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Customer Service for Millennials by Millennials

July 26, 2017

Millennials are affecting how small business provide customer service both as front line employees as well as consumers in the market place.

Millennials also known as Gen Y was born in the years 1977 to 1995, presently making them age 40 to 22. The idea that this generation is made up of “kids” is not necessarily the case, considering Gen Z (1996 to present) is quickly nipping at their heels to enter the workforce. This diverse age group amongst all generations presents many challenges for small businesses and how they provide customer service. With the help of Jason Dorsey, renowned Millennial researcher, and the Center for Generational Kinetics, I want to take a few minutes to address how customer service tactics are changing due to Millennials gaining traction in the workforce and obtaining more buying power.

Custom Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations, conducted by Jason Dorsey found that almost a third of America which is over 100 million people said that they would rather clean a toilet than interact with customer service. They also found that customer service expectations have increased over the past three years, learning that “76% of Americans view customer service as a “true test” of how much a company values them”. Meaning small business need to improve their service skills from what they currently feel is a good customer service experience.

Here are a few things to consider as you work to improve your customer service plan to Improve Millennial customer satisfaction:

  1. Consider implementing multiple channels of communication. In this study, 77% of Millennials think that customer service should be available in a wide variety of communication styles. This can be done by accepting messages on social media, implementing a texting system, or even an online chat for your website.
  2. Understand that Millennials are not linear thinkers- they do not want to follow the steps, they want to skip right to the end. Manage this need by answering your customer service call and telling them at the beginning how you will work to solve their problem before asking them the standard 5 questions about their account.
  3. Provide a facts and questions page on your website. In the study, over 65% of all Americans say that they feel good about themselves and the company when they can solve a problem without talking to customer service.

These tips will help you to improve the quality of customer service your millennial workforce is providing to ALL your customers:

  1. Be open to age diversity – use this to your advantage and ask that the different generations learn from each other and their diverse knowledge and skill set.
  2. Provide specific examples of how you would like the customer interaction to take place. Don’t be afraid to write a script as examples or even show images of what appropriate work attire is needed.
  3. Millennials love instant feedback. Be responsive to day to day operations and follow up with positive feedback or corrective action in a timely manner.

Clearly, the opinion of the consumer across all ages is that most customer service experiences are less than desirable. As you have more Millennials entering the workforce and serving multi generations consider improving your customer service plan in order to provide a better experience and improve the value to that customer. 

“Business Tips” was written by Dezaray Johnson, Certified Business Advisor, and Training Professional, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.  For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact her at Dezaray.Johnson@angelo.edu

  • Dezaray Johnson, M.A. Certified Business Advisor and Training Professional
    Dezaray Johnson, M.A. Certified Business Advisor and Training Professional

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