The other day I was enjoying a cup of coffee at a café when I overheard two women talking. One was telling the other about an experience she had when she called customer service about a broken product. She was amazed with the customer service she received. Especially since her shopping experience with the particular company hadn’t been that special at all. Apparently the company had provided her with a new product free of charge. Just because it was standard policy and she was content with the outcome.
That conversation stuck with me. It made me think about customer service and how the old-fashioned ways (like the woman who shared her stories over coffee) will no longer work in the future due to millennials.
People often confuse customer experience with customer service. And while they are undoubtedly related, they’re not the same thing. In fact, customer service is just a piece of the customer experience equation. Millennials have a different view regarding customer service. And that is completely changing the way brands interact, engage, and address inquiries. Here’s 5 facts about millennials and customer service to keep in mind:
They rather do it themselves
Because millennials grew up with the internet, they’re fairly accustomed to discovering the information that they need on their own. They’d rather go through an FAQ page or community forum where customers can ask or answer questions, or any other tool to discover the answer to their problem.
Millennials want it straight away
Millennials not only grew up with a wealth of information available online they also grew up with smartphones and access to responses in real-time. Millennials expect to get a response much quicker to their inquiry, reaching out for customer service via social media. In fact, they like to get it within a matter of minutes.
Millennials don’t accept ‘the way it always worked’
Millennials are not big fans of calling customer service. They want to choose how they’re going to communicate with brands, which includes social media, Whatsapp etc. Waiting for several minutes for a rep to answer the phone is not in their scope.
Authenticity is key
The days of having a scripted customer service response are over. Millennials expect brands to be authentic and have a more informal attitude when it comes to customer service. If you want to reach them, you have to speak in their language. And you have to be completely authentic.
Bad experiences will make them leave
Millennials will leave a company after a bad experience. They will put their loyalty aside if you don’t provide exceptional customer service, and enhance the customer experience.
Coming back to why I thought about customer service and millennials in the first place is because of my own amazement when I overheard woman sharing her experience. Being a millennial myself I wouldn’t have chosen the same route to the solution as the woman at that other table, but look for a shortcut, an easier, more convenient way to get my problem solved. One that didn’t include endless contact with a service rep and most likely millions of millennials would have chosen my option too!