Customer Service Experiences for Gen Z and Millennials


September 20, 2022

Written by

Merlene Leano

Today’s population is gradually being dominated by millennials and Gen Z’s. In no time, they are primed to take over the ecommerce spotlight as well.

Since they are more tech-savvy, socially motivated, and accustomed to digital communication than the previous generation, millennials and Gen Zs have higher expectations when it comes to the customer experience they receive from various brands. 

Along with the development of new technologies, the demographic of this new generation have become more selective when it comes to choosing the brand that they believe is most suitable for them. As such, they are more eager to evaluate everything that they try online. Not to mention, they have hundreds of thousands of posts that each individual makes on social media about their experiences with a certain product or service. It goes without saying that businesses can and will experience both favorable and negative judgments on their services from this emerging generation of review-driven consumers.

The habits and expectations of the young generation are what make them such powerful customers. 

Their attention to detail is what drives businesses to improve their performance—it’s what pushes them to constantly search for innovative solutions to meet their specific demands. It is quite unfortunate that the vast majority of businesses tend to neglect their effect on the global economy. They do not take the initiative to develop new and trendy customer service strategies to ensure that they are satisfying the demands of new-generation consumers and are prepared with the best techniques to deliver the best possible customer experience. In fact, recent Millennial and Gen Z consumer insights suggest that they have a greater propensity to associate themselves with businesses that are ethical, real, and demonstrate a clear vision of their intended purpose to the masses. Simply, most millennials and Gen Z’s are likely to avoid businesses that are associated with controversial issues.

So, what exactly do millenials and Gen Zs look for in a business's customer service? 

Looking at it from the perspective of someone who lives from paycheck to paycheck, it would appear that millennials and Gen Zers have a tendency to be extravagant with their expenses. In truth, they want to incorporate their ethical beliefs into their daily consumption while also witnessing the experiences of others who share their preferences and expectations. 

Their ideologies must be considered at all times, including the things and content they consume. It is this purchasing behavior that opens the door for the emergence of other factors that affect their purchasing decisions, such as the manner in which the service is provided, the quality of the product, and the cost of the goods and services offered to them.

Millennials' Customer Service Expectations

Representing almost 24% (1.8 billion) of the world’s population, the younger generation has surpassed the Baby Boomers and the generations that came before it. It is a clear indication that their influence in the ecommerce sector is a formidable force that cannot be underestimated. Companies of all sizes must devise customer service strategies that are tailored to meet their specific needs.

They Want Immediate and Accessible Customer Service Channels

It is essential to have an understanding that, among the generations that have come before them, millennials are the first to have grown up and become accustomed to digital communication, gadgets/electronics, and infinite sources of knowledge. That is to say, customers have come to anticipate that companies will provide them with solutions and responses that are prompt, accurate, comprehensive, and real-time. In addition, customers anticipate that businesses will provide help desk channels that enable them to communicate with companies through their mobile devices.

In terms of help desk channels, firms must also provide multi-channel customer assistance. Businesses can communicate with existing and potential customers through multi-channel customer communication. Multi-channel customer service includes an extensive range of communication methods, such as your website's live chat widget, phone calls, emails, texts, and the "all-powerful" social media. It’s the secret to satisfying the youthful and discerning preferences of this fresh generation.

They Demand Genuine Conversation

Millennials are by far the most educated generation, and as previously stated, their attention to detail is remarkable. In this light, customers will be able to tell whether the brand's customer service is genuine or not.

Currently, our generation’s customer service is not yet hardwired to withstand the rise of next-gen consumers. It is important to know that these individuals are far different from their predecessors, and sticking with outdated approaches won’t suffice.

Businesses must interact with them in a trustworthy and transparent manner. They anticipate brands actively initiating and carrying out honest, relatable, and fruitful discussions. When they contact the help desk, they want to see and feel that they are in good hands—that the brand they support can quickly adapt to dynamic changes in their demands, be receptive to constructive criticism, respond to inquiries as quickly as possible, and address their concerns with the utmost professionalism. Doing so emphasizes your credibility as a trustworthy brand.

