The importance of digital customer service for the millennial consumer
For a generation that has grown up with the Internet and the most sophisticated communication technologies we have ever known, it is no wonder that millennials (born between the 1980s and 2000) have an expectation of instant access to information. This attitude also extends to their communication style, including interactions with each other and with brands. Millennials love their phones, just not phone calls, which they generally see as disruptive and inconvenient. However, text messages are a form of communication that is perceived as being far less intrusive on their own schedule or somebody else’s. Words are seen as far more accessible too because they can be sent and answered more quickly and at more opportunities (e.g. while ‘on the go’) than voice communication.
Recent industry data confirms that text message communication outranks phone calls as the dominant form of communication amongst millennials. Text messaging for this generation can take a variety of types including SMS, email, social media platforms and messaging apps. According to a survey by OpenMarket, 83% of millennials open messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. This speed is due to the convenience of, and accessibility to, their mobile devices. In fact, 66% of this group check their devices as soon as they wake up every morning. When it comes to sending messages to brands, industry research revealed that 55% of them expect a response from a customer service inquiry within the hour. Millennials also challenge traditional ‘9 to 5’ thinking about customer service and expect flexibility concerning the time when contacting brands. Solutions need to be convenient to this lifestyle which can be 24/7 including weekends. In the age of avoidance and introversion, younger people would also prefer to not go to the trouble of dialling a number or waiting on hold for a customer service representative. In fact, three in five (62%) UK adults revealed they only call phone numbers for customer service issues as a last resort.
Taking recent data into account, it is evident that brands wanting to service millennials must focus their communication efforts on where the demographic are spending their time (i.e. interacting with their phone) and feel the most comfortable sharing information (chat platforms). Millennials desire efficient technology often over human service, but at the same time, they crave personalised experiences. The perceived value of an interaction that harnesses some form of personalisation of the message or customer service interaction cannot be underestimated. Everyone likes to feel special, fortunately, technology can provide this type of customisation through big data processing and automated market segmentation, ultimately leading to more relevant messaging and more interested and engaged customers.
Messaging provides a more immediate solution that caters to the millennial expectation – it lets them know that their issue has been noted and assuring them it will be resolved in a timely fashion. The chances of losing a millennial customer drops significantly when you have a service that can communicate with them in real time; for this demographic, it is messaging on a mobile device. If brands don’t use communication channels favoured by millennial customers those customers will be unwilling to interact digitally with the brand.
To meet the expectations of millennials and contact centres, an omnichannel platform provides a solution that can meet this challenge, while delivering a myriad of benefits not only to the customer but also the contact centre agent. Conduit Global’s CX100TM platform is an omnichannel solution designed to meet the rising needs of the digital customer:
- Seamless Channel Switching: Within UK contact centres (outsourced & in-house), it is estimated that only 36% are able to track the customer journey that spans multiple channels. With CX100TM channel switching is seamless regardless of channel, and with its powerful inbuilt analytics suite can identify word or phrases that could negatively impact the customer experience in real time.
- Personalised Customer Experience: By identifying communication trends or preferences of millennials, CX100TM users can enhance the customer experience by pro-actively managing the communication via the preferred channel.
- Agent Efficiency: By deploying CX100TM’s flexible skill groups, agents will be able to switch seamlessly between channels and applications thus increasing efficiency and lowering handling times – perfect for busy contact centres.
- Mobile Ready: Mobile and web capabilities for sharing photos, videos and documents, are perfect for interacting with millennials who have ‘their life on their phone’ and can share necessary information quickly, which in turn reduces the drain on many facets of call centre operations.
- Automation & AI: Provides a fertile ground for big data when dealing with millennials and also allows for the integration of personalisation with services. Text messaging AI can be leveraged for automated conversations, sentiment analysis, quality management intelligent assistance for agents & customer insights.
If you would like to know more about CX100TM and how it can help with all communication challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further insight.
About Robert German
Robert is responsible for Conduit Global’s UK&I business development. During his 30-year career in contact centres he has seen the impact technology has made on the development of this industry. From the early years of dialler and IVR solutions, right up to present day omnichannel solutions.
About Conduit Global
Conduit Global is transforming customer engagement in the digital era. CX100, our global CCaaS platform, supports enterprises of all sizes in private and/or public cloud environments, enabling true digital transformation. For more information, please visit www.conduitglobal.com.