The importance of customer support is at an all-time high. A generic, time consuming and uninformative experience will send customers to your nearest competitor while a personal, streamlined and one-of-a-kind support experience not only keeps customers loyal, but can turn them into advocates for your brand. This shift becomes even more apparent and important when looking at Millennial and Generation Z (Gen Z) customers.
According to research from Accenture, Millennials are already responsible for about $600 billion in annual spend in the U.S. alone, while a similar study from Barkley revealed Gen Z already accounts for almost $143 billion in annual U.S. spend. As more Millennials and Gen Z’s enter the workforce and grow into key roles and decision-making positions, their wallets and impact on the market will continue to grow as well.
The opportunity Millennials and Gen Z offer businesses today and tomorrow, is impossible to ignore. However, in order to stand out to these emerging demographics, companies must look beyond compelling marketing campaigns and competitive pricing. In fact, the 2019 State of Service report by Salesforce found that 80% of customers now consider experience with a company to be as important as its products. As the influx of Millennial and Gen Z customers continue to rise, so too does the importance of providing a unique and personalized experience.
Millennials And Gen Z Customers Love Their Smartphones
Millennials and Gen Z could also be referred to as the smartphone generation. They use their phones for almost everything, except it seems, talking. Consider the following:
- 92% of Millennials own a smartphone.
- Nearly 100% of Gen Z’s own a smartphone.
- 61% spend five or more hours a day on their smartphone.
- 75% of Millennials say they would rather text than talk on the phone.
- 52% of Gen Z say their smartphone is their most important device.
Of course, even non-Millennials and Gen Z’s communicate today both visually and contextually. When communicating with friends, family, and colleagues, a typical conversation today can involve calling, texting, sending photos, videos and more. Sometimes, all within the same conversation or interaction. However, unlike previous generations, Millennials and Gen Z’s expect to interact with brands in the same way that they would with each other. It is essential for businesses to lay the foundation for a support experience where customers and support agents can share content across multiple channels and in real-time with one another.
Tailored and Personalized Interaction
Millennials and Gen Z’s exist in a world of limitless options, making it more challenging than ever for businesses to make a positive and lasting impression. In today’s highly competitive environment, personalization is king. Consider the “cocktail party effect.” When you’re at a cocktail party, chatting with dozens of people, conversations can become blurred. However, as soon as someone addresses you by name, or references topics of personal interest, you tune into that specific conversation, remember it, and are much more likely to reconnect with that person later on.
In order to create a personalized customer experience, support organizations must connect the entire digital footprint of their customers. Customers provide a wealth of information and feedback across multiple endpoints, channels and interactions. By securely collecting this data together, support teams can obtain a more well-rounded view of who their customers are and what makes them tick. With this wealth of knowledge, support leaders can tailor self-service options, train their agents to provide a more personalized and proactive response, and create the type of hyper-personalization that Millennial and Gen Z customers have come to expect.
Tech Savvy Customers Require Tech Savvy Contact Centers
The contact center can make or break a customer experience. And, when it comes to tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z customers, if your call center is not equipped with the right technology and integrations to handle mobile-focused communication, the overall experience will suffer.
Technologies like conversational AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help in identifying intent and more strategically connect customers with the appropriate agent, bot or self-service option to resolve issues not only faster, but more efficiently. CRM, Workforce Management (WFM) and Quality Management (QM) integrations help support leaders arm their agents with more contextual data by surfacing key customer information in real-time. WFM solutions and QM integrations make it easier to make strategic staffing decisions, provide better channels for agent training, and make for better and more aligned reporting. A tech savvy contact center not only helps create a better customer experience, it can also help transform support from a cost center to a revenue driver.
Millennials and Gen Z are social generations. Vocalizing their customer experience to friends and family has extended to social media platforms. Clearly, there is no denying their influence and impact, not to mention their purchasing power, today – which is only likely to grow exponentially. Laying the foundation for a personalized and highly satisfying support experience will not only ensure Millennials and Gen Z customer loyalty today and tomorrow, but will lay important groundwork for the generations to come.
About Anand Janefalkar, Founder & CEO, UJET
As Founder and CEO of UJET, Inc., Anand Janefalkar has 15 years of experience in the technology industry and has served as a technical advisor for various startups in the Bay Area. Before founding UJET, he served as Senior Engineering Manager at Jawbone, and also previously contributed to multiple high-profile projects at Motorola.