Is your contact center prepared for the fastest growing consumer demographic? Millennials, generally born between the early 80s and late 90s are infamous for their short attention spans and social media addiction.
However by 2020, millennials will be spending 1.4 trillion annually, and if your contact center wants to see some of that cash flow, you need to adapt to the way this generation likes to do business.
Here are five ways you can evolve your call center to seduce millennials and have them ranting about your customer service all over their social media platforms.
1. Focus on mobile and social
If you want your contact center to evolve and be used as a resource for Millennials, being mobile and social are key. "With Millennials checking their phones up to 110 times a day, that is an important place to be for any brand," says Graham Knowles, Director of Sales & Enterprise Solution Architect at 7.
40% of Millennials prefer self-service to human contact, and it's not because they are antisocial. Millennials grew up with access to the world wide web of information at the tip of their fingers and are accustomed to going out and searching for answers on their own.
To meet this growing trend in the customer service industry, savvy call centers will invest in virtual bots, allowing the brand to be available on any chat platform, 24 hours a day, with personalized and custom answers for each and every customer.
However, Knowles warns that call centers shouldn't start the process of implementing a chat bot until you have discussed the following four questions:
- What are your frequently asked questions?
- What are your troubleshooting guides?
- What community forums can you leverage?
- Do you have any video walkthroughs?
2. Contact centers need fast response times around the clock
With 25% of Millennials expecting a response within 10 minutes of asking a question, contact centers need to develop a backup plan to handle customer service issues through the night.
Apart from implementing chatbots to field these questions after hours, contact centers also need to ensure a speedy response from the agents’ end as well. This translates to creating a unified chat interface strategy to prevent agents from hopping between different platforms, potentially losing information and wasting time.
"Did you get the information to them fast enough that they are willing to promote your brand and talk about how great their experience was? If not, you are doing only the status quo, which in 2017 means you are losing ground to your competitors," says Knowles.
It is because of this urgency that Knowles claims email is dead and organisations need to start thinking about how to get rid of it as a customer service solution. Doing so will ensure your customers don't become frustrated and anxiety levels don't rise when trying to find time sensitive information.
3. Authenticity is key with Millennials
With the introduction of millennials into the customer service space, gone are the days where scripted customer service was okay. Instead, they want an informal conversation that feels authentic, like they are talking to a friend and not treated like another business transaction.
"Take that canned experience and transfer it to a chatbot," says Knowles "Don't teach and train your agents to be robots. Good brands are taking their people and making them front and center because that is the interaction you want to have. You want your brand to feel real and not a corporate monstrosity."
By adopting this personable approach into your contact center, you can help build trust in a generation that is notorious for being distrustful.
4. Don’t aim to engage with Millennials over the phone
Despite being attached to their phones, millennials see their devices as a mode of communication rather than a way to have a chat with a customer service representative.
With 41% of millennials saying they would be "truly satisfied" if they could use text messaging or SMS to connect with business, call centers need to evolve to meet this need by taking advantage of their live chat, SMS and social media customer service channels.
In 2017, the ability to authenticate and transact on messaging services will be essential to attracting Millennial customers, keeping them happy and racking up positive recommendations online.
5. Millennials want a multi-channel experience
Boomers only had a couple of options for contacting a call center years ago: phone or email. Today, with millennials immersed in the digital world throughout their day, they expect the same from brands.
Apart from being available at a whim, millennials also want businesses to be on their platform of choice. Contact centers that want to be at the forefront of customer service need to adopt a multi-channel customer experience to keep millennials happy, and so agents can move seamlessly between the platforms without losing any information in the process.
There's no time like now to get your contact center prepared
By taking the time to evolve your contact center to meet millennial expectations, you can create a serious competitive edge and customer loyalty that will last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for?
By learning to close this generational gap between millennials and customer service, you’ll also be preparing to tackle Generation Z or as Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of the Innovation Group like to call them: "millennials on steroids."