In two years time, the 80 million strong Generation Y or the Millennials (those born from 1977 to 1995) are poised to outspend the Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) and become the most powerful consumers segment.
This means that the generation that drove the growth of many major industries and brands for the last 30 years is about to be overtaken by a new generationthat thrives on technology and does not conform to the traditional customer pathways.
This is according to the Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial Research On Customer Service, a study that reveals69 percent of Millennials now prefer to solve their customer service issues on their own instead of having to go through customer service channels.
The results of the study were presented by Jim Freeze, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Aspect during the Aspect Advantage Media Briefing held recently.
Freeze said special attention was given to Millennials, because their views on customer experience usher in an entirely new wave of digital expectations to the marketplace.
The Aspect CMO likewise warned that companies that do not adapt will risk obsolescence as Millennials become the economic powerhouse in the near future.
“The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers’ digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own. This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty.”
As social media becomes increasingly more important in terms of influencing customer service issues, it has now also evolved becoming a powerful marketing tool for companies.
“It is now very common for people to take to social media to ask for advice and try to solve issues. As such companies should need to be more involved and active to respond to their customer issues.
Opportunities for BPOs
Freeze said this self-service trend presents a big opportunity for the country’s booming Business Process Outsourcing industry. Instead of seeing the shift in customer service preference of Millenials, BPOs should view it as an opportunity to be the first to adapt and get ahead of the competition.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that the BPO industry is looking to overtake overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances as the economy’s main economic engine.
The BSP said the BPO sector’s prospects are much brighter as revenues are expected to grow by at least 15 percent as compared to OFW remittances from which would only grow by 6 percent at most this year.
By 2016, BPOs would earn $25 billion annually, industry estimates showed.
Freeze said that the mindshift of looking at the contact center from an expense to an enabler to grow topline revenues is going to be huge.
Aspect’s fully-integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern customer engagement strategy: customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office. Through a full suite of cloud, hosted and hybrid deployment options, we help the world’s most demanding contact centers and back offices seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences.
Part of the value proposition that Aspect offers in terms of self-service is increasing interactions, since simple inquiries can now be done by machines, it actually elevates the role of agent.
“Agents should be reserved for high value transactions. Not on things that consumers can do on their own such as pulling up accounts and providing basic information.
“Aspect can help your business participate in social interactions in a cost-effective manner using proven contact center efficiencies and provide you with the ability to engage with customers who are already leveraging social media to ask for help, guidance and assistance with any issue that is having an impact on their customer experience,” said Freeze.
Aspect Omni-channel and Customer Experience Platform
Customer experience is increasingly defined by customer service: 76 percent of all generations view customer service as a “true test” of how much a company values them. While companies need effective strategies for all generations, they can’t afford to ignore the increasing buying power of Millennials who are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if left unsatisfied.
With the flexibility and nearly unlimited mobility brought on by smartphones, consumers around the world have taken to find issue resolution to business questions by themselves, on the go, and whenever they want instead of relying on the constraints of call center business hours.
Aspect’s Customer Experience Platform (CXP) 14.1 streamlines the process of designing, streamlining and deploying self-service customer contact applications across multiple communications channels, like voice, text (IM, SMS, USSD), mobile web, social networks like Twitter and smartphone applications.
By storing Context Cookies in Aspect’s Continuity Server during the customer journey, customers can experience continuity when attempting to complete an interrupted transaction either at a later time, or on a different channel.
Aspect Experience Continuity addresses this growing trend and allows consumers to do so in a connected environment.
“Everything is changing, consumers have gone from dependent to self-reliant,” said Freeze. “We are undergoing a power shift from brand to consumer– with new consumer expectations. Millennials want to do their customer service on their own time, wherever they are and in the most convenient way possible.”
Aspect’s interaction management solutions make it easy to deliver a consistent customer experience on voice, mobile, web and social channels enabling mobile customers to traverse multiple channels of engagement when seeking an answer to their question, including self-service and agent-assisted options.
The company has also heavily invested to improve its Cloud infrastructure. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the compelling advantages of moving contact center infrastructure to the cloud as they seek competitive advantages in customer satisfaction and retention while still controlling overall costs. The cloud streamlines the process of providing modernized, up-to-date service to customers, personalizing service to meet their preferences and demands, in addition to providing the advantages of cost, reliability and flexibility.
Aspect Cloud-based contact center deployment options allows business to leverage up-to-date solutions without bearing the burden of significant upfront capital or additional IT investments, implement comprehensive cloud-based interaction management and workforce optimization technologies including inbound, outbound and blended voice interactions.
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About the Millennial Study
The Millennial report is a national online study conducted by Conversion Research on behalf of Aspect Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics in February 2015. There was a sample size of 1050 Americans, aged 18-65, regionally representative and divided by gender as per most recent census projection, with 25 percent oversampling of those aged 18-34.
About Jason Dorsey and The Center for Generational Kinetics
Known as The Gen Y Guy, Jason is a best-selling author featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, The View, The Early Show and dozens more as an expert in Millennial research. He serves as CSO of The Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization that uncovers new generational trends and truths through original research, speaking and strategy.
Aspect’s fully integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern consumer engagement strategy: customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office. Through a full suite of cloud, hosted and hybrid deployment options, we help the world’s most demanding contact centers and back offices seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.
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