When millennials talk today, marketers everywhere listen.
What they are telling marketers everywhere now is they value customer experience and customer satisfaction so highly that most would rather resolve any problems on their respective journeys by themselves.
According to a new study from Aspect Software, 55% of millennials indicated that their customer service expectations have increased over the past three years, while more than half have stopped doing business with at least one company because of poor customer service in the past year.
What’s more, 65% of all consumers and 69% of millennials said they feel good about themselves and the companies they do business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service.
Here are some eye-opening takeaways from the study for marketers:
Companies need to quickly address the customer engagement preferences of the millennial demographic or risk going out of business.
Customer experience is increasingly defined by customer service: 76% of all generations view customer service as a “true test” of how much a company values them.
And nearly a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service.
Consumer preferences are not being addressed: 73% of consumers said that they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own.
The big opportunity: Help consumers help themselves and let them do it with text and other digital channels; 65% of all generations and 69% of millennials say that they feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company on their own.
“The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers’ digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own,” said Joe Gagnon, SVP and GM of Aspect’s Cloud Solutions. “This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty. As millennials are more ‘experience-loyal’ than ‘brand-loyal,’ consumer engagement is quickly becoming a far more influential factor in building positive brand perception. It’s imperative that businesses adapt their customer service strategies to deliver an interaction strategy that addresses millennial engagement preferences.”
While companies need effective strategies for all generations, they can’t afford to ignore the increasing buying power of millennials, the study notes, because this generation is poised to outspend boomers by 2017. Millennials are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if left unsatisfied.
“Millennials are self-reliant and technology dependent, but not necessarily tech savvy, and they expect instant gratification,” said Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. “They don’t just like speed and ease of use, they expect it. When it comes to customer service, the average millennial is going to look for both the ability to communicate the way they like, be it through text or Twitter, and maintain that level of customization made possible when speaking to an agent in real-time. Therefore, companies who don’t adapt their engagement approach are at great risk of near-term obsolescence.”