As millennials continue to become the dominant force in the retail market, new research by retail and telco technology expert Conversity has revealed that this shift is having a gradual but hugely significant impact on the expectations that consumers have when it comes to customer service.
The research – which polled 1,000 consumers from across the UK – found that eight in ten millennials (81 per cent) believe that receiving recommendations for relevant telco products, bundles or contracts is important, but this figure stands at 68 per cent for Generation X and 67 per cent for the baby boomer generation. Similarly, when it comes to the quality of the advice given by the telco provider when consumers shop online, 86 per cent of millennials consider this important, falling to 79 per cent for Generation X and 69 per cent for baby boomers.
For Laura Arthurton, CEO at Conversity, this is indicative of the steady evolution of customer preferences when it comes to shopping for mobile phones and similar products and services, and the increasingly discerning tastes of younger generations.
“Most of us have a general awareness of how millennials differ in their general behaviours compared to their older peers, but this research provides some powerful insights into how their attitudes affect the way they search for and choose telco products,” said Arthurton.
“Millennials have high standards when it comes to customer service: they want to receive recommendations that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences, and they want the quality of the advice they receive to be of the highest quality. With this in mind, what constituted good customer service in the past is likely to be seriously sub-par in future, so telco businesses need to reassess their approaches and make changes to ensure that they don’t just provide a one-size-fits-all service to everyone.”
To meet the challenge posed by this generational shift, organisations need to find a way to empower staff across all sales channels to provide this personalised, high-quality service to their younger customers, without sacrificing the approaches that are successful with older consumers. This is especially pertinent given that 29 per cent of overall respondents said that they would like to have access to technology which helps them compare product features and benefits, with little variation across generations.
For Arthurton, this is indicative of the benefits of technologies such as intelligent guided selling in this process.
She added: “Intelligent guided selling has the potential to truly make a difference to the way telco staff across all sales channels communicate with their customers. By making personalisation of the customer experience more straightforward, telco leaders can future-proof their business by making sure that the ever-increasing standards of the younger generation are met, while also making sure older generations are able to benefit from an improved service as and when they need it.”
Arthurton concluded: “This generational shift may be gradual, but our research has shown that it’s definitely happening. There’s no time like the present to start preparing for this, so introducing new technologies that empower and engage staff are likely to pay dividends. After all, happy staff will always lead to happier customers.”