Real Time Communications Featured Article

What Communications Do Millennials Really Want?

September 01, 2015

The ‘next’ generation has reached its destination. Those of us born between the 1980’s and early 2000’s are no longer the future – we are the now. No longer can we talk about what will need to be done when we become the dominating generation when most of us are in the workforce and make up the largest demographic of consumers.

As this shift happens, it’s time for businesses to start paying attention and change how they do things.

A recent survey by Mattersight looked at the ways today’s millennials want to communicate and what channels they prefer most. Surprisingly, the survey of more than 1,000 millennials uncovered that they do like to speak with people over the phone and like to have face-to-face interactions, more so than digital options. This is a totally different picture than what has been painted in the past and challenges brands and companies to revisit how they have setup operations to cater to this generation.

While having an office environment that offers messaging and video conferencing or work from home capabilities are all great things, it’s not entirely what millennials want.

According to the survey findings, they still crave an emotional connection with people in their personal lives and like the human touch for business needs. In fact, 85 percent of millennials said they would rather meet and communicate in-person with their coworkers and if they had no choice would rather use email or have a phone call rather than turning to other options.

Image via Shutterstock

"Contrary to popular belief, we found that most millennials prefer to communicate in-person and over the phone because it allows them to have the most meaningful conversations," said Kelly Conway, MAttersight CEO.

In cases when millennials must use digital channels, they are demanding with the outcome they expect from them – noting that they want “chemistry, understanding and respect out of those interactions.”

Even though we have grown up in the social media age and have even been called the “Facebook generation,” doesn’t mean that we want to use these networks to contact brands and speak with them. Only 1 percent of survey respondents actually said they preferred this mode of contact for a company. Over 85 percent of millennials said they were been disappointed with interactions they had with companies in the last year – and many of them said the source of that disappointment was not being able to find an actual phone number to speak to someone over the phone.

"Unfortunately, companies generally aren't providing the call center experience that millennials are seeking, forcing them to abandon phone options for less preferred ways to connect with brands, or even disengage completely," Conway said.

For years, millennials were cast as the ‘privileged’, techy savvy bunch that communicated more with via texting than face to face interaction. But those stereotypes are quickly being torn down and brands and businesses are going to have to rethink their strategies if they want to survive. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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