of the customer, and serve that customer on their terms.
Smart phones are now the one thing most millennials would least like to leave home without. 60% of customers agree to being ‘addicted’ to their smart phone. As a result, customers expect the same, if not better level of service on their mobile than on desktop or other devices. If web chat and self help tools are available, they should be fully responsive and operational on mobile devices. All contact details should be available and easy to find via mobile too.
More than anything else, millennials value their own time. They don’t want to repeat themselves to get the info they need, they don’t want to wait in long queues, they don’t want to listen to extensive IVR menu’s, they want a speedy, accurate service that resolves their query, first time round. Here at Spark Response, we’re particularity proud of the fact our inbound contact centre has an average employee tenure of over 9 years, yet we continue to invest in innovative ways to increase engagement levels across the business.
Stuart Anderson is Marketing Manager at Spark Response