Customer, Serve Thy Self: New Study Reveals Millennials' Desire for Self Service, Digital Interaction to Change Customer Service Forever

Date: 04/02/2015, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Fifty-five percent of Millennials say that their customer service expectations have increased over the last three years, more than half have stopped doing business with at least one company because of poor customer service in the past year
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 consumers prefer to solve their customer service issues on their own, setting the stage for big changes in the consumer experience landscape
  • Sixty-five percent of all consumers and 69 percent  of Millennials say that they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service

Aspect Software, a leading provider of fully-integrated customer interaction management, workforce optimization, back-office and award-winning cloud solutions, today released a study examining the generational and technological divergence between consumer groups and their perceptions and preferences towards customer service. The key takeaway: Companies need to quickly address the customer engagement preferences of the Millennial demographic or risk going out of business.

The Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations provides analysis on how companies can adapt to this shifting consumer challenge. The new survey developed with Millennial expert Jason Dorsey (The Gen Y Guy®) is designed to help businesses identify key characteristics of an increasingly influential Millennial population (individuals aged 18-34). Insights in the study will help companies address Millennials' evolving needs and expectations when engaging with brands.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Customer experience is increasingly defined by customer service: 76 percent of all generations view customer service as a “true test” of how much a company values them.
  • And nearly a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service.
  • 56 percent of Millennials moved their business from at least one company in the past year due to poor customer service.
  • Consumer preferences are not being addressed: 73 percent of consumers said that they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own.
  • The big opportunity: Help consumers help themselves and let them do it with text and other digital channels. 65 percent of all generations and 69 percent of Millennials say that they feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company on their own.

“The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers’ digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own. This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty,” says Joe Gagnon, SVP and GM of Aspect’s Cloud Solutions. “As Millennials are more 'experience-loyal' than 'brand-loyal,' consumer engagement is quickly becoming a far more influential factor in building positive brand perception. It’s imperative that businesses adapt their customer service strategies to deliver an interaction strategy that addresses Millennial engagement preferences.”

While companies need effective strategies for all generations, they can’t afford to ignore the increasing buying power of Millennials - this generation is poised to outspend boomers by 2017. Millennials are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if left unsatisfied. The study suggests that companies willing to embrace integrated omni-channel support and self-service will have a competitive advantage over firms that choose to rely on traditional support channels and technologies.

“Millennials are self-reliant and technology dependent, but not necessarily tech savvy, and they expect instant gratification. They don’t just like speed and ease of use, they expect it,” says Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. “When it comes to customer service, the average Millennial is going to look for both the ability to communicate the way they like, be it through text or Twitter, and maintain that level of customization made possible when speaking to an agent in real-time. Therefore companies who don’t adapt their engagement approach are at great risk of near-term obsolescence.”  

To download the full study, view the infographic and checkout the take-action strategies to create a great customer experience with all generations, please visit http://www.aspect.com/millennials.

About the Millennial Study

The Millennial report is a national online study conducted by Conversion Research on behalf of Aspect Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics in February 2015. There was a sample size of 1050 Americans, aged 18-65, regionally representative and divided by gender as per most recent census projection, with 25 percent oversampling of those aged 18-34.           

About Jason Dorsey and The Center for Generational Kinetics

Known as The Gen Y Guy, Jason is a best-selling author featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, The View, The Early Show and dozens more as an expert in Millennial research. He serves as CSO of The Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization that uncovers new generational trends and truths through original research, speaking and strategy.

About Aspect

Aspect’s fully integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern consumer engagement strategy: customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office. Through a full suite of cloud, hosted and hybrid deployment options, we help the world’s most demanding contact centers and back offices seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.

Follow Aspect on Twitter at @AspectSoftware. Read our blogs at http://blogs.aspect.com.

 

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