There’s a lot of buzz surrounding millennials in recent years, and why wouldn’t there be? Millennials are the largest component of the modern day world population. According to a Forbes article by Micah Solomon, the United States alone has 80 million millennials and it’s no surprise that this population group will spend over $200 billion annually by 2017 and $10 trillion over their lifetime as consumers. They are, without a doubt, the largest demographic group with the availability of spending options over ample product assortment.
Born between 1980-2000, millennials are considered the first customer group to truly adapt to digital technologies. However, what makes them unique is their view towards customer service. They revere commercial consumerism and expect the same level of engagement from their beloved brands.
This set of customers is completely different from the customers of the previous generation (known as Generation X ), as they demand a complete customer experience. Millennials have changed the way businesses interact, engage, and address customer demands. Considering the behavioral and technological shifts of the last decade, the way millennials deal with material consumption has radically changed. Here are 7 expectations that millennial customers have developed.
1. Omni-channel Communication
Millennials are the leading consumers of smart gadgets ranging from smartphones and tablets to high-end laptops. That means businesses have to take an omni-channel approach to connecting and meeting their needs. Simply put, omni-channel communication is a multichannel sales approach that provides customers with a seamless consumer experience and consistent messaging across all platforms.
Take Starbucks reward app for example. Unlike conventional customer loyalty programs, you can check and reload your card through multiple channels such as websites, in-store, phones, or on the app. Then, these changes made to the card or your profile get updated across all the channels in real-time.
With this being said, active and consistent interaction on mobile and online platforms, including websites and apps seems mandatory today. It enables the millennial consumers to stay updated with trend changes and makes their customer journey as easy as possible.
2. Seamless Online Shopping Experience
Millennials are online-savvy. They visit online and mobile channels to gather insight and information on products and/or services they have their eyes on. In addition to checking online reviews and ratings to confirm the product or service, millennials expect seamless experience in their buying journey, regardless of the channel they’re using.
American retail company REI is one of the companies that prioritizes seamless online shopping experiences. They have aligned coherent product information across multiple channels to make their customer purchase cycle easier. Through many online and mobile touchpoints, REI makes sure their shopping channels work in tandem with one another to leave their customers satisfied.
3. Personalized Customer Service
Having a strong social media presence across various platforms is one of the best ways to connect with millennials. However, it isn’t enough if they are not given personalized service. Millennials want special treatment – they want exclusive product and service interactions. Customers expect personal attention, and they are more likely to buy from brands that know what they like and what they want.
So if you have to cater to millennial expectations by personalizing customer service, exactly how do you do that? A simple way would be to channel the marketing strategies to mobile campaigns. With 85% of millennials using mobile on a daily basis, it wouldn’t take much time to throw in occasional ads in between games or YouTube videos. However, keep in mind these videos can be very annoying and marketers need to come up with a fresh attitude to capture millennial attention. Personalized advertising will be a better solution to connect with this generation.
An example of a successful personalized video campaign targeted towards millennials was performed by Idomoo, a video marketing service provider. Idomoo worked with a popular airline to create two personalized video campaigns using a CRM platform.These campaigns carried out by Idomoo were statistically significant in their success. 60% of recipients opened the video. of those viewers, 90% decided to fly with the airline, and 75% of viewers watched the video stream until the end.
4. Immediate Service
The growth of the millennial era and the development of contemporary technology go hand in hand. Millennials have been directly influenced by innovation and development providing them with the accessibility of multiple gadgets. This enables millennials to real-time response access.
Due to the introduction of such gadgets, which have made work more efficient, statistics suggest that consumers also demand comprehensive services in increasingly shorter spans of time. A report on entrepreneur.com shows that 71% of online shoppers claim that the most important thing a brand can do is value the customer’s time. Additionally, studies also show that 25% of millennials expect a response within ten minutes of reaching out for customer service via social media, and 30% expect the same speed of response when posting a query via text message.
5. Engagement in Online Platform
Online forums and blogs let users share or collect information on the market trend through videos, pictures or text messages. Additionally, it allows engagement with other users who share similar interests. Social platforms allow an exchange of ideas and views on a variety of subject matters depending on the rendezvous platform. Millennials have recently been showing their interest in such platforms and regularly providing their input.
Citing such online engagement, marketers have taken up the challenge of giving more to millennials seeking larger online adventures. Marketers have also conducted marketing efforts via live video streams, graphical annotations and polls, to lure audiences for interactive engagement and have in return made these forums more appealing. An example of such active online discussions is live video streams, where one can find other users constantly feeding their thoughts.
6. Authenticity in communication
Jay Coldren from Edition Hotels states, in order for a business to level with the millennial’ mindset, it’s important to follow their rules and to converse in the language they use. Millennials speak in tweets, texts, and Facebook posts. As such, there is an utmost need for authenticity. This group does not buy monotonous cold calling scripts. To reach them, businesses should be able to provide spontaneous responses during situations that vary from one millennial customer to another.
7. Acknowledge the Difference
Millennials are gadget-friendly beings who adapt to evolving trends with ease. Nonetheless, marketers shouldn’t leave out the minority, who prefer the traditional lifestyle over the hip routine. Like all consumer groups, it is advisable to segment millennials under various sub-categories, so as to understand their individual needs and expectations (though most consisting of gadget and tech wizards).
Hip-ennial: Cautious, charitable and heavy social media user
Millennial Mom – wealthy, family-oriented and tech-savvy
Anti-Millennial – local-minded and conservative
Gadget Guru – successful, free-spirited and wired
Clean and Green Millennial – locally minded and traditional
Old School Millennial – cautious, charitable and not as wired
Strategizing marketing per the demand of different groups, with regard to the percentage of millennials in each group, would help allocate precise resources. Doing so would allow marketers and producers to address the demands of millennials across the globe.
The aforementioned points are some of the millennial customers’ expectations that businesses should take into consideration. Businesses should be aware of what their customers expect from them, create a proper strategy that addresses this expectation and delivers those expectations on the channels customers prefer.