I am very pleased to have this special guest blog from Darion Miller at The Service Coach.

Generation Y or referred to as the Millennial Generation, Generation Next, or Echo Boomers is probably the most misunderstood generation classification; made up of 60 million Americans born between 1982 and 1995. Being a “Generation Y’er” myself I can certainly attest that we are a different breed of customer. We expect a lot, fast, and it must be what others recommend. Thirty years ago customer service was dealt with over the phone or even snail mail and recommendations were given by neighbors. With the advent of the digital age getting customer service can come in many different forms and Generation Y expects those different forms. We are also finding reviews from sites like Yelp.com and Angieslist.com, good or bad.

Here are five tips, strategies and things to think about in dealing with Generation Y Customers:

They will use Social Media Outlets: Engage with your Customers

Generation Y is all about social media and they will use it to investigate companies and voice their opinions. Social Media tools like Twitter and Facebook are not only outlets to connect with your customer but they can also be used for customer service. If you think about it, the cost to have one person monitor your twitter account answer questions is far less than having a call center.

Although I’m not a huge fan of Comcast because of their service, I think they do an excellent job of connecting with their customers on twitter. Here is a great Example. Note how they use this guy “Frank” as a figurehead for their twitter customer service account.

            They Will Shop Around 2.0 Style

Generation Y is not a generation that settles for anything. They will shop around using multiple channels. You want to make sure that your company is visible on all of these different channels. They more they see you the more they will convince themselves you are the right company.

Generation Y Does Not Like Talking On the Phone

Generation Y loves the newest and latest gadgets. They also find it awesome to use the latest forms of communication to get in contact for customer service. One new form, other than Social Media, can be Liveperson.com . Live person combines real time chat with professional customer services over the internet. You can attach live person to your site and communicate with prospects and customers from your website.

Another form of customer service communication you can try and text message. Have people text to a specific number and answer questions directly to their phones. I’ve used this a few times and I think it is a great way to communicate to customers.

Be careful about what you Say They will Write a Blog Article or tweet about it

Thirty years ago when a customer was upset they would tell one person and that one person would than tell another person and so on. Nowadays, when one person, let’s take a digital native Generation Yer, is upset all that person has to do is tweet about it or write a blog article. By tweeting about it all of their followers now know how they feel about it. The average person has 130 twitter followers, which means 130 people will know how that person feels. If one of those people tweets that persons tweet and they have 10,000 twitter followers now 10,000 people knows how that person feels about your company. And it happens that fast.
The moral of the story? You can’t please everyone but make sure you do everything in your power to make customers happy. It’s a lot easier to make one customer happy then having to spend hours on damage control.
Being able to understand your customers will give you the advantage over your competitors. Communication is changing and if you are not willing to adapt it will be hard for you to position your company for the long term.

See other great blogs for the service industry at http://blog.theservicecoach.com/

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