What Millennials Really Expect From Social Customer Service

By: Sofie De Beule

September 9, 2016

channel hopping
customer expectations
customer loyalty
millennial customer
millennial generation
proactive customer service

More than any other generation, millennials are using social to reach out to brands when they have questions and complaints. According to TSIA, a leading association in the technology services industry, 70% of all customer interactions with millennials happen through social. Millennials are the generation to watch out for on social–their expectations are higher and more demanding than others. When it comes to social customer service, they have very particular needs. If a business is not meeting their needs, they will easily switch to a competitor.

1. Authentic Experiences & Highly-Personalized Conversations

Providing a correct response and a timely reply is one thing, but it doesn’t equal an excellent social customer experience (and is considered just mediocre among millennials). In fact, millennials even prefer self-service over having to go through the effort of reaching out to a brand directly. So, if they do decide to reach out to you on social, the real deal-breaker (aside from getting a timely response) is having real conversations. They want to feel you’re going to great lengths to keep them as a customer and you’re doing everything to make them feel special.

Beyond listening and responding to messages, you also need to analyze customer data to create an authentic experience. This way you can discover how millennial customers are using your product and experiencing the service you deliver. Furthermore, you need to use every interaction you have with them, no matter on which channel, to save valuable information to leverage in any future interaction or touchpoint, and close the loop.

2. A Unified, Omni-Channel Experience

Millennials are masters of all mobile devices. Whether it’s their laptop, tablet, smartphone or smartwatch, they have every possible means of conversation at their fingertips. This means they also connect with you via many different channels and touch points, and always pick out the channel that’s most convenient at that time. For example, many stay away from call centers because they hate having to call a customer service representative; they’re very time-conscious and want to own and control the conversation, regardless of the channel.

If a millennial reaches out to you via social or a different channel (e.g. live chat), it’s unacceptable to redirect them to another channel. If channel hopping is your last resort (e.g. to fix really-really complicated issues), make sure you offer a similar experience. In general, having a disconnect between different support channels or customer touch points is very confusing for millennials.

3. Proactive Outreach

Without a doubt, millennials aren’t afraid to stop doing business with you if they’re unhappy– even if it was  just one bad experience. Customer loyalty is really at stake here, and is widely considered non-existent among this demanding generation. However, some businesses out there do manage to appeal to millennials. They do this by really going the extra mile and reaching out proactively to make sure their customers are happy and engaged.

For example, there are a few telco companies out there (who already need to up their game in this fierce, competitive market) who take customer feedback to heart. Beyond replying to customer queries, they keep track of their customers every step of the customer journey. If a customer complains about the mobile app or billing issues, the company reaches out proactively to let them know when an issue is fixed. They also do regular check-ins (sending a simple tweet out to your customers works wonders!) to make sure customers are engaged with their business.

Beyond any doubt, millennials are the toughest generation to please for businesses. Social customer service can be a really nice opportunity to stay on top of the relationship with your millennials customers.

If you want to learn more about pleasing the millennial generation, watch more in our on-demand webinar Reaching Generation Hashtag – Leveraging Social Media For Customer Success.

Sofie De Beule is Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. She helps establish Clarabridge as a thought leader for Social Customer Service and Customer Experience. Sofie’s an Engagor expert,  Clarabridge’s best-in-class social customer service solution, inspiring brands on how to manage and get their social customer service program off the ground. Sofie holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & International Marketing from Artevelde University College Ghent. Read more from Sofie on Twitter @sofiedbeule.