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The Perennial Millennial Customer Service Dilemma

millenial customer serviceMillennials are known as the always-connected generation. Born between 1980 and 2000, they’ve grown up surrounded by technology, their day-to-day lives constantly shifting across a multitude of digital devices.This tech-savvy generation has become accustomed to having all the information they need, at their fingertips. They have high expectations of customer service, they want to choose how and when to interact with companies, and they won’t think twice about venting their frustration via social media. 

There’s no doubt about it: Gen Y – as they’re otherwise known – are a tough crowd to please. And according to a recent study, contact centres are falling short of expectations. In fact, one-third of millennials polled admitted that they’d rather clean a toilet than speak to a call centre representative.

With millennials associating contact centres with poor and outdated customer service, what can be done to do flush these preconceptions down the loo once and for all?

Understanding what millennials value most when they interact with companies is key to delivering alignment in customer service. With this in mind, here are five tips to help you meet the needs and expectations of your millennial customers.

Offer self-service options

A large majority of millenials want to be able to resolve issues by themselves, rather than spend time trying to contact a business. Adding self-service functions alongside phone / email support can boost customer satisfaction, and at the same time help cut back on costs. ContactBabel’s The Inner Circle Guide to Self Service report revealed that the average cost of a telephone IVR self-service session is 65p, compared to £3.87 for a live agent call and £3.00 for a web chat session.

Ensure your website is mobile optimised

Millennials are self-confessed smartphone addicts, with 61% of 16-24 year olds ‘hooked’ on their devices according to a recent Ofcom survey. Millennials expect customer service to be available via their mobiles and tablets, making it vital for businesses to optimise their websites for different screen sizes. To enhance the mobile experience further, websites should be integrated with features such as click-to-call, live chat and self-help.

Resolve issues as soon as possible

Speed is of the essence when interacting with millennials: Lithium Technologies found that 55% of 18-24s expect a company to respond to their query within an hour. To compare, this figure drops to 41% among 35-54s.

Millennials don’t want to be transferred multiple times, they don’t want to repeat themselves, and they don’t want to wait in line. They want fast, efficient service; which in part explains why they favour social media to contact companies – because they know they stand a good chance at receiving a quick reply.

The most efficient contact centres offer a range of contact options, including two-way SMS, self-help tools and live chat, which provides millennials with real-time assistance.

Care about your customers

Gen Y may be digital devotees, but this has actually led to them craving genuine human interaction even more, explains The Millennial Surprise white paper from Mattersight. Over half the 18-35s polled said that they want to have chemistry with the person they are speaking with when they interact with a contact centre.

First and foremost, agents need strong interpersonal skills. They must be able to communicate that they not only understand the customer’s problem, but that they empathise with their situation. Millennials need to feel that the agent genuinely cares, and will work hard to resolve their issue as soon as they can.

Create a personalised experience

Personalisation plays a big part in providing millennials with a quality, authentic customer experience. Pairing millennials with certain agents, so they speak with the same person each time they contact you, can help to build trust in the business and improve the customer’s experience.

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