Digital natives represent approximately a quarter of France’s population, i.e. 16 million people. Despite being hyper-connected and able to adopt the latest technologies in the blink of an eye, millennials seek relationships with the perfect combination of human and digital aspects: 82 percent of them agree that we’ll never completely outgrow the need for flesh-and-blood consultants!(1) At the same time, they’re more demanding than the previous generation when it comes to quality of service and the customer relationship.(2) So, how do we speak the language of the millennials? What if this challenge represented an opportunity for evolution in your customer relations?
What millennials want (and how they’re transforming your practices)
They were born between the late eighties and the beginning of the twenty-first century. Today, aged between 18 and 35, these active young people have spread their culture—a culture in which everything is immediate and everything is digitalized. Armed with a smartphone and an internet connection, they can do anything: find information with a click of their fingers or book a trip to anywhere in the world. They’re techno-friendly, spending 77 percent of their digital time on mobile apps³ and living at the speed of innovation.
In short, millennials have completely disrupted your marketing practices. Their search for immediate gratification makes them impatient, and their attachment to social media short-circuits your traditional channels of communication. To attract their attention, you have to go through Likes, retweets and Snapchat filters, you have to be responsive and available 24/7, and even that isn’t enough, as Generation Y also demands a relationship that’s personalized, entertaining and simple. While they may have their nose buried in their telephone, they still strongly value human interaction.(4)
But this transformation in the relationship with information and consumption is also an opportunity for brands to open up new channels of interaction. This desire to have access to everything right now creates an ideal opportunity for the use of chatbots wherever traditional customer service is lacking in responsiveness. So, how do we find the right balance to approach the millennial market?
What tools do we need in order to create the kind of customer relationship millennials are dreaming of?
To respond to these challenges, there are new tools that will allow you to initiate a responsive, multi-support relationship. You can no longer settle for traditional channels: 7 out of 10 millennials affirm that they’re capable of solving their problems on their own (4) but when they do decide to contact your customer service department, it’s to get solutions as quickly as possible. And through any channel! As a result, you have to be everywhere all the time. Because to Generation Y, immediacy is a necessity.
This is where chatbots come in! Capable of offering an experience that’s intuitive, rapid and multi-channel, a conversational robot responds perfectly to the needs of your ultra-connected clients. Available 24/7, it personalizes exchanges, building a truly relevant user experience.
Thanks to its understanding of natural language and its capacity for continuous learning, a chatbot adapts to its users’ needs and behaviors. Thomas, the chatbot implemented by Natixis Interépargne in their website, is an excellent example of this: he intervenes at each step of the customer experience (whether in the public space or when logging on to an account or personal space) and adapts his responses according to the visitor’s profile. According to Philippe Dias, Manager of Digital Marketing & Innovation at Natixis Interépargne, Thomas was named Mister Client 2016 thanks to the empathy developed by his designers.
A bot unlike the rest?
Faced with the proliferation of chatbots (as of April 2017, Facebook reports having 100,000 Messenger chatbots carrying out two billion conversations each month!), companies must overcome the challenge of differentiation: how do you ensure that YOUR customer service chatbot is unlike all the other ones out there?
This can only be accomplished through in-depth work on its identity, its personality and its expressions, as well as its appearance, its voice and its expressiveness. A new generation of chatbots—fully humanized virtual assistants—has already been born.
In addition to new consumer behaviors, millennials have also developed a new way of communicating. An original language with its own technological grammar and innovative syntax. But don’t look at this as an obstacle. Instead, think of it as an opportunity for you to reinvent your customer relationship, imbuing it with responsiveness, entertainment and a multi-support presence with the aid of a chatbot and its perfect balance between programmed conversations and humanized exchanges.
(1) ÉStudy of Millennials in France
(2) Service Culture Barometer
(3) Comscorev Survey
(4) Millennial Focus Group