Millennials are the largest adult generation in history, and the 2 billion people in Generation Z are just reaching adulthood. In order to position their businesses to grow over the coming years, brands need to ensure their websites are meeting the needs of these younger audiences.
Unfortunately, many brands are struggling to fully connect with these younger generations. Only 25 percent of Millennials are attached to brands, according to a Gallup poll. While 59 percent of Generation Z report trusting brands they grew up with, they are less likely to be brand loyal compared to other generations. If brands break their promise or are slow to engage, Generation Z will switch to a competitor. Reducing the bounce rates of younger customers is crucial to positioning your business for future success.
To appeal to younger generation with your business, you need to understand how they prefer to interact with companies, their expectations for customer service, and what they are looking for when they come to your website. Creating a positive experience for these younger generations will increase the likelihood that they will become loyal customers. And if you can capture the loyalty and repeat business of young customers, that can be incredibly valuable for your business over the long term.
Millennials and Generation Z value convenience, saving time, and getting information quickly. They are more likely to prioritize and spend money for that convenience and ease than previous generations.
This focus on convenience and speed of information isn’t surprising, given this generation grew up connected to the internet and smartphones. In fact, 93 percent of Millennials own and use a smartphone for shopping online, using social media, and conducting research on companies and products.
These younger generations are more likely to research products online, even for items they plan to buy in a store, making it critical to have user-friendly, convenient websites. They also know that if they can’t find the information quickly in the first place they look, they can simply search on a different website. Therefore you’ll want to make sure your site is easy to navigate and search, so they can quickly find what they need – or else you risk high bounce rates.
Consumer patience is at an all-time low, especially among younger generations. Fast Company coined the term “eight second filter” to refer to how quickly Gen Z decides on the wealth of options at their fingertips, since it’s primarily their time that they consider a limitation. But the average response time for business emails is 12 hours. That’s a huge issue for businesses if you’re relying on email as a primary form of engagement with your customer.s
Contacting companies by phone can also lead to frustration if there is a long wait, the call doesn’t answer their question, or they can’t find a menu option that applies to their issue. For example, 67 percent of customers across all age ranges have hung up due to frustration after being unable to talk to an actual customer service representative. And Gen Z customers are 60% more likely than average to hang up if a phone call isn’t answered within 45 seconds, demonstrating their demand for rapid engagement from businesses.
Furthermore, despite having their smartphones consistently with them, Millennials typically don’t like making phone calls because it’s “too time-consuming.” Given these consumer attitudes, relying on email contact forms and phone communications may not be fast or convenient enough to capture and retain these generations.
Technology advances, such as live chat or chat bots, can make it easier for visitors to quickly get answers without leaving a website. The average wait time for live chat interactions is often around 1 to 2 minutes in different industry surveys, with the fastest being under 20 seconds. If you’re looking for a communication method to capture and hold the attention of Millennial and Gen Z customers, set up a live chat widget and keep it well-staffed to ensure rapid replies.
Imagine a young customer is looking for information on bulk orders of custom-printed t-shirts. They want to know where the materials used in the t-shirts are sourced because young consumers are eco-conscious. But that information isn’t on the website. If that business has a a live chat option, that customer can reach out and get their question answered immediately. But if they go to a “Contact” page and see that their only option is to email their question, there’s a big risk they’ll just search for an alternate company right away, rather than reach out and wait the hours it will take to get a reply.
Younger generations are on-the-go and prefer to find answers on their own when possible. If they can’t get the answer from your website or must leave your site to contact you, they’ll likely look elsewhere.
Younger generations adopt new technology quickly and seek solutions that solve their problems and answer their questions fast. Additionally, these digitally savvy generations prefer to find information themselves instead of calling customer service. Studies suggest that 69 percent of Millennials feel better about a brand when they can solve a problem or find an answer on their own without contacting customer service. Brands that make it easy for visitors to find answers efficiently will be better at capturing these younger customers.
