Organizations today are facing a great struggling dealing with customers with a vast range of various patterns of communication, priorities as well as expectations by generation (Gross, 2014). According to Gross (2014), the distinct differences create a level of impossibility to establish a “one-size-fits-all” technique towards work. Therefore, executives need a strategic plan to determine the most ideal customer service to fit customer expectations today. Thus, carrying out research to handle today’s generation; The Millennials; and establishing the best form of customer experience for them, today and up to five years from now (Gross, 2014).
Eliason (2012) points out that, an in-depth is crucial today more than ever company CEOs, and the sales and marketing teams, as well as the customer service leaders, carry the responsibility towards tackling this growing challenge of the customers’ expectations coming to collision with the drastic changes rapid advancements and developments in technological innovations and creations. Thus, Eliason (2012) states that company leaders are trying to grasp all the techniques that serve them best in serving all of the four present day’s generations of customers as well as integrating mobile, social media, digital, face to face as well as content-based strategies. However, the most challenging generation in the customer service industry today is the millennial generation (Eliason, 2012).
Therefore, having a deeper comprehension of exactly what generations require, particularly the Millennials, by tackling both the customer service as well as customer experience perspective, presents an insight necessary and essential in delivering these expectations (Eliason, 2012). Thus, Gross (2014) indicates that, determining a distinct difference between the stagnation as well as the growth of an organization. Nevertheless, this discovery enhances the value of this research towards what Millennials expect in customer service today, together with the quickest means of adaptation. Hereby, serving a solution to an issue and challenge to withstand the capabilities of an organization’s customer service over decades to come (Gross, 2013).
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According to Solomon (2015), understanding customer service amongst Millennials will enable organizations to substantially recognize the distinct differences that exist in the different generations, thus bringing different expectations, verifications in communication preferences as well as new patterns in customer service in regards to the ideal customer experience. Solomon (2015) further explains that this current reality brings forth the creation of a challenging problem particularly because organizations were established limited to a design towards accommodating the diverging customer tastes and preferences throughout the multiple generations. Nevertheless, this particular situation is presently ongoing in the customer service industry; therefore tackling the issue will determine the survival as well as the growth of an organization (Solomon, 2015).
Organizations require to understand and identify today’s four distinct sets of generations; the Millennials are also known as Gen Y entails individuals born between the years 1977 to year 1995; Generation X entails individuals born between the years 1965 to the year 1976; The Baby Boomers entails individuals born between the years 1946 to the year 1964; and lastly the Traditionalists entails of individuals born from the year 1945 and earlier (Clegg, 2000). Clegg (2000) points out that, to achieve this, organizations require to enhance their ability to effectively engage, attract, maintain, as well as present solutions to customer problems. It is vital to note that, amongst all the four sets of generations the Millennials serve as the greatest challenge for the customer service industry.
Customer Service = Customer Experience
Research has recently proven that an average Millennial customer has an interaction with customer service about sixty-five times annually (Clegg, 2000). Thus, adding up to an individual potentially reaching out to a form of customer service about five to six times monthly; not to mention that customer interactions with customer service are increasing daily.
However, Clegg (2000) further mentions that research also proves that a significant percentage of customers evade any form of customer service unless extremely necessary. This is because of a history of regrettable experiences with the company’s customer services. Thus, showing the necessity of making improvements in the customer service techniques and methods; presenting a great opportunity for the organization to initiate a commitment towards delivering effective customer service particularly with the growth in numbers of customer and customer service experience. Gross (2013) mentions that building on the customer service quality enhances the strength and growth of customer loyalty to an organization, especially with the millennial customer.
Communication Preferences Drive Customer Experience Expectations
Studies show that each has distinctively different needs and expectations in regards to their perspective of effective customer service ( Clegg, 2000). According to Clegg (2000), millennials’ perspective of customer service is availability and accessibility throughout a vast range of styles of communication. Interestingly, female customers have higher expectations than male customers when it comes to customer service. Further, it has been discovered that about 40% of the Millennials consumers have a great preference for functioning entirely with customer service online services. Thus, aligning this particular trend as generational to the Millennials, as compared to the traditional generation who have a preference towards the face to face interactions rather than via screen services; ranging in different functions from shopping to dating and even to banking (Clegg, 2000).
Furthermore, Millennials over the recent years have become highly sensitive towards customer service; a significant amount of firms are losing their customers due to bad customer service (Eliason, 2012). This translating to the loss of billions of dollars in terms of profit as well as revenue and profit from the present company’s customers due to poor performance in customer service. Eliason (2012) points out that, the level of customer expectations are rising with the emerging trends, including SMS as well as digital payment. About 47% of Millennial consumers use their smartphones regularly to make their payments. Therefore organizations are encouraged to offer payments via SMS to enable and enhance growth as well as maintenance of success. Nevertheless, 36% of Millennials consumers contact companies often if they have the ability to text them; representing almost twenty-five 25 million customers in America alone (Eliason, 2012).
Challenges in the Millennial Customer Service
Customer service amongst the Millennials more often than not arises four key challenges. According to Solomon (2015), the first challenge that emerges for customer service when dealing with the Millennials is the drastic pace in technological advancements and developments is significantly accelerating, with new creations as well as unexpected and unplanned customer expectations and interactions. The utilization of technology rampantly was not common a decade ago, and now it is perceived as unusual not to use technology within the entire millennial generation through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Messenger amongst others (Solomon, 2015).
Another major key challenge today in handling the Millennial consumer in customer service is patience throughout the waiting process, as well as dealing with representatives of a company’s customer service tends to keep getting shorter; thus the level of customer expectations are continually rising rapidly (Solomon, 2015). Moreover, Solomon (2015) explains that this entails everything including customer service as well as engagements towards communication and even loyalty.
Thirdly, research shows that about eighty-four million of the Millennial population ranging from the ages of 21 up to 39 tend to outspend the generation of Baby Boomers. Thus proving that the generation that has determined the growth and development of a significant number of industries, as well as brands from the previous thirty years, is heading towards being overrun by the new generation, a generation that particularly does not handle carrying cash and does not adhere to pathways that existed in the traditional customer service techniques.
Lastly, Gross (2014) mentions that the risen level of competition from the traditional segments towards the non-traditional segments is causing a significant shake-up amongst a vast range of industries, as well as placing legacy firms at great risk. Nevertheless, companies have now embraced customer service as a growth strategy. Utilizing customer service in a strategic development plan is placing the organization towards the development of a successful business to achieve a legacy caliber company.
With the changing trends in today’s Millennials generation companies should take up various steps towards adjusting to the changes to be able not only to satisfy the consumer but also to ensure the growth and development of the company in the long run. Therefore, organizations should focus on developing and advancing their customer service personnel skill as well as techniques to fit into the growth rate of Millennial based customer service.
Clegg, B. (2000). The invisible customer: Strategies for successive customer service down the wire. London: Kogan Page.
Eliason, F. (2012). @ your service: How to attract new customers, increase sales, and grow your business using simple customer service techniques. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Gross, T. S. (2013). Millennial Rules: How to Sell, Serve, Surprise & Stand Out in a Digital World. New York: Allworth Press.
Gross, T. S. (2014). Millennial Rules: How to connect with the first digitally savvy generation of consumers and employees.
Solomon, M. (2015). Your customer is the star: How to make millennials, boomers and everyone else loves your business.
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