They Want Everything Personalized

This can’t be stressed enough, but millennials can be quite meticulous. They want customer service to be tailored to their specific needs. They are even willing to disclose sensitive data just to gain access to more personalized engagement with the brand they support.

As such, businesses must optimize their customer service platforms to gather insights into their purchasing habits, browsing patterns, and, of course, call histories. This will show that the company knows what they’re doing and is demonstrating proactive measures to effectively assist their clientele. It enables businesses to gain their customers’ long-term loyalty.

They Expect for Self-Service Assistance

Millennials are dubbed the tech-savvy generation for a reason. They tend to look for customer assistance that allows them to solve their customer service-related dilemmas on their own terms. While waiting for an agent is not a bad choice, for them, they would rather choose to do things by themselves using the available technologies and resources.

In essence, businesses must integrate digital self-service options into their communication channels to serve them more accurately, quickly, and efficiently.

They Seek Convenience

Millennials can be many things. While they may be impatient at times, they are also self-reliant and quite the perfectionists. Don’t get the wrong impression! Their keenness to the smallest of details does not automatically make them the worst generation. What this implies is that they only seek a reliable solution provider. They want to find a brand that has the capacity to cater to their stringent needs. They seek a company that can be reached whenever they need assistance through a variety of channels. They also prefer customer support centers employing agents with multilingual capabilities. 

Basically, millennials prioritize convenience all the time.

Another effective approach that businesses can use to highlight convenience is to optimize their current technologies and resources in such a way that their efficiency is on par with the new-gen demands and conditions. Chatbots, email automation, and other factors that maximize artificial intelligence and modern technology are excellent examples.

Gen Z Customer Service Expectations

Now that you’re already familiar with the customer service expectations of millennials and how to respond to them to keep them engaged with your brand, it’s time to take a look at the consumer behavior of Generation Z.

They are dubbed the “digital natives.” Generation Z's purchasing behavior diverges greatly from that of millennials and even more so from that of Boomers. This consumer group has the most exposure to most digital media by far, along with up-and-coming business models. Simply, the younger generation does not think the same way as their parents did, and they are more demanding in terms of customer service than previous generations. Their elevated standards are what make them a powerful consumer force that’s poised to reshape the very foundation of customer service in the not-so-distant future.

Here are some key takeaways about the customer service expectations of Gen Zs.

Gen Zs Tend to Get Attached to a Brand as Easily as They Get Detached

While no one can be sure that this is because they’re the “youngest” among other generations, Gen Zs can present a huge opportunity for businesses to establish a lasting rapport with them.

Although young, Gen Z has higher expectations for customer service standards. They are the generation that relies heavily on what other people have to say about a specific brand. When they hear favorable feedback from other customers, they tend to get engaged with that brand. Now, assuming that the brand is able to live up to their expectations, Gen Z’s will can easily feel an affinity to the brand in no time.

On the other hand, Generation Z can also be extremely unforgiving when a brand makes mistakes. They are more likely to abandon a company after a single episode of poor customer service. These clients are the reason why firms should seek to improve their customer-centric practices. Businesses should embrace innovation and implement next-generation help desk tools that can keep up with the intricate demands of these younglings. The key is to create an opportunity to conveniently and promptly address any issue at hand while cultivating their relationship with the brand.

They Also Favor Self-Service

Just like millennials, Gen Zs can be quite self-reliant. When product or service-related issues arise, they prefer to do their own research and resolve issues on their own rather than use their phones to reach out to the business’s customer support hotline.

Self-service allows website or page owners to provide customer support without requiring the presence of an actual agent. Basically, AI algorithms and machine learning fuel it to become functional—a feat that Gen Zs are ready to adopt. This type of AI-powered help channel allows businesses to provide effective assistance to customers who want to address their issues on their own. In its most basic form, a self-service help desk includes FAQs, need-to-know info, and experience-driven discussions.

Also, since Gen Zs can be impatient at their best, chatbots can come in handy when catering to their needs—and they love it! As such, chatbots have become an effective stepping stone for businesses to optimize their self-service assistance. Chatbots likewise provide an excellent customer experience at all times while ensuring that they don't break the bank. Should the chatbot fail to resolve the issue, the company can always redirect the customer to an actual human operator.