That said, even younger customers need actual help sometimes. And they want that help to be fast. Using tools that provide efficient, real-time support, and that are mobile-friendly, will make it less likely that they will leave your website without converting or engaging.
Slow loading websites reduce your conversions, especially on mobile devices. Research by Google found 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. Slow websites will have a more challenging time engaging Millennials and Generation Z, who are more likely to access information from their smartphones.
Since younger generations use smartphones for online shopping and more, your website will need to be responsive and adapt to a phone’s smaller screen size. You’ll want to keep your site’s navigation simple and easy to use, or your visitors will leave.
When designing your website experience, make sure that the size of the text, images, and menus are easy to see and navigate on mobile devices. Information should be convenient to access by swiping or tapping and images optimized for a more efficient mobile experience.
Live chat is becoming a popular way to provide customer support since it allows for a real-time conversation between your customer representative and a potential customer. This tool allows for personalization, convenience, and quick response times, which younger generations desire.
In fact, 63 percent of Millennials prefer to receive help with basic customer support questions through live chat. Live chat is popular since it has low-to-no wait times and is convenient. Visitors also don’t have to leave the website to initiate a live chat like they do if they email or call a company for help. Live chat can be used on mobile devices or PCs, making it accessible no matter where the person is or the type of device they are using.
Live chat also allows for a more personalized experience, which can help you build trust and a more authentic relationship between your brand and the customer. This human connection increases the likelihood that your customers will return.
Some quick ways you can personalize the live chat experience include:
Chat bots are another user-friendly tool that provides visitors with the answers they need quickly. Instead of a live representative answering questions in real time, a chat bot is software programmed to provide information based on keywords or phrases from customers.
One advantage of chat bots is that they are always available to help visitors. A bot can quickly provide answers to common questions or issues visitors have. For younger generations who like to find information on their own, this tool can solve their problem without them needing to speak with a live service representative.
As with live chat, chat bots also make it convenient for visitors to get the help they need without leaving the website or waiting hours for an email reply.
Short message service (SMS) options can be a useful tool when interacting with younger generations. SMS options like texting allow for quick interactions that are easy to perform on smartphones.
You can also personalize the messages to build your relationship. For instance, you can use the customer’s name during communications and tailor the messages to their communication style, responding with emojis or similar casual interactions when appropriate.
However, unlike live chat or chat bot options, customers have to provide their phone number to the business in order to use SMS communication. This step may not be ideal for some, especially when they are just starting to get to know your company.
When discussing Millennials and Generation Z, you can’t ignore the power of social media. As part of their research, younger generations are likely to gather information based on a brand’s social media presence. In fact, a survey by Animoto found that a brand’s social media presence influenced 75 percent of Millennials’ purchase decisions, making these platforms important for brands to use.
Customers also use social media for asking questions or providing brands with feedback. While having positive feedback on social media can help brands, negative comments can be problematic since the comments are public.
That said, whether the feedback is positive or negative, companies need to be prepared to respond promptly to posts and questions. About 72 percent of Millennials will be loyal to brands that respond to their social media posts versus a brand that doesn’t. This factor highlights the importance of rapid customer service across all your communication platforms.
Integrating your social media with your website can help provide a more coherent brand picture for your visitors. You can incorporate social media by ensuring your blog content is easy to share on social sites and making it easy to access your social media from your website (and vice versa).
Combining all of the tips above will help make sure your site loads quickly and provides the interactivity that younger customers are looking for. And when they reach out with questions, you have a chance to capture their contact information, adding that info to your CRM to track your newly discovered lead. Building a pattern of convenience and comfort with your younger customers will continually nurture those leads, helping them to move through the sales funnel and enhancing their loyalty over time.
Your website needs to load rapidly, be easy to navigate, and be mobile-friendly to engage and retain the younger generations. You’ll want to make it easy for these visitors to find critical information on their own while making it simple to reach out for help in real-time.
Using real-time communication strategies, especially chat bots and live chat, can provide quality customer service experiences that help build trust and keep your visitors returning. To get started with live chat and chat bots on your site, sign up for a free trial of Formilla.