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Everyone seems to be abuzz about millennials: how they are vastly different from the preceding generations, their sometimes outlandish requests, and how to please (and/or appease) them. For those who’ve yet to hear the term, millennials are defined as those born between 1980 and 2000. They constitute the largest and most educated generation in U.S. history, and their expectations have progressed alongside the rapid acceleration of new technologies. Millennials have redefined the customer experience and continue to evolve and challenge businesses to keep up to their ever-changing expectations. 

While some deem Generation Y as narcissists, their self-esteem, assertiveness, and high expectations are all forward-thinking and in line with the latest technologies. Millennials expect you to keep up with the times, and to do it quickly at that, before you’re out of the race completely.

Here are 5 expectations millennials have for your brand: 

1. Don’t care how, I want it now!

Blame it on the high speed internet. Well... that and smartphones, real-time technology, and personalization. Millennials have existed in a world where results and answers are being generated faster and faster. If you can’t keep up, they will move on before you know it.

How fast you respond to customer queries has become almost as critical as the answers you provide. 71% of online shoppers claim that the most important thing a brand can do is to value the customer’s time. Not just that, but 52% will abandon online purchases if they can’t find a quick answer. The need for speed has never been so prominent.

2. “Meet me where I am.”  Love, The Everywhere Customer

Just this week, Apple unveiled its super sexy, futuristic Apple Watch. It’s a leap forward in UI design and technology and just one more spark in the massive explosion of touchpoints we have been experiencing over the past few years.

The younglings of Generation Y are early adopters who share the tendency to use multiple devices at once, switching between laptops, smartphones, and TV on an average of 27 times per hour. You must implement a sleek customer experience which encapsulates all of these new touchpoints, providing meaningful engagements from every screen. Frustration and disengagement will likely ensue if these qualifications aren’t met. 

3. When social calls, you better answer

In line with the immediacy of engagement on social media, forums, review sites, et al., customers are now accustomed to selecting their own mode of communication for customer service on their terms, in their words, anytime and anywhere. Research done by Lithium Technologies last year uncovered that 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within one hour, and that number skyrockets to 72% if it’s a complaint. That means you better show up for millennials when and how they choose. 

4. No… I’ll do it!

Generation Y is a self-reliant bunch, accustomed to navigating the internet on their own terms. They have perfected the art of fast discovery for the information they need. This kind of “resourcefulness without borders” has opened up companies’ knowledge bases beyond the FAQ screen.

In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group, 70% of customers expect a company website to include self-service tools. This is a time/money saving investment for your company as well. Self-service tools help deflect the repetitive, low-urgency questions that otherwise can clog up your chat/call queues and turn your customers off and away from your site.

5. Prove that you really know me

Although millennials seek convenience and the streamlined experience provided by modern technology, they also crave meaningful personal engagements, even from their brands. Slowly but surely we have seen top brands such as Netflix and Amazon begin to integrate personalization into their marketing, customer service, and customer experience efforts. 

CRM, sophisticated websites that analyze cookie data, and self-service platforms are technologies that help you show up for millennials to prove that you really get their interests. Use them to your advantage to assure the customer that your business understands his or her wants, needs, and interests.

Millennials are changing the structure of business strategies and customer care through their dual love of technology and driving desire for personal interchanges. Time is a precious commodity to us all, especially these convenience customers who are multi-tasking their engagements with your brand and expect seamless experiences. Consider where the right technology can help ease these interactions, but think hard about where the human touch is required and helpful when dealing with the tastemakers and leaders of tomorrow.

About the Author

FTamar Frumkin is the Head of Inbound Marketing at nanorep, a cloud-based digital customer assistant that provides actionable answers relevant to each individual. Tamar’s expertise in content marketing has developed during her past 8 years in the technology sector. Her experience spans fashion tech, ad tech, and B2B SaaS with a focus on strategy, content, and branding. Enjoy some of her latest pieces about the Age of the Customer in nanorep’s blog.