Millennials and Gen Z. With the Baby Boomers taking a back seat, it’s time to herald in the new young, tech-savvy Millennials and their younger siblings, Generation Z.
Millennials and Generation Z are socially connected and are much more likely than other generations to rate their products or services on-line. So, it is safe to assume that the world at large, including your potential new customers, will hear the good, the bad and the ugly with regards to your brand from this review happy cohort.
Sadly, the majority of businesses are ignoring these powerhouse consumers, or at least not doing anything different to address their customer service strategy and make sure they are having the best experience with your brand. According to Gallup, only 25% of millennial consumers are fully engaged with the brands and services they purchase, and in fact, they have the lowest overall customer engagement score of any generation.
So, let’s take a look at exactly what this young breed of consumers is looking for from their customer service center.
What do Millennials and Generation Z’s expect from a customer service contact center? Millennials and Gen Z require customer service which is authentic and provides swift resolution to their product and service inquiries with integrity and using the last technology. Although they want responses via smart devices and prefer self-service, they also demand live agent contact.
So, now we’ve seen the short answer as to what this large purchasing demographic demand from their brands, let’s take a closer look at how the requirements of Millennials in more detail.
With ranks of over 76 million, this young group has taken over Baby Boomers, and are now the largest group of consumers in the U.S. One of the most important things to remember is the power of their influence.
Designing your customer service strategy with this influential group of customers is important to the survival of any company – large or small.
Millennials expect fast and accessible customer service.
In order to meet the Millennial expectation, companies are required to give a dynamic mix of 24 hour, around the clock availability in a variety of ways, including Facebook Messenger, digital chat agents, mobile chat and also empowering their rea live agents the skills authority and the technologies required to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with immediate real-time responses, smartphones, and constant access to information. As a result, they have come to expect this from the customer experience that brands provide. Here are a few findings which businesses would be wise to take on board.
- 71% report that the most important thing a business can do is value their time
- 25% report expecting a response within ten minutes to a social media customer query 30% expect a response within less than 10 minutes when they reach out to customer service as a text message.
Multi-Channel customer service.
If the young Millennial customer hasn’t been able to find out answers from a self-service capacity, they’ll only then turn to a front-line customer service agent.
At this point they’re looking to initially start their customer journey online and follow this up with:
- Social media
- Live Chat
- Phone Call
When they do, they will demand a seamless and integrated experience that is available to them on all channels and will become frustrated if they have to restate their issues multiple times.
One of the ways of solving this issue for this young, demanding cohort, is to use customer service cloud-based technology through modular-based seamless integration products like CommBox.
CommBox predicts the channel customers prefer to use, and combines customer service, customer operations, and also live customer service professionals – to engage the customer and also efficiently resolve queries effectively at every single touchpoint.
A real conversation
Today’s young generation needs to engage with brands with trust and transparency. They need to see your business has integrity and genuinely cares. This young group are the most well-educated cohort so far and understand completely if they’re being sold insincere customer service.
As a result of their understanding, they expect brands to not simply exist on social media and other mobile platforms, they need to feel that brands are acting in a responsive and meaningful way and have a real feel of authenticity.
This group of young consumers expects to see companies actively participating in real-life conversations. They need to see the brands they’re engaged with – and know that they will follow and respond quickly to their product needs and inquiries.
Millennials are self-reliant and technology dependent. This autonomous group prefers to solve customer service issues themselves, using available technology rather than the frustrating wait of communicating directly with an agent.
Businesses should be looking to implement strategies such a virtual agent to enable Millennials to serve themselves easily and quickly.
Millennials expect convenience.
Although it’s often said that Millennials are impatient at best, and maybe even lazy, however, this is not at all true. What it does mean is that they demand the right information, via the channel that suits them best, at the right time. The term ‘convenience consumers’ most definitely relates to this consumer demographic.
Those companies that integrate such technologies that can produce natural language in their chatbots, and virtual agents can significantly improve the convenience of all users, including the Millennials. This is where CommBox provides a wealth of tools to enhance any customer interaction.
This way, your customers can more easily react with your business using conversational and familiar language.
Many of today’s best technologies, such as CX, can allow voice-activated agents to very easily and conveniently share interactive help and assistance on a product with callers on their smartphones, making sure that Millennials are using the kind of formats using their touch screens that this tech-savvy cohort prefers.
Providing them with a multitude of service channel options available to them …24/7 – in order to meet their round, the clock needs.
Millennials demand personalization.
Millennials are looking for your company to have a really good handle on their service history at any point they decide to reach out. Securing your Millennial’s customers profile in your intelligent CRM before they discuss their query will make sure you give them the trust in your brand, they need to continue to buy from you.
