The Microsoft State of Global Service report mentions that 61 percent of global consumers sees customer service as one of the most important factors when selecting a brand. Experts predict that by the end of 2020, this may become the key brand differentiator, taking over price and product.
Poor customer experience often results in lost sales, negative user reviews, and damaged brand reputation. Particularly, millennials are more concerned about a good online experience. If they receive a smooth buying experience, they are more likely to suggest a brand to their friends. If not, they will quickly look for another brand. According to a survey by Microsoft’s global customer service, about 60 percent of consumers mention poor customer experience as a reason to stop buying from a brand. Millennials usually prefer instant resolution of any issues. They prefer self-service with personalized answers rather than waiting for the calls or emails to respond to their requests.
As customer acquisition costs five times more than customer retention, it’s critical to invest in retention as well. So, as a millennial myself, what are my five ways to improve customer service in e-commerce for millennials?
Millennials are tech-savvy and are present on multiple channels. We expect brands to offer an omnichannel experience that enables us to shop from anywhere at any time. Aberdeen Group found that a well-defined omnichannel strategy helps brands achieve a customer retention rate as high as 91 percent. Brands need to know where their customers and prospects are and be present there. For example, develop mobile apps for both Android and iPhone users to reach the full mobile audience. Create a captivating website. Build an engaging social media brand page. Offer support on WhatsApp. There are omnichannel approaches that have failed in some of the industries. because of the inconsistent marketing messages, difficulty in repetitive collecting of customer information through multiple channels during the shopping experience, and difficulties in the integration of multiple channels.
Millennial consumers often face challenges during their customer journey: during the presale, the sale, and post-sale. We want our answers in no time. A late response means a lost opportunity. So, it is recommended to invest in proactive customer support that responds to customer queries quickly.
Technology has changed the way we execute processes. Companies are planning on replacing human capital with computer algorithms to save costs and increase efficiency. Customer support has a vast potential for technology adoption. For instance, deploying chat bots to respond to customer queries in no time. Chat bots can be easily integrated into websites and other messaging platforms. However, using technology prematurely also comes at a cost. In reality, chat bots can be biased or too primitive. Using biased data can create negative feelings for certain target groups. If the chat bot capabilities improve and the bias is reduced, then deploying chat bots can be used to handle basic customer interactions. This can help companies in using their human resources for more meaningful parts of the customer journey.
Customers are loyal to brands that respect their feedback. We, millennials, love to share constructive online feedback about products and services we buy. Analyze our feedback to learn about brand strengths and weaknesses. Customer feedback helps a brand to learn about what we love and what we hate. Aligning your brand strategies accordingly will offer a competitive advantage to your brand.
Your relation with us, millennials, is more than just buying and selling. At the time of baby boomers, the competitive edge was different, and customer life-time value (CLV) was higher. But now, the market has drastically changed. Customer experience and customer life-time value are strongly correlated. Customer loyalty programs have proved to be successful in enhancing customer experience and increasing customer retention. This is a give-and-take approach that brands should follow to stay afloat in an ocean of competition, in which you can’t take my life-time value for granted.
Read further: News, loyalty
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