There’s an old proverb about the power of self-help that says “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This same theory applies to millennials, and luckily, many young workers are more interested in learning new skills and solving problems themselves than sitting back and having work done for them. This tendency can be a real boon for channel companies looking to jump-start a self-sufficient workforce, especially when it comes to driving new forms of faster, smarter customer service.
Need more proof before you jump on the self-service bandwagon? Check this out – according to a study conducted by Aspect Software, 55 percent of millennials said their customer service expectations have increased over the last three years, while nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would rather solve a customer service issue on their on. The numbers don’t lie – self-service is the wave of the future.
So why are millennials obsessed with the concept of smarter, faster, and overall better customer service? It all comes down to expectations, chiefly the ones that we’ve grown accustomed to thanks to the number of high-speed gadgets we have at our fingertips. From broadband internet to smartphones and more, millennials have grown accustomed to getting information when they want it, how they want it, said Jeff Platon, chief marketing officer of Interactive Intelligence.
“Remember, millennials now are the majority of the workforce,” said Platon, in an interview with The VAR Guy. “It was the millennials driving [change] but it was also the millennials expanding their influence to really encompass older generations.”
While this phenomenon is not solely isolated to millennials, this particular age group understands the importance of speedy service better than any other, because we’ve grown up with that level of service. This, said Platon, is causing disruption across multiple industries, including cloud service providers and other IT service providers, who need to adapt to millennials’ standards or face extinction.
Hiring millennials is a surefire way to ensure that your company’s self-service operations stay up to date and can keep pace with your competitors. For starters, millennials want alternate ways to speak to customer service representatives other than via phone. That means instant messaging, tweets and video calling should be top of mind when revamping your self-service initiatives. Don’t know how? Hire a tech-savvy millennial or utilize a focus group of young businesspeople to give you ideas on how to best implement new technology into your business.
Millennials can also be helpful in defining the needs of “Generation Z” who in many cases desire complete service automation as opposed to self-service opportunities, Platon said. While this is a much more difficult task that requires machine learning and big data processes, having millennials on your side will undoubtedly make the transition process that much smoother.
And effective self-service not only helps customers, it can positively affect your business’ bottom line by freeing up employees for more worthwhile tasks, according to a study by Parature, a cloud-based customer service platform developer. However, its important to note that saving money shouldn’t be your company’s sole reason for implementing customer self-service initiatives; in the long run, the ultimate goal is to build and maintain effective customer relationships.
So to paraphrase that old saying: Let a millennial teach you how to make your customers more efficient, and your business will be profitable for years. They may not be worthy of becoming a proverb, but they sure are words to live by.