5 Rules for Meeting Millennial Customer Service Expectations

To capture the enormous purchasing power of millennials and Gen Z, you need to shift your style to match the preferences of these young consumers. It’s time to drop the phone and take up social media.

Based on recent research, Microsoft’s 2016 State of Global Customer Service report found that 64 percent of millennials believe social media is an effective channel for customer service — a far cry from the 27 percent of Baby Boomers who feel the same way. The report also indicated that 52 percent of millennials actively use social media to resolve customer service issues.

These young consumers are admittedly more demanding than past generations and expect to be able to interact with brands at any time and on any platform. Millennials and Gen Z consumers want two things: responsiveness and self-service.

A failure to meet these demands will cause a flood of negative feedback. Past generations would simply stop doing business with a company because of poor service, but younger consumers feel obligated to warn other consumers via social media and review sites.

To keep your young audience happy in the new world of customer service, follow these five tips:

  1. Be everywhere.

Young customers want service across all channels, including Snapchat and Instagram. If you market on a platform, you also need to handle customer service on that platform.

  1. Answer quickly.

Aim to respond to all complaints and questions in less than an hour. Some recent research found that 42 percent of customers expect online brands to respond within 60 minutes..

  1. Don’t change channels.

When a customer contacts you on Facebook, he doesn’t want you to send him an email; he wants to handle the issue as quickly as possible on the same platform.

  1. Act human.

It’s OK to be less formal on social media and chat platforms. Millennials and other young consumers don’t expect you to be formal at all times.

  1. Reply only twice.

I don’t generally get into online arguments, but I have advised plenty of companies on how to handle these situations. Every time a company got involved in a argument, it came away looking worse. The sweet spot for these interactions is two replies. Respond to the initial complaint and any follow-up questions – these are your two replies – and cut things off after that. Don’t leave customers hanging, though. Invite them to reach out via direct messages or private chat on the same platform.


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