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Should Customer Service for Millennials Be Any Different?

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We can safely say that today's generation is unlike any other before. With the rise of digital, from the dot-com bubble of the late 90's through 2016's progress in virtual reality, the way Millennials interact with the world (and therefore businesses) is fundamentally different. But does that mean customer service for Millennials should be any different than in the past?

Millennials currently make up the majority of consumers. They're presently the largest buying demographic, and likely your main source of revenue. Before you think otherwise, know this: Millennials are not just a bunch of kids or twentysomethings. Millennials are defined as those "who reached adulthood at or around the year 2000," and has since stretched to include anyone born before that that year.

Effectively, Millennials are anyone 16-40y.o. Everyone of them can found with a mobile device on their person at any given time. This change in convenience - of having access to anything from their fingertips - from such a large group also changes their expectations as consumers.

For starters, automation is dead.

Everyone is familiar with dialing a business number and wading through two minutes of automated directions before you could speak to someone. If you could speak to someone at all! With social media and mobile technology, there's an expectation of being both incredibly quick and intimately personal.

This means the first of your competitors to replace an automated customer service experience with a personal touch, and spread the word about it, will be the one to take over the market. They're offering consumers what's demanded.

Customer service for Millennials has to be quick.

We're talking The Flash quick. If I call you, email you, IM you, tweet you, or text you, I better get a response within a couple hours at most. This is what's expected. If your organization isn't on top of their communications, there's someone else who will be. Someone else will get your customers.

Think about it (or ask a Millennial near you). If you have a particularly good or bad experience with a company, the gut reaction is to talk about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp. These are all real-time mediums that come with expectations of instant responses. Gone are the days of phone tag, and of waiting two days to hear back from an email.

Thanks to Google, there's a strong chance your customers already know as much as you do.

Yet customers still expect you to know more than them. That's why they're paying you, after all. This means entry level customer service representatives (CSRs) don't meet customer expectations. If a CSR doesn't know the answer to a question, or has to grab a manager to help them, the customer has already been let down. For Millennials, your customer service team has to be better than Google's search results.

You've got to keep offering new value to customers at no extra charge.

There is always going to be someone who comes around offering more for less. What's keeping your current customers around when that inevitably happens? There's a never-ending wealth of free anything out there for those searching. To keep Millennials from searching elsewhere, you've got to keep providing more. That could mean knowledgeable content, resources, additions to your service, added benefits for working with you - something new and regular to keep your customers' attention.

We've asked the question: Should customer service for Millennials be any different?

The expectations outlined above have developed into more pronounced demands during the rise of Millennials consumers, but they're not specific to Millennials.

Your customer service needs to be personal. Your customers need to feel like they matter to you.

Your customer service needs to be quick. You've got to be there quicker than they could turn to a competitor, which is nearly instantly.

Your CSRs need to be knowledgeable about your company and any products or procedures. Your customers aren't dumb.

And your customer service has to involve continually providing new and better value without forcing customers to pay more. If customers don't get it from you, they'll find it from someone else.

Should customer service for Millennials be any different? Absolutely not! Every customer, regardless of age or demographic, deserves these customer service attributes! Technological advancements have set higher expectations for those who use them, but all of these expectations should be priorities of your organization.