Millennial customers, commonly defined as the age group now between 12 and 34-years-old, represent the largest and most unique segment of customers since the baby boomers – and they have great expectations for brands and customer service. Millennials extensively research and follow brands online before and after purchases, making up their own minds about quality, value and customer care rather than being told what they should know through marketing messages.
According to a recent Forbes article, “They take technology for granted. They live through social media. They want the world their way, and they want it now.
“They have grown up in a text-it or FedEx-it, why-wait world, and they don’t expect to wait. They expect unlimited choices, and they would like you to customize your product just for them.”
As millennials age, and the next generation of customers who have never known life without the internet and social media come of age, expectations for personalized, real-time service will only grow. Here are 12 statistics to consider when connecting with web-savvy Gen Y customers:
1. 77% of affluent Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, and 80% between the ages of 25 and 34 own smartphones (Business Insider). One-third of all tablet owners are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen).
2. 45% of 18 to 29-year-olds who use the internet on their cell phones do most of their online browsing on them (Pew Research).
Sharing Brand and Service Experiences
3. Sharability of retail experiences is twice as important to Gen Y as it is to Boomers (Brodeur Partners).
4. Half of all bloggers are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen); 60% of millennials produce and upload online content, including photos, videos, wiki entries, blog posts, micro-blog posts and product/service reviews, compared to 29% of non-millennials (Barkley).
5. While all age groups still prefer direct feedback methods, young adult consumers increasingly choose online public feedback over direct, with 33 percent of the youngest consumer age group (18 to 24-year-olds) preferring public feedback methods and 28 percent of those specifically favoring Facebook. The younger the consumers, the more likely they are to prefer public over direct feedback methods (NICE Survey).
6. A quarter to a third (25% to 32%) of millennials report using the following alternative channels frequently: live chat or virtual assistant on websites, text messaging (SMS), smartphone applications, service kiosks, social networks and online communities sponsored by their providers (NICE Systems Survey).
7. On average, 18 to 30-year-olds use 6.3 customer service channels. On a monthly basis, 18 to 30-year-olds use 3.6 channels (NICE Survey).
8. When customers have a problem with a product, 71% of 16 to 24-year- olds and 65% of 25 to 34-year-olds search for a solution online first (2012 Sitel Study).
9. 17% of customers age 16 – 34 said companies could most drastically improve customer experience by “responding quickly when I ask a question on Twitter.” (Sitel Study)
10. 45% of UK consumers age 25 – 34 engage in social commerce. By 2021, that percentage is expected to increase to 73% (Barclays).
11. 55% of American adults age 35 and under use Facebook every day (Associated Press CFK Group Poll).
12. 42 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds expect customer support on social media within 12 hours of a complaint or comment (Nielsen).
Welcome to the age of the mobile, social, vocal, channel surfing customer. Is your brand ready to connect?