What Do Millennials Value In Customer Service?


Millennial: (noun) a person born in the 1980s or 1990s usually plural.

Chances are, you parent one, hire one, work with one, or otherwise know one. There are many theories of Millennials as employees, but not as much is said about these young adults as consumers.

Did you know that Millennials have $200 billion of direct purchasing power and $500 billion of indirect spending (mostly the influence on the spending of their mostly baby boomer parents)?

And did you know that those numbers will continue to surge? That’s a lot of potential income you could gain---or lose---depending on how your company plans to market to and serve customers in this generation. So, it’s important to know, what do Millennials value in customer service?

1. Millennials won’t look to the person---they’ll look to the app.

Micah Solomon has an excellent column on serving customers at this age. Here’s one of the most interesting points:

“Millennials have different ideas of where humans should fit into customer service delivery. If an app or algorithm can deliver what they need, so much the better. Which is one reason most Millennials consult their smartphones first even when they’re in your store and a human a human paid to assist them is standing at the ready.”

He goes on to say that Millennials want to choose to interact; they don’t expect to do so based on bad user experience or “sloppy” systems. Give Millennials a good system to answer their own questions first.

2. Millennials want transparency.

Whether it’s a work, personal, or business relationship, Millennials expect their boss/employee/significant other/buyer/seller to be open and honest. In business transactions, this means being upfront about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t hide it from Millennials, because (with their seemingly permanently attached smartphones), they’ll share their experiences with anyone who will listen. And they’ll get heard.

3. Millennials are incredibly reachable.

Take a look at some of these statistics taken from “The Millennial Generation Research Review,” an article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than are older generations.

  • They are more likely to use the internet, broadcast thoughts, and contribute content. Millennials stand out when it comes to producing and uploading online content.

  • In 25% of searches for the top 20 brands, results are links to user-generated content. This has huge implications for brands to become aware of others’ experiences of their product or service and ensure that it is in harmony with their brand strategy.

  • Marketing and advertising to Millennials should be placed around engaging content. Engagement is higher among Millennials than other generations for television and websites; on a percentage basis, it is greater online than on TV. It appears that Millennials are highly engaged with content they chose to view online and on TV, which amplifies the effectiveness of ads for Millennials.

The counter to that? Millennials know how to disengage, too, and they don’t hesitate to do so. That makes the way you engage with Millennial customers incredibly profitable (or detrimental) to you.

“They have the confidence to stand up for what they believe and the confidence, technology, and network to voice their opinions. With Millennials, brands know where they stand, sometimes even minute to minute. According to one survey, 86% of Millennials are willing to share information about their brand preferences online, making it a top personal identifier.” -U.S. Chamber Foundation

With tools like call tracking, you’ll have evidence to show you exactly how well you’re reaching this up-and-coming demographic. You can measure your marketing effectiveness with unique phone call tracking numbers and simple reports designed to help you improve the way you treat customers (including Millennials!).

4. Millennials won’t wait for you to respond.

If you snooze, you’ll lose them. In customer service, that means not only being accessible to help answer their questions and solve their problems, but being actively involved in helping them find a solution that pleases them, whether it’s over the phone, via email, or through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook or review websites like Yelp.

We love the way the way the U.S. Chamber Foundation says it, and we think it sums up customer service---Millennial style:

“It all comes down to trust for brands. The trust is deeper and more intense with this group, but the greater availability of information can also destroy it faster.”