This is a guest post written by Lidia Bondarenko, PR and outreach specialist at HelpCrunch
In the current conditions, when the world is embraced by the Coronavirus recession, your customers need particular care and support. Businesses should understand the peculiarities of all generations of customers to provide support at the highest level.
There are four commonly known demographic cohorts: baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z.
In this article, we’d like to consider proven strategies to approach millennials, as they are a significant part of a target audience for many businesses.
Find here only actionable tactics, hack, and trends that will help you become a customer service oriented company.
By reading this article, you’ll get to know:
- Who Are Millennials?
- The Millennial Mindset: Their Attitudes and Online Behaviour
- Strategies to Provide Excellent Millennial Generation Customer Care
- Communication Tips to Approach Millennials
Who Are Millennials?
You may know them as “snowflakes,” “avocado lovers,” or “those who killed everything”. They have many names… Millennials or members of Generation Y are people born between 1980 and 1994.
Brandon Sheffield jokingly called them “the generation of murderers” due to their tendency to kill the popular trends and break social patterns. His tweet brightly demonstrates the spirit of this generation.
According to Oracle, millennials are the digital-first generation that “brings more racial and ethnic diversity than their predecessors, and are still feeling the impact of the Great Recession.”
It is a vast social cohort that takes around a quarter of the American population today and has a huge purchasing power. As per the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Generation Y has been spending around $200 billion a year on goods and services.
The Millennial Mindset: Their Attitudes and Online Behaviour
Millennials are much more tech-savvy and social-media-driven than their parents (Generation X). They manage everything possible right from their mobile devices on the go.
Members of Gen Y delayed the marriage and having children to the age of 30 and fully dedicated themselves to climbing the career ladder. They are ready to wait and work to earn enough money to afford advanced education.
Highly-digital in all aspects of their lives, millennials also digitize their consumer behavior. They are well-familiar with all online shopping and payment opportunities. Most millennials say that social networks and messaging apps are great ways to interact with brands. However, they are equally happy making purchases online as well as offline.
Millennials don’t trust ads, but they do listen to what their friends, family, or other people say about a brand online. That’s why the “digital word-of-the-mouth” has become one of the most popular ways to learn trustworthy information about the company and its products.
Before making a purchase, millennials check the previous customer’s reviews. After trying out a product, they like to leave the “breadcrumbs on the way” for other e-shoppers by writing online feedback about brands on the eCommerce platforms and forums. Millennials are also eager to share their experiences with their micro-circles of influence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube.
Actually, YouTube is the most popular social platform among millennials in 2020. Considering it as a powerful tool for brand awareness, many forward-thinking companies invest in producing branded video content targeting millennials and apply digital tools to grow organic coverage on YouTube.
Generation Y wants to connect, interact, and feel valued. They appreciate it when brands take a more personal approach, try to set a “human” connection with them, and pay particular attention to online customer care.
Strategies to Provide Excellent Millennial Generation Customer Care
Since millennials constitute one of the largest target groups for almost every business, entrepreneurs and managers should pay special attention to optimizing digital marketing to the needs and expectations of this generation of consumers.
First of all, you need to know how to adjust customer service for millennials. Here we will consider only proven strategies and a wide range of tools that can help you implement it.
Use social media as the medium for additional customer support
Social networks make up a vast online landscape where millennials are spending a significant part of their time.
These platforms are not only about messaging, sharing photos or videos, and running advertising campaigns. They can perform many more helpful functions for brands, and one of them is being a medium for customer care and empathizing with a target audience. You might be surprised to hear that social media is one of the biggest customer service trends in 2020.
Today, many companies use social media to share helpful resources for customers, post recommendations, updates, and announcements.
It helps them decrease the number of tickets sent to support teams via email as well as to keep the audience always timely informed about all the key information.
It’s also recommended to actively interact with followers in the comments under the posts since many customer issues can be resolved right there.
Giant brands like Apple and McDonald’s have even created additional business profiles like @AppleSupport and @McdonaldsHelpUS, to provide excellent customer service. It allows people to easily connect to a company by tagging a support team in the post with a complaint or a question about a product and get assisted in the shortest time.
Stay in touch with them via a proactive live chat
What millennials appreciate the most is convenience and connectivity.
