As a business owner or executive, you’re all too aware that your industry is always changing and growing. New companies replace old ones, new products reign supreme while old fads fall out of fashion, and new generations change the consumer market and how businesses and their audiences communicate. If you’re to remain a leader in your field, you have to keep your eyes open and know when to bend. 

And boy, is it time to bend before you break. You see, the largest consumer market is no longer the baby boomers looking for the American Dream — it’s millennials in search of their life purpose… plus their next favorite influencer, a sparkly SnapChat filter, and a great bargain on skincare products. 

How do you connect with a generation that is known for its champagne taste and PBR budget? Aren’t these the kinds of consumers that customer service representatives use to scare each other around the campfire? 

Known for being challenging to please, devoted to technology, and largely averse to speaking on the phone, millennials literally cannot even with your customer service. They want service via live chat and they want it now.  

By knowing the buying power of this generation and why live chat could be the solution to direct and effective contact with them, you can grow your business despite the consumer market change, become a leader in the digital age, and be a part of the revolution rather than the history books. 

Millennials By the Numbers

To understand the buying power of the modern millennial consumer, you have to first know why targeting this generation is so essential.

  • With ranks of over 76 million, millennials have overtaken boomers as the largest group of consumers in the United States. 
  • Two-thirds of millennial respondents in one survey said they’re willing to plunk down $50 or more per shopping trip — more than Gen Xers and boomers.
  • Millennials now make up more than 30% of the population and are reaching their prime spending years, where they will be settling down and looking to buy long-lasting and more expensive products. 

In the past, the buying power of millennials was lower than other generations before them, leading some older companies to sweep them under the rug. However, with most millennials now reaching their 30s, this is changing — drastically. 

Use Live Chat to Connect With the Millennial Market

Studies show that millennials prefer digital self-service and texting over phone calls. Millennials want their questions answered in a timely fashion and they want to speak with a real person (hey, who doesn’t?). On the contrary, they don’t want to talk with an impersonal chatbot that can’t speak to them on their level, and they also don’t want to have an hour-long phone call for something that should only take a few minutes. 

If you’re still relying on phone service alone, it could mean that your company loses countless potential clients simply because they must call to be helped with concerns they have. 

This is where live chat comes in. 

Related: 4 Reasons Your Company Should Ditch Phone-Based Customer Service

The Human Element

A live chat agent can change their tone to speak the language of millennials — hashtags, emojis, and slang. After all, it’s far easier to coach a human on communicating like a… well, human, than it is to train a chatbot to respond with a perfectly timed emoji. Plus, it can all be done via a mobile device making it even easier for millennials to connect with you; the average millennial spends roughly 5.7 hours on their phone daily! 

Of course, that’s not to mention all of the things you might need to reference when providing customer service such as links to web pages, file transfers, or secure forms for PIN numbers and credit cards. Providing these over live chat is infinitely easier and faster than conveying this information over the phone or email.

Fast and Efficient

Millennials want things fast. (Scratch that. Everyone wants things fast.) They’re used to getting information at the moment they ask for it, so attention spans are understandably shorter. They don’t have time to sit on hold or talk on the phone. And forget about trying to deal with a chatbot that simply doesn’t get it. If your customer has to deal with waiting for answers or rummaging around your website for what they need, they’re going to bounce.

With live chat agents, hold times are minimal and your customer no longer has to be 23rd in line listening to some god-awful Muzak rendition of “Margaritaville” to get customer service. In fact, Flow’s live chat services promise response times of less than 40 seconds — millennial approved!

Fully Customizable Interface

Millennials are a visually-oriented culture. They like shiny objects, so to speak. Younger customers tend to be wary of “safe” brands without personality and seek out bold colors, bold fonts, and daring brand identities. 

Related: Our Favorite 5 Companies With a Strong Social Game

Unlike phone service, which is about as bland as it gets, or email, where graphics can slow load times or are disabled entirely, a live chat interface can be fully branded with colors, fonts, and logos. Live chat is not only appealing to a younger demographic’s desire to communicate in their own ways on their own terms, but is also visually appealing enough to connect through design. 

14/10 Millennials Want Live Chat

Millennials may be something of an enigma for businesses worldwide, but we at Flow polled our actual millennial employees and the consensus was this:

  • Give me what I want
  • When I want it
  • With zero hassle
  • Or I’ll tell everyone I know how much I dislike your service.

It can be a tall order if you’re used to doing business “the old-fashioned way”, but change is inevitable. It’s great to be an industry leader, and part of that is learning to flow with the tide sometimes, too. Connect with this powerful consumer market now through the use of live chat, and watch as your company benefits from your ability to keep up with the most connected generation yet.