Think Like a Millennial

Businesses today in nearly every industry are dealing with the changing expectations of millennials and other on-trend customers who are looking for a new style of customer experience and customer service.
Let’s think about what millennials and other customers sharing their mindset are looking for in the customer experience and customer service, and how your service department can scratch these itches.

Millennial customers (born 1980ish-2000ish) are the largest generation in U.S. and world history. They, and others who are quickly adapting a millennial mindset (including, more frequently than you’d think, their parents, who are the second-largest generation, the Baby Boomers), share some clearly identifiable expectations that I consulted closely in my work as a Service Manager and Service Advisor.

Below are five customer experience preference trends that I have seen while spending time at dealerships across the nation. While being a part of the millennial age group helps in identifying these characteristics, it is very important that you Service Managers and Directors can identify them, as well, and make the needed changes on your service drives to accommodate and make a stellar impression.

Five Millennial customer experience preference trends:

  1. Peer-to-peer customer service style:  A preference for being served in a way that makes the customer feel that those serving and those being served are equals, rather than an older style of service that was sometimes servile and sometimes condescending.
  2. Digital parity: Customers expect an experience that is streamlined and hassle-free/friction-free. They want you to be as easy to use as what they’ve experienced online. Channel shouldn’t matter: the info available online should be available in the store, and vice versa, and all channels with which you interact with the customer should be streamlined and integrated.
  3. Authenticity: Today’s customers are on a quest for what is genuine, authentic, what feels like “the genuine article.” They’re put off by all that seems false, plastic, scripted and so forth.
  4. Transparency: A preference for businesses to be open and forthright in explanations, pricing, quality standards, vendor relations, etc.
  5. Adventure and Experience: A feeling that most commercial interactions are improved if there is an element of adventure, excitement, a true “experience” within the customer experience.

In order to attract Millennials to your repair shop you should most definitely have web presence, social media (at least Facebook, Instagram and Google) and add your business to Yelp.com and Google. Keeping all of these tips in mind will ensure you have a better chance of marketing to the newer generation.

Millennials are more cautious and skeptical than other generations, especially when it comes to an industry with a reputation. In everything you do — whether posting on social media, working on your automotive service marketing, or telling friends about your business — convince them that you’re different.

Next time you’re taking a stroll around your service department, take a look around, keeping this information in mind, and ask yourself if you’re keeping up with the changing times by making your department stand out and different than the others.

Written by Nick Rodgers

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