The interest surrounding Millennials and their preferences never seems to wane. What do they like? How will they vote? What trends are they setting? What will they do next? And why are we as a society so concerned with this group of individuals who were born sometime between 1980 and 2000? It’s simple: They are members of the largest generation in our history. At approximately 95 million in the U.S. alone, when they make a move as a collective, it has a significant impact.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, have the power of numbers on their side. For this reason, consumer brands want their attention, the real estate industry wants them interested in buying homes, the travel industry wants them to take a trip, and the list goes on. Of course, the million (or maybe billion) dollar question is this: What is the most effective way to capture and keep a Millennial’s attention?
Mark Wilson is the CEO of TermSync, a cloud-based platform designed to enhance the post-sale customer relationship for B2B companies. And, based on his research and extensive experience, Mark believes he has the answer, which he reveals in a recent interview.
STRATEGY: What is the biggest difference between Millennials and other generations?
WILSON: Technology. At this point, we all use technology in our business lives. The big difference with Millennials is that they grew up with technology, so they expect certain technological advantages in their daily lives. Other age groups may appreciate how technology has made their lives easier, but Millennials see that easier, more convenient way as the norm.
This does not mean they are lazy or unmotivated, however. I would argue it makes them more efficient. Those increased expectations and willingness to challenge the status quo push everyone to do a better job and no longer accept the “we do it this way because it’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality.
STRATEGY: What do you consider to be archaic in terms of how companies are selling to them?
WILSON: We work more in the post-sale relationship, so I’ll answer from that perspective. Our recent study showed that only 30% of B2B vendors offer a customer portal to answer basic customer questions. Yet, the vast majority of Millennials (and now all age groups under age 51) prefer a web option before having to hassle with calling customer support. Again, that is not laziness, it is just efficiency. The archaic stance is how companies force their customers to go out of their way when they have an issue and do not provide them with a self-service option that all age groups have come to expect.
STRATEGY: What would be the ideal approach?
WILSON: I believe with increased customer expectations, companies need to provide more options. Studies show, as stated previously, that people prefer a self-service option like a portal. However, that does not mean companies should get rid of phone support. The right approach is providing customers with options.
STRATEGY: What can businesses expect in terms of results if they change their approach?
WILSON: Improved customer loyalty and satisfaction. The most important factor for many people when selecting (or retaining) a vendor is if they are easy to do business with. We’ve all gotten busier and busier, and cannot afford to waste time. Efficiency is key. Every once in a while I hear stories of how a customer support rep “wowed” a customer. Those are great, but 99% of the time I just want my question answered so I can move on with my day. The easier a vendor makes it to get that answer, the more loyal I am.
STRATEGY: What does TermSync offer that will help businesses make this transition successfully?
WILSON: We offer an easy-to-use customer portal for both customers and vendors. We are a software-as-a-service company, so it is extremely easy and cost effective for a vendor to quickly get a state-of-the-art customer portal up and running for their customers. I believe most companies realize they need more of a web presence to allow customers to ask questions, pay invoices online, etc., but many do not know where to start. We make the process very easy so they can continue to focus on their core competency while actually meeting customers’ new technology expectations.
For more information about TermSync, its services, and how you can leverage it to win favor with Millennials, click here.
TermSync, Inc. is an accounts receivable automation platform that ensures businesses get paid faster and receive more visibility from customers without having to make a collection call. Founder Mark Wilson, CPA, experienced firsthand the pains companies go through to get cash in the door while he served in various accounting leadership positions. In creating TermSync, Wilson set out to revolutionize the outdated payment terms process in a manner that is accepted by both businesses and their customers. TermSync is privately held and headquartered Madison, Wisconsin.