How to build loyalty with your younger customers through customer experience
Banks and credit unions are not alone in asking the question: how do we drive loyalty with Millennials? As the largest generation in the US workforce, Millennials will soon surpass the boomers as the largest generation in the US. By 2020, Millennial wealth, driven by inheritance, entrepreneurial activities, and income growth, could stand at USD 24trn according to Deloitte. And that wealth can move often, with nearly one in five Millennials (18%) switching from their primary bank in the past 12 months, compared with 10% of consumers aged 35-54 and only 3% of people 55 and older. Making loyalty in this segment all the more important, 77% of Millennials prefer to have all their financial products and credit cards with one bank.
To help we’ve put together 5 tips to build loyalty with your younger customers through customer service:
1. Provide self-service access to useful information
Making information and services available is a non-negotiable for Millennials. 89% of Millennials use a search engine to find the answer to their question before calling and 84% using self-service portals.
Traditional product and service information and frequently asked questions can form the basis for research resources. Then add-on more interactive solutions. Online communities offer a dedicated area for consumer-to-consumer information sharing, with limited moderation, and customers service AI driven chatbots and virtual assistants have come a long way.
Take an inventory of the information you provide. In many traditional banking and credit union models, rate and recommendations can be reserved for a direct advisor-to-consumer conversation. If your customers can get the answer, online, elsewhere, this can become a disadvantage.
If an interaction with an advisor is mandatory don’t avoid the topic in self-service. Instead, provide the high-level details and put the focus on making the transition to a consultation as quick and painless as possible.
2. Be responsive and enable real-time contact
When the journey does lead to a live interaction with an expert advisor, 66% of Millennial consumers expect real-time responses and interactions, versus just 62% of Baby Boomers and these expectations extend outside of traditional banking hours. Review your response times and set measurable actions to guide accessibility and responsiveness targets. Look to live chat and social channels to support these goals.
3. Enhance and integrate your CRM with your frontline systems – and use the information, consistently
Expectations also remain high during live interactions. 78% of Millennials expect an advisor to know their contact information, product information, and service history.
Look for opportunities to integrate systems and experiences to provide not only personal information but also details such as the last web page visited or last question asked to the virtual assistant. Millennials are generally reaching out after their own research or because they cannot or do not want to complete the transaction themselves, so being on the same page quickly can save time and frustration.
This integration is not just important for the first contact but is then expected consistently, across all interactions and channels. 79% of Millennials expect a consistent experience across multiple channels (web, mobile, in-person, social), all at the same level of service, and 73% likely to switch brands if they don’t get it.
4. Personalize product and service recommendations
When your advisors suggest product and services ensure it is applicable and personalized, and provides a solution or helps reach specific customer goals. Providing blanket or uniformed product recommendations can have a negative effect on customer retention.
For Millennials, understanding individual needs drives loyalty. Be wary of programs and incentives focused on promoting one product only without a tie to customer fit, as these can often come across inauthentic and in-personal and create a negative customer experience. More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to work with someone who focuses on achieving customer needs rather than making a quick sale. And there is little room for error, as 68% of Millennials have stopped doing business with a brand due to a single poor customer service experience.
5. Stay in touch but skip the phone calls
Optimizing your offer personalization can provide customer service and loyalty benefit past reactive interactions with 69% of Millennials indicating personalized or exclusive offers/discounts as a positive loyalty driver. Consider staying away from traditional telemarketing outreach and instead engage via other proactive channels of interaction via online and messenger services. Research shows 20% of Millennials currently don’t receive any text messages from businesses at all.
Successful customer service and loyalty strategies start with a clear understanding of needs, and an understanding that these needs will evolve. The great news is that by addressing Millennials needs for information, responsiveness, consistency and personalization through the strategies shared in these tips, you have also established the platforms required to observe, document, and adapt as needs change. How is your customer loyalty strategy performing? Share your thoughts by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.