The differences between the turns of the 20th and 21st century are striking. Whereas the early 1900s saw the start of the industrial revolution where automobiles were still a novelty, we are now using smartphones to handle our banking and online businesses. The modern day economy is light years ahead of our predecessors.
Terms like connectivity, flexibility and supplemental work have crowded out manufacturing jobs and manual labor. Services, such as call centers, are steadfast in our first-world economy, while producing and manufacturing are outsourced to third-world economies.
The leaders of this 21st century economy are millennials, the fastest growing demographic that we’ve seen in modern history. These millennials are the main contributors of the current changes to customer service offerings.
Millennials as the Driving Force
The millennial age cohort is the largest generation in the workforce. Surpassing the baby boomer generation, which had previously held the title of largest demographic, millennials represented one-third of the US population in 2015 according to the Pew Research Center. The most millennials in that year were only 23 years old, which indicates that this age group will be the majority for many decades to come. According to Forbes, it is estimated that as soon as 2017 they will also bring the greatest spending power of any generation to date. In order to support the growing expectations, those in the economic sector must develop initiatives for connecting with the millennial cohort.
For starters, this age group is tech savvy, thanks to being exposed to computer technology steadily starting at an early age and having a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. Along with increased tech capabilities comes the ability to be increasingly mobile. We can do just about everything with our smartphones and Wi-Fi connectivity, from sending in work reports to making online purchases. As a result, millennials expect to see more flexibility in their lives.
If they can take conference calls, handle customer service, check emails and correspond with customers while sitting at a restaurant or their home office, then they want the ability to do just that. Tack on the concern for green living and environmental consciousness, and you have a generation that wants to reduce the negative affects of transportation both for the planet and their own health. Therefore millennials are more apt to work remotely and during non-traditional business hours. The same goes for customer service. They want the convenience of tweeting about a customer service issue and having it addressed within the hour or emailing a company with a question and receiving a follow up the same day.
Technologies abound for millennials whom are increasingly focused on using tech to improve their daily lives whether at work or at home. Everything from apps to communication and productivity tools are granting millennials the opportunity to work smarter. For instance, apps allow us to create business budgets, progress reports, and PowerPoint presentations with nothing more than our cell phone. In terms of communication, there are social media programs ranging from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, as well as online gaming communities, that encourage us to be connected to the global community 24/7. Millennials have come to expect things like 24/7 customer service, due to this 24/7 connectivity and their affiliation with these types of technological advancements.
How That Affects Customer Service
In order to keep up with the millennials, the largest age group in the history of the world, you need to provide customer service options that holds up to their standards. Millennials’ views on customer service differ from those of other generations, and if it’s not already, it should be affecting the way you interact, engage and address your customers.
To stay relevant to their needs while engaging them successfully, you have to keep millennials happy and figure out what they want and need next. This is an issue that the entire US and world economic structures are trying to decipher.
According to a report by the White House titled “15 Economic Facts About Millennials,” while this age group values technology, it’s not the mainstay of millennials. They also value creativity, community and family.
In terms of customer service this means you want to establish multiple customer service options including live chat, text messaging and email with the ability to connect with actual customer service agents. Social media is a big deal for millennials, so you want to include this method of communication in some aspect of your customer service provision as well. At the same time, being able to pick up a phone and call into a business remains highly valued among millennials.
They still want to feel like they are connected and a part of the community, even though they want fast-paced tech options, such as texting and email. Therefore a multi-channel call center is the best way to engage customers in order to keep up the pace of millennials. Maintaining flexible, on-demand availability for service and support, on whatever channel the customer prefers, is expected.
Keeping up with the millennials is the new catch phrase for customer service call centers. While this is the largest age cohort in the US, as well as around the world, you have to maintain some capabilities for connecting with baby boomers and Gen X’ers too. By offering a wide range of communication options you ensure you are covering every base in terms of being able to connect with customers on whichever customer support channel they prefer.
Your channels of communication remain open and capable across the board when you have a multitude of options for every customer’s age group. Starting your focus with the millennial age group is vital for the success of your business in this day and age. Just make sure that you continue to support customers across the other age demographics as well. The more options you have for customer connectivity the better, no matter what type of business you operate or service you are offering. If you are ready to make the most of your millennial customer service opportunities, let AnswerNow help you set up a comprehensive multi-channel system to cover all of your bases. Contact our call center agents for more information.