It’s not how we’ve always done it, and that’s a good thing. A guide to creating a customer experience with a millennial state of mind.
How well you communicate with your customers can ultimately determine the success and longevity of your company. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to communicate effectively both internally among team members and externally with existing and prospective customers. This problem can lead to subpar customer experiences and ultimately result in lost revenue, confused clients, and high churn.
Understanding your customer and knowing what methods of communication are most effective with them can be a daunting task. Furthermore, the generational shift in the workforce with millennials (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) accounting for nearly half of the U.S. labor force can complicate matters as businesses and customers from different eras try to get on the same page.
Millennials’ communication styles are considerably different from prior generations. Notably, younger workers appear to have a clear preference for visual content, particularly videos rather than text. When faced with an issue, they’ll watch a YouTube tutorial to figure out how to fix their broken vacuum rather than dust off the text-heavy owner’s manual. Many millennials’ preferred methods of connection and communication involve an abundance of emojis, GIFs, memes, and acronyms. They text more than they answer a phone call, and tbh, they don’t have time to wait on hold for customer service.
So how will your business connect to this generation? How do you create a customer experience that will make an impact and create a loyal customer out of this generation? Chances are, many of your employees are part of this generation and the customers they’re interacting with are their peers. Enabling your employees with the communication tools necessary to connect in the ways that are natural for them is essential in providing high-quality customer interactions that can improve satisfaction, increase referrals, and drop churn like it’s hot.
Business owners who pay attention and apply the technologies that are central to the millennial’s world do so by using the tools they already interact with on a day-to-day basis. As you learn millennials’ language and communication styles, you’ll gain insight into creating a high-touch, personalized experience using software specialized just for that. This is key in creating a meaningful experience while simultaneously improving your bottom line.
In this article, you’ll learn five key concepts that will help you break through the noise and tailor your customer experience to a new generation of decision-makers and consumers. You’ll learn how to create the customer experience they have come to expect through their use of smartphones, social media, and on-demand purchasing power.
- Be Authentic
- Show, Don’t Tell
- Work Around Their Schedule
- Speak Their Language
- Know Your Audience
1. Be Authentic
Millennials conduct copious amounts of research before they make just about any purchasing decision. Because so much is available, data has shown that millennials are more likely to make decisions for their money and their life based on their values. A Nielsen report found that 73% of millennials will pay more for a product that is sustainable-- and the word “sustainable” is equated with “trustworthiness” in a millennial’s mind.
So how will you stand out? Emanate authenticity. These people have been inundated with choices their whole lives and their generation is spoilt with them. And you bet the one thing they know how to do is differentiate the better from the best--kind of like the difference between a pair of Yeezys and a pair of Feezys, or Ray Bans from Ray Berries. Your product and team has a story. Tell it with transparency to invite connection with people both in and out of your company.
Trustworthiness and transparency allow you to connect with customers in an authentic way. Go beyond the taglines and offer information that isn’t typically required or shared on a product label or business brief-- such as the brand story, how your brand may be contributing positively to the world, and how much your company upholds honesty and integrity with its employees and clients. It’s often independent initiatives that provide this information to millennials, but this extra effort is important-- so don’t pass up the opportunity to do it. It could be the very thing that sets your company apart from the competitors. Some examples of ways to communicate authentically include having an ‘About Us’ page on your website, social media engagement to create community, opting for live-streams with a webcam recording software as opposed to a formal press release, etc.
Couple these well-founded efforts with communication software that speaks the way millennials do, and you’ve found yourself a pair of listening ears (at least for 8 seconds… the time it takes for millennials to decide whether they’ll move on to their next option).
G2 Crowd, for example, embraces this concept by creating personalized videos to share with their potential customers. Using screen recording software and annotated screenshots has enabled the company to grow to over $7m in its sales pipeline because of the connection aspect that videos provide. Matt Lazares, G2 Crowd Enterprise Account Executive, said of video capture software “...We are able to reach out to people that we typically can't connect with.” (Read more here.)
