Serving Millennials Well – As Employees AND Customers

This post was originally published on the FCR blog on December 2, 2015.  Click here to read the original.  Since writing this, I’ve come to realize that millennials are most engaged with an organization when they connect with the purpose and vision of the company.  Making their work meaningful is essential.

If you’re looking for a fascinating research project, spend some time searching for articles about millennials.  Be sure to approach it from a couple different angles.  The first angle is to learn about how to work with them, and the second centers around the level of customer service they expect.

While the years vary slightly depending on what article you read, The Millennial Generation generally includes anyone born between 1982 and 2004.  A quick study of our workforce at FCR shows that we are rich with millennials with 62% of our employees fit in this range.  To round this out, 28% are Generation X, 10% are Baby Boomers, and 0.21% are from The Greatest Generation.

Millennials in the Workplace

In a recent article, John Rampton highlights 9 Things You Need to Know to Give Millennials Great Customer Service and it’s fairly easy to translate these to millennials in the workplace.  Without listing all of his points, here are a few to consider when working with millennials:

  • Authentic Leadership – Millennials want their leaders to be authentic.  When leading them, it’s essential to demonstrate a genuine desire to build a connection with them.  They need to know that you are invested in their personal and professional growth.
  • Robust Tools – Millennials want it now and are self-reliant, which means they need the tools necessary to do their job well.  Focus on empowering them to solve problems efficiently.
  • Mix It Up – Whether it’s new technology or new learning experiences, this article suggests that millennials are open to both.  They are more connected than ever, using more devices than ever.  The more variety you offer, the more engagement will result.

Delivering Great Customer Service To Millennials

Millennials make up approximately 24% of the U.S. population.  That means a large segment of your customer base is likely a part of this generation and therefore it’s important to understand their expectations when it comes to customer service.

Talkdesk, a cloud-based provider of call center software, recently published an infographic on this topic.  Without spending time restating it, here are four aspects to pay special attention to:

  1. Social Customer Service – 75% of millennials are on social media and 81% of them use it to interact with customer service.  It’s critical to pay attention to these channels.
  2. Social Media Response Time – 22% expect a response of 10 minutes or less when they contact customer service via social media.
  3. Phone Wait Time – Millennials are willing to wait on average 5 minutes longer for customer service than generation X and baby boomers.  Overall, customers expect the average wait to be 10 minutes.
  4. Knowledge Base – 57% of millennials call only after first checking the company’s website.  This speaks to the importance of having a robust knowledge base and other self help resources.

As you are searching the Internet for articles about millennials, you’ll undoubtedly find some negative commentary surrounding this generation.  However, if your business is anything like ours where you predominately employ millennials and frequently serve them as customers, you’d better learn how to appreciate them, create engaging work for them, and serve them well.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

  • The social media numbers when it comes to millennials are staggering. It’s also extremely beneficial to have statistics on their average wait time on the phone. You have to cater to your audience and use this information to obtain the result you’re looking for.

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