Most companies are struggling with how to adapt their businesses to serve a new wave of consumers from the Millennial Generation, according to a new global survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company. The survey looked at how consumers born between 1982 and 2001 will affect the customer experience, asking C-level and senior executives how they are creating a customer experience to attract and retain Millennials.
There were three key findings:
- Companies are debating whether to invest more in catering to aging baby boomers versus next-generation consumers, with 42% saying they should tilt toward younger customers, while 39% would shift toward baby boomers and generation X.
- Most companies haven’t set their strategies or marketing for Millennials even though they overwhelmingly agree that such steps are needed. Three-quarters of the respondents said Millennials will affect their organizations as consumers in the next three years.
- Most companies have a sophisticated understanding of what it would take to adapt, but are not ready to change their customer engagement models by leveraging social networking, peer marketing, better online support, text messaging and blogging.
The report highlights the need for businesses to invest in new modes of customer communication and to tailor their approaches to match customer preferences.