The millennials are coming. The group, typically defined as anyone born after 1980, is now entering the workforce in droves and gaining tremendous spending power as a result. Business leaders in virtually every industry need to take note of this trend and take steps to accommodate this increasingly important segment of the population. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by embracing high-quality unified communications tools in the contact center.
Millennial MattersWriting for Forbes, industry expert Micah Solomon recently highlighted just how big of an impact millennials are poised to have in the consumer sector. He pointed to research suggesting that millennials will ultimately spend approximately $10 trillion during their lives. More immediately, millennial consumer spending is on pace to reach $200 billion annually as soon as 2017.
Consequently, Solomon argued that millennials will soon "become by far the most important consumers encountered by businesses, both in number of interactions and dollars spent." If they have not done so already, consumer-facing businesses must take immediate steps to improve their appeal to this demographic. Failure to do so will lead directly to declining revenue streams.
That's not all. It's also important to note that millennials tend to be much more active users of social media than older consumers. As a result, a millennial who has a bad customer service experience will likely spread the word about this incident to a large number of people. This means that the stakes of any given customer interaction are greater with millennials than other demographics.
UC ImprovementsIn response to this trend, business leaders are quickly coming to realize that a UC-enabled contact center is a critical resource.
There are several reasons why a UC-enabled contact center is such a powerful tool for attracting and retaining millennial customers. First and foremost, millennials tend to be more familiar with and in favor of a wide range of communication channels than older demographics. In addition to voice and email, millennials regularly utilize SMS, instant messaging, video conferencing, and countless other media. They therefore expect the companies they patronize to offer customer service via any and all of these channels. A firm that cannot meet this demand will appear less customer-friendly to younger consumers, who look elsewhere for their product and service needs.
There's also the issue of resolution times. As Solomon pointed out, most millennials have little experience with some of the classic hallmarks of slow customer service, such as long wait times at banks or waiting for companies to respond via mail. They are consequently less tolerant of delays when contacting organizations. UC helps in this regard by allowing customers and agents to pick the most appropriate, efficient channel to resolve a specific issue. This flexibility will have an immediate impact, driving down resolution times across the board.