2. Show, Don’t Tell
Counter intuitively, but not surprising, millennials value efficiency and speed over service. They are, after all, the generation of convenience. This is why products like cupcakes, makeup, and even bike parts can be bought from vending machines. So it stands to reason that the customer experience journey today should steer away from clunky information portals and automated messages and focus on talking with customers the way they talk to each other: using intuitive apps to show exactly the message that needs to be conveyed. Utilize screen recording software to get your message across in the clearest way possible.
Frustration exists in communication when messages aren’t clear. This is prevalent in companies from customer support to onboarding, marketing and sales departments (to name a few). Let alone the customer/potential customer you’re trying to work with. Think about the work required to answer a question that’s rather easy to show, but arduous to explain via chat/email/over the phone.
There’s also the inconvenience of schedules not matching up to jump on a call and do a “quick” demo. A brilliant solution is screen recording software. It works like this: a sales rep takes a recording of her screen with CloudApp. She can explain every step of her demonstration clearly as a talking head in the top corner of the computer screen as she simultaneously runs through her process. She may even use the GIF creator to show another client a quick method to navigating her product’s dashboard--super simple, and easier seen than told.
The use of screen recorder, snipping tools, and a GIF creator completely cuts through wordy, textual barriers to deliver precise communication. This is the authentic, efficient, no-extras communication and also the sleek, streamlined communication tools that optimize the customer experience.
Customer support teams using product management tools like screen record and screen share mitigate time-consuming (and frustration-inducing) processes. These tools help them promote the effectiveness of their product and actively soothe the customers who are most likely to churn. Utilizing these tools creates an experience where information is clearly stated without pain points that arise when using chat, phone calls and tutorials that don’t cover specific questions.
A study by Wyzowl reported that 72% of people would rather use video over text to learn about a product or a service. Knowing that:
-The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video content,
-85% of all internet users in the United States watch video content monthly on their devices, and
-54% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses they support,
it is safe to say that productivity software that implements video will find success and create a long-lasting impact with millennials. Why not make a quick video to show exactly how your product works?
A staggering 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. (That’s billion, with a b.) Our society is used to watching videos, likely because video content is a great tool to learn, easy to consume, and a convenient way to digest and retain information on-the-go. This is huge for sales teams. Today’s customers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to 10 percent who read a call to action in text format. This is because videos and GIFs create a unique experience from other ways of receiving information. And there’s data to prove it: a Ragan study reported that more than 60 percent of millennials say they understand information faster when it’s communicated visually, versus just 7 percent who don’t.
Robust products like CloudApp offer teams a number of key features that help them interact seamlessly. These include screen record, screen share, and GIF creation capabilities that speak the millennial customer’s language. Additionally, the platform offers a number of core integrations including Slack, Trello, and Zendesk--echoing the sentiment that millennials value products that can slot into their existing workflows (for more info on CloudApp’s integrations, click here: https://www.getcloudapp.com/integrations). Smart integrations create customers that will engage with your product with the same enthusiasm as they would a social media app.
3. Work Around Their Schedule
Generation Y has seen a significant rise in the number of employees working remotely. Gallup found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose by four percentage points, from 39% to 43%, and employees working remotely spent more time doing so. Nontraditional schedules are becoming the norm thanks to innovations in technology and companies vying to have competitive benefits packages (like extended parental leave policies, unlimited PTO, etc.). Additionally, millennials are prepared to work after they leave the office, and often do. These facts have contributed to the demand for digital, cloud-based collaboration tools and productivity software. Being able to provide digital communication outside the 9-to-5 is invaluable, and it may also be the only time to reach some of your customers. Providing content with video recording software that can be referenced at any time is not only convenient, but ensures that you’ve got an evergreen piece of material with the potential to make an impact the more it’s passed around and viewed.
As cloud computing quality and accessibility continue to mature, demand increases. Businesses are shifting to cloud-based collaboration software solutions and consequently find eager and adaptable users (both in-house and for communicating with customers). Providing visual references to your customer makes the customer feel that you’re aware of and sensitive to their time and specific needs, further nurturing the customer journey.