You can give it to them by incorporating a proactive live chat on your website. It allows businesses to connect with visitors and potential online customers right when they are browsing a website.
A live chat service helps customers feel that a company cares about them and gives them confidence that they can get assistance anytime they need it.
Anticipating and addressing problems makes customers feel valued. It is one of the most powerful tools to grow customer loyalty and increase conversions.
An excellent example is a live chat on the SignalHire website. It looks like a proactive greeting set-up on a web page inviting you to chat with their agent for little further information if needed.
Always offer visual information as a primary option
Leverage the power of visualization to enhance your customer service and increase overall customer satisfaction from interacting with a brand.
Instead of using stock images and infographics, it’s recommended to utilize GIFs as they are one of the most favorite content types for millennials.
Support teams can also explain to customers how they can tackle their issues in live videos.
With the advent of augmented reality, some brands have incorporated this state-of-the-art technology into customer service to visually educate people on how they can make the most of their products.
AR-based self-service allows consumers to use their mobile devices to access a brand’s knowledge base, with FAQs, tutorials, and training materials encouraging people to handle more issues on their own. For instance, Heinz has used AR technology to share with customers plenty of recipes using tomato ketchup.
Leverage cloud-based, omnichannel CRM solutions
One more peculiarity of Generation Y is that they are omnichannel. It means that they are available for communication across different devices and platforms, and expect the same from their beloved brands. Millennials want to be able to communicate with companies via a live chat, social networks, phone calls, or emails, and transit from one channel to another without explaining the company their inquiry again and again.
Modern businesses should try to address this need of their millennial customers by utilizing a VoIP system and an integrated customer service cloud. It uses prediction to anticipate what customers need at the moment, in which channel they prefer to talk, empowering customer service agents to engage buyers and handle their problems efficiently at every touchpoint.
Create a community where they can connect & assist each other
Many marketers name millennials the Do-It-Yourself Generation due to their love for self-service.
Growing up in the new era when the information streams are faster and more saturated, they used to tackle their problems on their own by searching for a solution on YouTube, Google, forums, and other online resources.
Before reaching out to the company, they tend to look for the answers to their questions on dozens of online spots. They turn to a customer service representative only in the case if they fail to find a solution on their own.
Companies can encourage customers to provide self-service by creating special communities where they can connect and solve their problems together. It will help your brand kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it allows building a more cohesive and friendly community around a brand. This tactic also helps you unload your support team and improve customer care at the same time, on the other hand.
Develop personalization strategies
Millennials expect that companies already know them after a few interactions with a website. They demand personalization at every step of communication with a brand in the online world.
Thanks to multiple digital tools, companies can collect customer data and safely store them. Empowered by data, companies can target narrower audiences, conduct more effective and relevant digital marketing campaigns, offer highly personalized offers and recommendations, suggest customers helpful content answering their most actual questions, and meeting their needs.
All these strategies combined help bring customer service to the next level.
[Bonus] Communication Tips to Approach Millennials
- Offer mobile-first solutions
When communicating with millennials, keep in mind that they manage most of their business from smartphones. So, it’s advisable to take it into account when guiding the customer on how to tackle a problem and offer mobile-first solutions.
- Provide quick answers
It’s a generation of people that are used to the fast-paced life and don’t like waiting. So, it’s crucial to provide fast customer support and try to answer inquiries on social media for less than one hour. Today, instant messaging is a preferred way to communicate with customers.
- Don’t reply more than twice
Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, recommends answering customer complaints and questions only twice. A support team representative should try to provide a solution in the first answer, reply to any follow-up questions if needed, and cut things off after that.
- Keep a friendly tone
According to the millennial mindset, it’s better to keep a rather friendly tone of the conversation than the official one. This generation of customers appreciates closer relationships with favorite brands and more “human” interactions.
Millennials are a huge social cohort reshaping the way companies sell their products and services today. Being more “digital” than baby boomers and Generation X, they motivate the business world to switch to the online world.
Brands shouldn’t ignore the needs and wants of such a large group of their customers, but try to address them and move together into a more data-driven and automated future. They can implement it by setting customer service first of all.
Hopefully, these insights about customer service and millennials will help your brand stay ahead with the latest customer support trends and grow your customers’ overall satisfaction.