June 30, 2015
If you read about customer service or marketing, you already know that the millennial generation is here, and they have power.
In Micah Solomon’s recent column, 5 Secrets of Selling and Serving 80 Million Millennial Customers, he stated, “The millennial generation of customers is about to take your business by storm – if it hasn’t already.” Millennials represent 80 million customers – that’s more than the baby boom. In his article, Micah offers tips for selling and serving this group, and I’ve added some thoughts about how this may impact your contact center.
Expectations of Millennials and How To Prepare Your Contact Center
The Largest Generation in History is Connected
Micah’s article starts with a positive spin, stating that 80 million people could represent a lot of brand ambassadors for your company. It also represents a group that is continually online and could hurt your brand if you don’t think about their needs. The important take-away from a contact center perspective is brand management. Be aware of what’s being said about your brand on social media and other platforms, and be prepared to change if necessary and attempt to manage the conversation.
Millennials Strive to Buy in Line With Their Values
Micah says that more than 50% of millennials try to buy products from companies that support causes they care about. Whether the issue is being green, employee-owned, or something else, you need to be aware of any clashes in values that may exist. While much of this will impact more than just the contact center, it’s an important point.
An Omnichannel Experience Isn’t Optional
Millennials expect great service. If your organization puts walls between online and brick and mortar, you’ll have problems. If you’re ignoring social media and don’t have a mobile strategy, it’s past time to get that on your roadmap. As the article states, “Millennials have come of age lacking the sense of limitations in commerce that their elders have long accepted.”
Inefficiency and Stupidity Are Your Enemy
The article quotes Corey Gale at Oracle who says, “Millennials are massive critics of any inefficient, stupid, disjointed experience.” In the contact center, this can take many forms. If a call is transferred, does the data the customer provided carry over with the call? If a customer media hops, does the context come with them? Most modern contact center systems can handle these things. Asking for information that was previously provided is a road to losing your millennial customer.
Another concept that often comes up regarding contact centers is that you shouldn’t ship your org chart. This means that it shouldn’t be apparent to a customer where the divisions are in your organization. If someone calls for service, but also has a sales question, you should provide tools for your employees to answer the question. This isn’t always possible, but needless transferring of contacts will likely lead to fewer millennial customers.
Treat Millennials as an Equal – by Your Business, Your Marketing, and Your Employees
This point is summed up very well with the statement, “Everyone is in this together, the server and the served.” If feedback is offered, take it seriously. If a unique idea is floated to solving a problem, make sure to listen. Consider your customers your equal.
A New Age of Customer Service
For many, this topic isn’t new. Millennials are an often talked about group. Proactive contact centers have adopted technology to foster a strong customer relationship with them. Companies, like Cisco, have filled their portfolios with products that offer contact centers the required tools. If you need help preparing for millennials and evaluating technologies, contact Mindsight. We’ll help you bring the customer service you provide your millennials from ordinary to extraordinary.
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Micah Solomon is a contributor to Forbes.com. He is an author, keynote speaker, and customer experience consultant. His most recently published title is “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service.”