Millennials. This generation invokes a natural reaction of fear in many business owners. But, whether you as a business owner like it or not, the millennial customers will dominate the rest of 2017, especially in the technology Internet o f Things industry. According to millennialmarketing.com, 70% of millennials feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies and other potential customers after a good or bad experience. 68% of millennials have higher expectations for customer service today than they had one year ago, and the same percentage have stopped doing business with a brand due to one poor customer service experience. These numbers across all age groups are just 47% and 60% respectively. But why do millennials care so much about customer service? Why do so many of them consider it a deal breaker? Let’s further explore this.
To figure out why they care about customer service so much, we must know exactly who Millennials are. For a while, the generation that came after Generation X was never truly defined. In October, 2004, researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss officially defined the millennial generation as people born in and after 1982 but before 2004. Today, people born within this time period make up around 25% of the total population of the United states and is the largest generation both domestically and worldwide.
In 2017, 21% of consumer discretionary purchases will be made by millennials. This 21% accounts for over one TRILLION dollars in direct buying power. Not to mention that millennials have a major influence over older generations as well.
We’ve touched on who millennials are and why catering to their needs matters but the question still remains; why do they care so much about customer service? I believe that this can be attributed to one specific attribute that millennials are known for; a sense that they are having an impact.
Millennials want to feel like they are making a difference in the world. When making consumer purchases, they achieve this feeling by working with and purchasing from companies who have the same sort of ideals. Millennials love to make purchases, and are sometimes willing to pay extra, if they know that the company from stands for something greater. For example, companies like Google and Amazon have been very popular with this demographic. This is not only because their products are great, but because they have a mission that inspires; change the world.
Millennials love to know that they are supporting companies who are striving to change the world for the betterment of people. They like to know that the companies they support care, both about customers and society as a whole. If there is one thing that can tarnish that reputation it is how a company treats its customers. More specifically, their department of customer service solutions.
As stated earlier earlier, one bad customer service interaction has the potential to turn a millennial from client, into former customer. That one bad experience give customers the impression that the company they are dealing with doesn’t actually care about them. And if the company doesn’t care about a customer, how can the company actually care about anything more than making a profit? This is the sequence of thoughts many millennials will subconsciously experience after a bad customer service experience.
So how does a company tailor their customer service to Millennials?
Well, the answer is quite simple. Customer support should be one of the MOST important aspects of your company, no matter what industry you are in. It takes approximately 12 positive interactions to recover from 1 bad one, according to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner. So why chance that one bad experience with a poorly trained customer service rep? Hire quality customer service reps, provide sufficient training, and let them know that their work has a direct correlation with the reputation of the company.
What if you don’t have the resources to commit to in-house customer service? What do you do then?
Everyone’s heard the horror stories about working with call centers overseas and the word ‘outsourcing’ gets a negative reaction in general. Despite these circumstances, customer service outsourcing is, more often than not, necessary for companies.
If you find that customer service outsourcing is necessary, treat it with the same concern as you would in-house. Make it an important aspect of your company. Don’t just look overseas for the cheapest often. This probably will result in more harm than good, just ask Dell. Do your research, look around, and select one that best fits your company’s needs and believes every single customer is important.
So how we change customer support so it satisfies millennials.
Easy. You don’t have to. But one thing needs to be remembered that is often forgotten by a company, genuinely caring about every single customer.