4. Speak Their Language
Consolidating the number of products an individual uses is key for millennials’ need for efficiency. Using screen recording software takes a small amount of time and helps to avoid any miscommunication, because of the personalized demonstration aspect. Clear, concise interactions are key to making customer interactions positive (and ensuring they’ll continue the conversation). In most cases, the ability to send a quick and easy video recording prevents company reps from having to hop on a call to explain something to a customer or keep a customer engaged in a chat (and good luck if you type something wrong). Chances are high that you have experienced a time when you, perhaps begrudgingly, spent too much time on the phone with customer support or hearing a sales pitch. Product management tools like CloudApp eliminate that pain point for customers.
Webcam recording software also saves teams a lot of time, allowing your team to work on more strategic tasks. Gainsight, for example, saves over 40 hours a month using CloudApp. Likewise, Outreach saves 21 hours a week by using the productivity software to report bugs and fixes, and G2 Crowd reported saving 88 hours a week by utilizing CloudApp to increase lead volume and shorten their sales cycle.
This software appeals to customer success/support, product, and sales teams in businesses because of the intuitive nature of the product and concentration of a myriad of connection-driven needs in one hub. Companies save time, and their customers save time. Businesses also use the product management tools of this communication software in a wide variety of ways, including:
● Onboarding new customers
● Prospecting and closing new clients
● Demoing product features
● Providing product feedback
● Reporting and tracking bugs and issues
● Building team training/knowledge wiki
● Explaining complicated workflows
● Sending updates to teams or clients
● Answering customer support tickets
“With CloudApp, we were able to take 2 to 3 typed out interactions and combine them into 1 GIF or video. This has eliminated the need for the rep to type out these mile-long responses” --Steve Davis, Customer Support Manager at Gainsight.
5. Know Your Audience
Generations Y and Z are heavily visual creatures, and rightly so, as they’re the first generations to spend their formative years online. So if you’re already struggling to connect with this subset, it’s time to sprint so that you don’t miss out on connecting with the next round of tech-savvy humans that are beginning their entrance into the workforce.
Younger individuals today are growing up with the internet, smartphones, and social media as a rule, not an exception. They’re already well-versed in the areas that millennials had to learn. Millennials may remember the sound of dial-up internet while Generation Z doesn’t know life before WiFi. Millennials are more likely to still have a Facebook account, while many Gen Z kids have abandoned it for the video content-heavy Snapchat.
According to Forbes, Gen Z individuals use an average of five screens (compared to a millennial’s three) and switch between them for different purposes. These screens include a smartphone, laptop, TV, desktop, tablet, and even a smartwatch. This is significant because it drives home the importance of shifting toward value in technology and investing in software that will help facilitate this specialized form of communication that will soon be the norm.
What’s more, if they’re interested in learning something new, Gen Zers will take it upon themselves to learn it. These people are highly proficient in self-education. Thirty-two percent of Gen Z (7 to 24-year-olds) watch lessons online and conduct research by watching videos. So if your company can create a high-level, customized experience for your customer using screen recording and webcam recording software, you’ll be well on your way in preparations for the next generation of the labor force--both for your team and your potential customers.
Key Takeaways To Millennial-Approve Your Customer Experience
Affecting the customer experience all comes down to authentic communication, communication style, and the ease with which you do it. The common thread through each of the five points listed above is the significant need for more video content and adaptation to communication software. Find productivity software that employs features such as screen recorder, snipping tools, and GIF creators. These are the features that will help you talk with your millennial customers in the medium they’ve grown comfortable existing in and will likely result in a positive experience.
Someone who has a positive experience with your company is more likely to become a loyal customer and even an advocate of your product. What could be better than having a trend-setting millennial in your court, ready to rave about your product to their equally review-conscious social media followers and friends?
Seventy percent of the customer’s journey is dictated by how they feel they are being treated. So remember, when you’re using your high-tech video capture software to walk a customer through a process or a complicated question, don’t forget the number one tip of this read: be authentic. Use the technology to facilitate a deeper connection with your customer through clear communication and you’ll achieve exactly what you’ve set out to do. You will have created a millennial-approved, positive and forward-thinking customer experience.