I recently posted an article called “5 Tips To Make Your Customer Experience Millennial-Friendly” by Blake Morgan from Forbes on The Daniel Group’s Facebook page.

As a millennial myself, I enjoyed the article.  It does a good job of capturing my generation’s desires and expectations when engaging with companies.  Beyond that, I believe several of points it makes on millennial preferences will apply to other generations, too, as technologies commonly associated with millennials – smartphones, real-time messaging, social media, etc. – become more widely adopted.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]In other words, making your customer experience more millennial-friendly may have another, bigger benefit: making it more future friendly.[/pullquote]

To that end, a couple highlights stood out for me:

Millennials Prefer Digital Support

Millennials would rather use digital and social channels than a phone call to resolve their support questions.  They want to be able to initiate service inquiries through social media for the sake of convenience, which can then be resolved in whatever channel makes most sense to do so.  (But don’t ditch your phone channel just yet – it’s still strongly preferred by baby boomers).

The first tip mentioned in the article is to keep in mind that the “digital” customer experience is broader than just the email, text, and social media channels your company owns.  It also includes “off property” discussion forums and news sites, which your company doesn’t own.  Millennials expect that when they interact with your company, your team is clued into hot topics of discussion regardless of where the information comes from.

Personalize the Experience and Remember “What Happened Yesterday”

The second tip on the list is particularly powerful: Personalized Experience That Remembers What Happened Yesterday.  I can’t stress this enough!  You should use your knowledge of your clients all the time, not just when issues arise.  Using client data to avoid making clients reexplain themselves of fill in the same forms, suggest proactive ideas to improve their business, or simply thank them for being a customer for “X” years, make for a positive, personal, and successful experience.

Lots of companies capture customer data, and some use it very well, but the majority are generating this data and letting it waste away.  Blake states it well “The problem isn’t the data, it’s knowing how to capture it and what to do with it.”  A useful exercise to address this problem is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes by walking through their experiences from pre-sale to purchase, and think about how you could use what you already know about them to make their experiences better.  Digital- and millennial-savvy companies like Zappos and Amazon do this and are delivering great customer experiences across all channels, while many B2B companies have work to do on this front.

The tips I’ve highlighted here, as well as others in the article, may reflect millennial preferences today but will likely become general customer expectations across all generations.  So, to future proof your customer experience, start by making it millennial-friendly.

Read Blake Morgan’s article here and let me know what you think in the comments.

Max

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