Delivering quality customer service has always been important, but in today’s digital economy it’s imperative. Millennials – the first generation to grow up with digital technology – are gaining increased purchasing power, yet they demonstrate decreased loyalty to brands. A recent study from Ovum and Boldchat found that 82% of all consumers have stopped doing business with a brand after a single bad experience and millennials are certainly an influential force in this movement.
As digital natives, millennials are less trusting, non-committal, and have higher expectations than previous generations. Given the size of the millennial population – 74.5 million in the U.S. – they also have extraordinary buying power. It’s suggested that starting this year, millennials’ spending will account for $200 billion annually and they will be very purposeful on how and with whom they spend that money.
Organizations cannot afford to ignore the impact millennials will have on their bottom line. As consumers, they expect the companies they do business with to provide efficient, seamless services that are tailored to their unique needs and mobile-first lifestyle. If brands are unable to meet those expectations, they will quickly move on to a competitor. The challenge becomes how these brands can create an experience that positively resonates with this increasingly influential group.
Here are five tips to help any organization create a customer experience that maximizes brand value in an era of shifting loyalty
Break Down Information Silos
The explosion of digital data from smartphones, mobile applications, wearables, geolocation services, and internet-connected devices can provide businesses with valuable insights into customer needs and preferences. This information is the key to creating that personalized experience millennials crave. All too often, this information lives in various databases across departments that never really talk to each other. By sharing that information across the entire organization – and ensuring it is readily available — agents will have a better view of the customer lifecycle and will be able to create a more personalized experience.
Automate with a Purpose
While the notion of using automation to improve personalization may seem counterintuitive, intelligent automation is emerging as a way to do just that. We all want answers quickly and millennials are no exception. If used correctly – and in the right circumstance – intelligent automation technologies can provide answers significantly quicker and more accurately than human agents.
Intelligent automation goes far beyond the traditional interactive voice response systems that we are accustomed to. Intelligent automation technology understands the business, can adapt to variations in queries and can predict questions and issues based on behaviors and actions of a customer. These are the types of capabilities millennials are looking for. Talking to a human agent is inconsequential to them if an issue can be adequately resolved in a few seconds with a bot. And that’s where the personalization aspect comes in. If a brand knows that a particular customer would rather get an answer quickly using a chatbot – having that option is key to enhancing their individual customer experience. And that leads me to the next point…
Millennials came of age in a world of personalization. It’s what they know and what they expect. For brands, it’s important to be where your customer is – and carry that personalization across communication channels. Carrying personalization through channels helps create a deeper, more meaningful relationship with a customer that can then result in repeat business, customer referrals and up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
Ultimately, without the ability to personalize customer interactions seamlessly across email, social, chat, phone, etc., superior customer support in the digital economy will become increasingly difficult.
Choose the Right Technology
Providing world-class customer support without the right technology is nearly impossible. Think about the experience you want your customers to have and choose the tools and technology that will help you accomplish that goal efficiently. A single, intuitive interface that pulls relevant information from external data sources such as a CRM can help create the seamless interactions customers require. With full and instant access to relevant customer data – including current interactions across multiple channels, previous issues and problems, location, transaction history, and website activity – organizations can not only deliver a more personalized experience, but also one that is faster and more effective than ever before.
Unify the Experience
One of the most important takeaways from all of this is ensuring that the experience is seamless for both the agents and the customers. Be able to talk to your customers on the channels they prefer. Make sure the information can transfer over when an issue is escalated from one channel to another. Supply agents with tools and technologies that provide flexible, tailored engagements across pre-sale, post-sale and technical support groups. Have the ability to provide business stakeholders with actionable data that can help them continually refine the customer experience — securing a competitive advantage.
By combining the methodologies above, brands can create the type of superior experience — for millennials as well as other customers — that will result in increased satisfaction, brand loyalty and long-term revenue growth.
Source: Business 2 Community