With customer satisfaction scores and the voice of the customer playing an ever increasing part in modern day business, customers have more power than ever before to influence key business decisions. Times are definitely changing and with it raises the question – Does a customer’s age really affect their CX expectations?

The universal customer expectations

When asking whether age matters? The simple answer is – Not always. However, across all demographics the following expectations apply.

  1. The customer needs to feel valued
  2. The customer’s enquiry has to be dealt with satisfactorily
  3. The customer shouldn’t be inconvenienced

The changing face of CX

By 2020, those born between 1980 and 2000 will take over – These individuals widely known as the Millennials will be more demanding than ever before.

Yes, it’s true that millennials are looking for the same customer experience as are older customers’ but their expectations are much greater. Belonging to the digital age they want CX that’s faster, ‘more respectful of their time, easier, more reliable, and more transparent with more choice and control for the customer.Forbes

Providing CX the Millennial way

But is changing the way you deliver CX really worth it? With Accenture suggesting millennial spend of $1.4 trillion annually in the US alone this ranks them as the biggest spenders of all time. Can we really afford to miss out on a slice of this pie? We thought not. So how is this achieved?
Think differently.

Yup, we know it seems like a chore – but it’s a necessary evil if you want to succeed. Providing CX to a millennial requires those of us who don’t belong to their generation to adjust our way of thinking. Born into advances that came more gradually to the rest of us, millennials are much harder to impress; the telephones they’ve used have always been smart; there’s always been the Internet.

John Salmond, Customer Relations Manager at Hutchison’s 3G tells us:

“Long gone are the days where customers appreciate a nice chat as they speak to our customer service agents, the want their query answered with as little agent interaction as possible. It’s a new way of dealing with customers and businesses will need to adapt or potentially lose customers”

So is your business driving customers away by inefficient customer service processes? The answer is – Probably. The need for speed can make it a lot easier to frustrate and drive away a millennial without realising it.

Get rid of the blinkers

Some businesses look at current data with a blinkered view and it’s easy to understand why. When we see a staggering figure like 79% of consumers still preferring telephony over other forms of customer service it can be all too easy to ignore. But as professionals – we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. With an upcoming nation of tech savvy individuals on the horizon we need to be thinking about being where our customers are likely to be over the next few years. Currently 33% of users contact brands via Social Media but this will undoubtedly rise over the next few years. Nielsen
Marketing experts Hubspot suggest that 95% of Millennials expect a business to have a Facebook presence and 80% to have a twitter presence. Interestingly, even in the 45 to 60 demographic 70% of consumers thought that the very least a business should have a Facebook page and 50% to have a twitter feed. Imagine the shift in statistics as we all fall deeper in love with technology and social media.

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Get Noticed on Social Media for the right reasons

Don’t sell – Serve. If you’re not providing Social Customer Service then it’s something you should consider. Millennials are by far the biggest presence on Social Media, but they hate to be sold to. If you want to increase sales then it is simple – Be present and be seen delivering great CX. Remember you’re not just showing a single customer a great experience, you have the rest of us to satisfy. But it is definitely worth it – 42% of customers will tell their friends if they have had a good social experience and are almost 3x more likely to recommend a brand. Harvard Business Review
Finally, don’t forget about the other age demographics
With all this chat about millennials it could be easy to focus all your marketing and CX efforts on one demographic but you could potentially lose out. By all means adopt a multichannel cx strategy fit for the consumer of tomorrow but with 40% of the overall spend attributed to the over 50’s and with only 10% of the marketing focus Newcastle University – there is real value getting it right for every age.

Key Take Away

We all know delivering a great customer experience can lead to brand recognition, new sales and even better customer loyalty – but in the age of customer age really does matter and adopting CX for the millennial customer is key.
So what have we learned? Well in order to get a slice of that millennial spending pie we should:

  • Think like a millennial
  • Focus on how Customer Service is evolving
  • Be where your customers are
  • Treat everyone equally
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