Millennials: arguably the smartest, most tech-savvy generation yet to grace humankind. At no other point in history has any group embraced technological advances like they have, including social media and online digital marketing. But where their strengths may lie in computer know-how, their weakness lies in the timeless art of simple face-to-face communication.
Customer service is a struggling field of expertise for the up-and-coming millennial generation. Their communication and buying habits are significantly different as well. Non-millennials still believe in picking up the phone or having a chat with someone they want to communicate with in person, whereas millennials are completely fine by handling everything online, with zero personal interaction if possible.
This presents a unique problem for the customer service industry, but it also allows for a creative solution. Here are several tips for improving millennial customer interactions and finding a perfect balance between ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ ways of doing business.
With millennials, we must realize that less is more. Less interpersonal communication equals more action. Millennials thrive by simplicity. If it can be done through an app, online, or without any kind of human interaction, the better. Think about integrating automated technologies like various messenger platforms or virtual assistants into your customer service platform to get a greater response rate from the millennial generation.
Along with embracing technology, some other tips for improving millennial customer interactions include adding Facebook Messenger, or other text-operated messenger applications to your customer service protocol. Specifically, millennials would rather not speak to anyone if they have the choice. It’s time-consuming, and often, they can find answers to their customer service related questions faster than being put on hold for 20 minutes, before being told what they could have researched in a fraction of that time. Text messaging is a much faster, straight-to-the-point way of relaying information.
Believe it or not, but millennials view informality as a way of deeper communication. They use social media platforms as a way to connect with more of their family and friends on a daily basis. Older, formal ways of communication like typed letters, timely phone calls, and scheduled meetings are, to them, a waste of time and don’t allow for any immediate interaction. In a time of “information NOW,” millennials are able to express their interests, dislikes, ideas, and opinions in a way that can be thought out in advance or quickly edited if necessary.
Especially in business, the older ways of marketing won’t work for them. Your interactions with millennials can’t come across as stuffy marketing messages. Instead, you should try to capture their interest in conversations. Millennials don’t want to be ‘told.’ Instead, they want to be ‘engaged.’ When you treat a millennial more as a friend or family member rather than just another customer or number, that’s when you’ll be more likely to gain their trust as a consumer.
Millennials are just one group of consumers and do not make up for the large population of xennials, baby-boomers, and older, less tech-savvy generations that still, in fact, have a lot of purchase power. By using these basic tips for improving millennial customer interactions, you’ll find that your business will flow right along with the consumer learning curve, and well into the next few decades.