Thought Leadership

How Millennials are Breaking (and Changing) the Rules of Customer Experience

How Millennials are Breaking (and Changing) the Rules of Customer Experience

Customer Experience

From chatbots to two-day shipping, the customer experience is giving way to the reign of Millennials, who thrive on technology and yearn for social and ethical fulfillment. In decades past, Baby boomers, Gen-X, and the generations prior all focused on customer engagement in person. Whether this meant talking to an actual person on a phone line or having someone in-store assist them, prior generations were missing one thing when it came to their experience as a consumer – the power of technology. In a recent Nielsen survey, Millennials rank technology use as first among their generation’s defining characteristics, and it is altering the way that industries interact with customers.

“Killing the Industry” and Other False Claims

One of the biggest claims that are made about this generation is that they are killing industries. From real estate to chain restaurants, certain industries are failing in their efforts to market to this younger crowd. Because this crowd currently makes up a consumer majority, estimated at a whopping 80,000,000 consumers, which outranks the Baby Boomer category significantly. Failure to meet the marketing demands of this group could spell disaster for companies. But the bigger point here is not that Millennials are killing an industry, it’s that companies are not meeting the demands of this generation.

Marketing remains one of the greatest barriers that legacy corporations miss the mark on. The diamond industry, for instance, is one that has missed the mark with Millennial buyers. But even when companies within the diamond industry use technological marketing strategies that are geared toward earning Millennial buyers, they still fall short. This is because more than any other generation before it, social causes and ethics are driving how Millennials buy, and many legacy corporations are not meeting these complex social and ethical demands. This delves into the overall customer experience, and instead of allowing Millennials to take the blame for “killing” industries, it is in the best interest for companies and corporations to re-evaluate the customer experience from the viewpoint of a Millennial.

How to Adapt Customer Experience Rules in the Age of Gen Y

There are ways in which companies can adapt the traditional customer experience to meet the complexities of Millennials or Generation Y.

There are brands out there right now who are doing it well. Apple, Facebook, Starbucks, and others have socially-engaging campaigns that cater to a technologically savvy and socially diverse customer base. But for much of the corporate world, there is a lot that needs to improve. Addressing the change in customer experience for Millennials is multifaceted and often needs a fresh perspective. For now, some brands and corporations might be able to scrape by without changing their way of business, but that solution is not sustainable. The future of customer experience is distinctly Millennial, and for businesses to remain leaders they must adapt to the needs of this generation.

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