Millennials Share the "Likes"Millennials are particularly happy with the service they're receiving from businesses. Eighty-four percent say that businesses are meeting or exceeding their service expectations, significantly more than older Americans (79%).Millennials are also the only generation that tells more friends and family about instances of good service than bad ones, bucking an established trend in how Americans talk about service. As in previous years, Americans across the board report telling more people about poor service (15 people on average) than about good experiences (11). Millennials, though, tell an average of 17 people when they get great care, compared to the 15 they tell about poor experiences. Men are especially chatty when it comes to service, telling twice as many people as women both about their poor experiences (21 compared to 10) and good ones (15 compared to 7). How May I Help You?There is a growing preference for self-service and digital options on simpler inquiries, specifically for online chat and mobile apps. More than six in 10 U.S. consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool such as a website (24%), mobile app (14%), voice response system (13%) or online chat (12%). But, as the complexity of the issue increases, such as with payment disputes or complaints, customers are more likely to seek out a face-to-face interaction (23%) or a real person on the phone (40%). More people than ever are also using social media to get help from businesses. In the past year, 35 percent reported reaching out in social channels, up significantly from the 2014 survey (23%) and double the percentage from 2012 (17%). Of those who have used social media for a customer service concern, 84 percent say they have received a response or resolution, up significantly from 65% in 2014.
Key Takeaways for BusinessesThe study offers key takeaways for businesses looking to improve their service:
- Deliver service on the customer's timeline. As companies improve the service they provide, customers want them to focus on taking care of their needs quickly (40%). The future of service belongs to those who deliver quick, convenient and personalized service in the customer's channel of choice. This could mean enabling customers to find answers themselves through digital options as well as making it easier to connect with a knowledgeable professional.
- Earn the advocacy of customers. Excellent service continues to be a way for businesses to unleash positive word of mouth. This is especially true for Millennials, so companies should make sure they can take care of younger Americans the way they want to be served. For example, Millennials are twice as likely as the general population to prefer self-service for simple inquiries.
- Make the connection. While most Americans still prioritize service that gets the job done, the personal connection matters. Eighty-one percent say that getting a satisfactory answer is a very important part of servicing satisfaction, and 74 percent want a knowledgeable professional. But nearly half also say that personalized service (47%) and appreciation for them as a customer (45%) are very important in providing excellent care.