Millennials and the technology-infused world, in which they live and work, are without a doubt creating a stir within the traditional customer engagement model. New, future-thinking models of engagement are needed if brands are hoping to claim their slice of the Millennial pie, writes Liz Willson, assistant executive: client relations and contact centres at Innovation Group South Africa.
Generally well-educated and socio-culturally diverse, Millennials will soon be the largest consumer segment. According to research, approximately 58% of Millennials prefer unique goods over mass produced products and 87% have their phones by their side every second of the day. They require different styles and means of communication, as well as individually targeted relevance from customer service agents, or they’ll take their business elsewhere.
The race is on to formulate a customer engagement strategy that focuses on a population segment that trusts social media influencers’ more than traditional brand and advertising tactics. Here’s how forward thinking businesses today are updating their contact centre strategy for the Millennial Generation:
Millennials are inundated by direct marketing initiatives on a daily basis, ranging from cold-calls to SMSs, emails, or social media advertising.
Too much exposure can inevitably lead to desensitisation and your contact centre’s efforts are more likely to be ignored especially if you have not tailored it to the unique needs of the Millennial. When approached with an offer or dealing with a customer service issue, this generation is more likely to favourably engage with a brand if the message is tailored around their individual needs and requirements.
The perceived value from the interaction is derived from the personalisation of the message or customer service interaction and not the actual product or service. Technology is able to provide this type of personalisation through big data processing and automated market segmentation, ultimately leading to more relevant messaging and more interested and engaged customers for those businesses who apply this.
Leading companies are increasingly funnelling customer contacts through their digital channels based on the type of query. They are also using proactive contact during complex interactions to ensure the customer’s issue is resolved efficiently and timeously.
While the dominant thinking a few years ago was that allowing customers to reach you on any channel, the future thinking for today’s leading contact centres is to move away from a multichannel strategy, to a “right channel” strategy. Here, customers are guided to the most appropriate channel for their query.
Whether through voice contact, intelligent online FAQs, social media or live video chat, every query is dealt with in the manner that is most likely to lead to a quick and agreeable resolution for the customer and on a channel that meets their requirements.
In addition to adopting the “right channel” approach, modern-day businesses are proactively contacting customers who need help during complex online processes. Customers who spend longer periods of time on a web page are proactively offered contact through a “voice” interaction, via a live chat channel – the perfect merging of technological efficiency and the warmth of the human touch.
At the end of the day, the shift towards a more interactive engagement strategy allows businesses the opportunity to provide the right type of customer support that today’s “switched-on generation” and the generation that come after them require. It allows customers to be communicated with on their own terms and to have their needs met more quickly and efficiently than ever before. With more and more options for innovation in the contact centre, those who are quick to embrace the resources that technology offers are perfectly positioned to gain the competitive edge.