What the Millennial Generation Can Teach Businesses about Building a Better Customer Experience in the Era of the Consumer
This post was written by Alex Havneraas, Receptionist at Jump Associates.
Do I need a new pair of shoes? Some updated clothes for my work wardrobe? Maybe a birthday gift for this weekend? As I sit at my desk in front of my computer, the online shopping arena is my oyster. I don’t have time in my busy schedule to wander around the mall and sift through clothes racks that have already been trampled through. Online shopping makes my life as a closeted shopaholic easier than ever before.
Millennials in the age of the consumer — myself included — have a “want it now, get it now” mentality. If I need a specific item or service, I can simply pull out my phone, tablet, or laptop, and get it right then and there. But my online purchases aren’t as personal as traditional shopping; I can’t physically hold or experience what I’m purchasing right away. And that’s where customer reviews and testimonials come in.
I’m not interested in what your company claims your product can do for me, especially if it seems unreal. I’m mostly interested in past customers’ experiences. Through my experience, I can say that three things are essential for remaining relevant in the age of the consumer: providing customers with what they want, when they want it, ensuring that their opinions are validated, and providing transparency and honesty in advertising.
When people get what they want, when they want it, your company seems reliable. That much ought to be clear. It’s important to add that when customers have their opinions validated, it makes your company seem more genuine. Companies that win provide digital interfaces that consumers can use to locate, research, and utilize your service, and seek out individual testimonials.
The “want it now, get it now” mentality was born when the millennial generation came of age — when Google and Amazon were at our fingertips at all times. With that ability, consumers were given the opportunity to give their own opinions for specific products. As the pioneers of customer testimonials, they gave themselves the ability to be fully transparent to the consumer. This is a lesson does not only apply to B2C brands, but also B2B businesses. Even if you don’t have a review system like Amazon, an online forum can still be very valuable. Past studies have shown that as many as 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Customers today are also more suspicious and discerning of advertisements. Long gone are the days when companies could make wild insinuations about their products, such as old ads that argued cigarettes were good for your health. Customers aren’t laughing anymore when companies joke about their products’ blatantly facetious benefits, just like when Red Bull was sued for claiming their drink “gives you wings.” Customers respond best when online advertisements are quick, clever, and most importantly, transparent.
In order to make customers happy in today’s world, companies need to have a strong digital presence that facilitates fast reactions and interactions. Customers like to be entertained but, with their shrinking attention spans and more skeptical perspectives, they also want to feel like the whole truth is being presented to them, quickly. They want information at their fingertips, so companies need to be upfront with their own motives while also providing outsider perspectives via testimonials so that customers can make educated decisions when shopping online.
Customers respond to transparency, so make your digital platform as clear as glass. Your customers will appreciate it.
Originally published at www.jumpassociates.com.