Different from other generations, Millennials are more likely to share sensitive data with you in order to receive a much more personalized experience and also to keep them engaged in your product or service.
So now we’ve seen some of the ways you can expect Millennials to respond to your customer service, alongside their new requirements in order to keep fully on board with your brand, let’s take a look now at how the youngest of our generations, Generation Z are set to change the entire face of customer service in the near future.
Service expectations of Generation Z
During the last decade, many companies have been working hard to keep up to date with a number of changes in order to entice Millennial customers. This customer demographic has most probably had the most media and business attention than any other.
Many conferences, newspaper columns, and other kinds of commentaries have tried to unravel the complex and new needs of these young consumers.
Companies have been studying how they can become better informed and connected with this group and how better to serve them.
However, the next generation is already waiting in the wings and is poised to have an even greater impact on our customer service centers and how they require information on products and services than any other demographic before them.
What does Gen Z want?
Although it may seem as if young people struggle to make everyday decisions, such as deciding on a phone they want to purchase, let alone which college they are looking to major at, but these super savvy youngest consumers know exactly what they want from their customer service.
Generation Z is the cohort born after 1955 and grew up literally attached to a smart screen of some kind such as smartphones, tablets and all the opportunities offered to them by a digitally connected world. This technical upbringing has paved the way for who they want to engage with brands and also it is now dictating the way in which businesses connect with them, in order to guarantee their loyalty.
A recent study by the IBM Institute of Business Value and the National Retail Federation (NRF) of consumers aged 13 to 21 found that the wants and needs of this demographic are specific and uniquely pertinent to them entirely.
By the year 2020, Gen Z will account for a whopping 40 percent of Americans and currently are 25 percent of the entire US population.
In order to effectively serve this young group of consumers, brands must first understand where they spend their time, their expectations and what drives them in terms of their customer service requirements.
If you are looking to see where Generation Z hangs out, you will almost certainly find them for the largest proportion of time, online. A huge portion of this group chooses to spend their downtime online. They will purchase anything from clothing to electronics furniture and even household goods.
Many of them are tasked with the research required to purchase for other less digitally savvy members of their family and account for an enormous portion of goods and services purchased.
Businesses should not underestimate their buying power or be under the impression that because they are young, they should not have their needs met. Their perception of how thy see service is unlike that of any other generation and they expect their experience to be utterly seamless and without friction or frustrations.
This expectation extends right through from the buying cycle, all the way through to their overall customer experience.
Now that we’ve seen how both of these young groups of current influential consumers roll when it comes to their customer service expectations, let’s take a look below on how we can make sure you are offering them the kind of customer service they require.
What do you need to keep up with millennials and Gen Z?
Millennials live in a fast-paced, digital world that moves at the speed of innovation. Tired or antiquated old types of technologies will drive this vitally important market segment away in huge swathes. Take a look below at the types of omnichannel technologies that Millennials require in order to engage with your brand and business.
- Digital service channels such as live chat and mobile apps which should be an ongoing part of your customer service investment strategy
- Speech technology that combines voice and digital channels for faster and much easier digital journeys
- Mobile Texting or Facebook Messenger to meet this young group of consumers ongoing need for social media interaction
- Chat technology that makes customer service conversations more intuitive and makes escalation to a phone agent seamless with the transfer of information.
- The need to reach a live, phone agent when needed
- The ability for voice agents to share an integrated online platform that provides not only audio but also visual interaction between customers and agents within their call
- Virtual agents that let customers ask questions in natural language for more self-service resolutions and also used as tools by customer service agents
These tech-savvy and more demanding generations expect their brands to interact with them on a 24/7 basis, at any time of the day or night and on any platform, they choose
They are looking mainly for two ways of interacting with customer service departments. These being self-service and instant responses to their product or service queries. If your FAQ’s aren’t cutting it with this fast-moving age group or when chatbots aren’t giving them the quick and efficient answers they require, you should be ready and waiting to fix those issues pretty much immediately. CommBox can provide some easy answers to any issues you might be having with your contact center channels. Why not contact us now and see if we can help?
These young consumers are admittedly more demanding than past generations and expect to be able to interact with brands at any time and on any platform. Millennials and Gen Z consumers want two things: responsiveness and self-service. But when frequently asked questions pages and troubleshooting chatbots fall short, you need to be ready to fix issues quickly and completely.
A failure to meet these demands will cause a deluge of poor feedback and this young group of consumers will simply stop doing business with you. Not only that, but they’ll also make sure they tell their peers about their experience via social media or by leaving negative reviews.