They are Social Media Natives

Among other generations, Gen Zs tend to strive to maintain their social media presence to stay relevant and on trend. In fact, 93% of the total population of Gen Z today are on social media, an indication that businesses should understand how to navigate social media to effectively connect with the younger generation. After all, they need to reach Gen Z where they are, and that’s on social media.

Interestingly enough, most consumers today, especially Gen Z’s, tend to overlook a brand without a social media presence. That is why it is critical for companies to maximize all the features of social media to reach out to a broader audience. It is also an ideal way to raise brand awareness and strengthen customer relationships.

Millennials and Gen Z Insights: How to Keep Up With These Emerging Generations?

It is important to know that both generations are fed up with the same old types of customer service technologies and approaches. Now that you’ve already seen both millennials and Generation Z’s purchasing behaviors and their expectations of customer service, the next thing that you should do is to know what you need to do to provide them with the best customer experience possible.

1. Be Interactive on Social Media

Providing customer service should not be limited to pre and post sales service. You must always see to it that you provide an interactive space on social media pages where you can interact and respond to your young followers. Being interactive and responding in a timely manner is an ideal way to boost loyalty as well as demonstrate your credibility online.

2. Be Open to Customer Feedback

These two generations can be quite active on review sites—be it on Yelp, Tripadvisor, or Google. As long as they know they can be heard by the masses, they’re there! This is a good way to establish your reputation with this budding consumer force. More and more young audiences will become engaged with your brand with the help of social proof.

Encourage reviews by reaching out to your customers. It can be in the form of a survey template sent via email or chat. Better yet, ask them whenever they reach out to your customer assistance channels or purchase something from your company. Also, don’t hesitate to respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Aside from this being the best way to demonstrate your authenticity to your user base, it also makes customers feel acknowledged and valued, thus amplifying their customer experience and loyalty towards your brand.

3. Provide Channels That They are Accustomed to

Both millennials and Gen Zs are groups that are heavily reliant on their mobile devices. This means that businesses must provide communication channels that are smartphone and gadget-friendly. Ideally, you want to provide a seamless support experience for them.

By doing so, you get to streamline the information-sharing processes between your business and its clients. Plus, if they can reach out to your support hotline using the channel they prefer, it is easier for them to carry out conversational and genuine customer service interaction and ensure that they get faster resolutions to their concerns.

4. Incorporate Artificial Intelligence

Chatbots and machine learning are excellent assets if you want to maintain your engagement with Millennial and Gen Z customers. For example, a live chat tool can be optimized to be more intuitive when dealing with customer concerns. Also, incorporating AI into your messaging channels allows you to streamline the transfer of information, thereby expediting the resolution processes.

5. Maximize Human-Operated Customer Service Channels Still

Providing accessible AI-powered customer service help desks to these tech-savvy individuals is an ideal way to keep them engaged and satisfied with your brand. At the same time, bots have been proven to be valuable additions to your customer service initiative. Still, it would be best if you take into account that you need to employ real human operators to deal with their distinct concerns with utmost empathy and comprehension.

The Next-Gen Consumers are Here…

... and they are unstoppable!

The new generation of customers is gradually dominating the customer service industry. It is just practical to come up with next-gen customer service approaches—and now is the best time.

How will you pull that off, you ask?

First things first, you must know how they maneuver in the current market. Then, identify their expectations for customer support. What features do they seek from a brand’s help desk channel for them to lay their trust in that particular business? After successfully identifying what they anticipate from customer service, that’s the only time you can effectively demonstrate your assistance to millennials and Gen Zs.

In a nutshell, it is your core responsibility to provide the best customer service experience to modern groups of customers. You can’t afford to lose their interest in your brand. Remember, they possess massive purchasing power and the most impactful presence in today’s setup.

If you don’t know where to start, perhaps we could be of great help! 

New Media Services offers reliable customer support solutions to help you stay on par with the changing market demands. When you employ our customer support solutions, our team assures a significant boost to your conversion rates. We highlight user convenience, expand your reach to the international market, and most importantly, provide an exceptional user experience to customers of all generations.

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