The Subtle Yet Substantive Shifts in CX for Millennials: Prepare for Incoming



By Jeff Tropeano

Generation X consumers were born between 1965 and 1980, while Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996.

As the latter graduate from high school and college, start their careers and start their families, they represent growth opportunities for organizations and brands who have already lived through changes brought about when the “Boomer” generation bridged to the “X” generation, a period during which massive growth in mobile, social and cloud technologies changed almost everything about where, when and how they discovered new products and services, to when, how and why they purchased them.

Millennials spend more than the generations before them, eating out more often or indulging in expensive coffee.

Charles Schwab’s Modern Wealth Index found, 60% of Millennials will buy a cup of coffee that costs more than $4, compared to only 40% of Generation X’ers or 29% of Baby Boomers.

79% of Millennial individuals polled reported they spend money on eating out in fancy restaurants, compared to 66% of Generation X and 56% of Boomers.

Even that is starting to shift, as popular services like Doordash and GrubHub bring even the finest meals to the doorstep, while Millennials gravitate towards streaming movies on massive high definition screens, changing forever the definition of “dinner and a movie.”

Millennials are also more likely than the other two generations to spring for Uber rides, expensive iPhones and other consumer electronics, and new clothes, and cite social media as a “competition” given the “Instagramworthy” moments many feel obligated to share, often causing the run up of credit card debt; that said, there’s an offset as more than a third of millennials have a financial plan, compared to 21% of the Generation X and 18% of Baby Boom populations.

How does all this impact CX strategies and service options?

Gen X consumers were the fuel behind loyalty programs including hospitality, retail and dining; they believed in building up long term relationships to qualify for free nights at hotels, discounts and coupons at retail, and special deals at restaurants.

Millennials “live in the moment” so make decisions based on contextual, often real time touchpoints; great brands are taking notice of this by making it fast, easy and friendly with the technologies Millennials may be more comfortable with, including “the bots.”

It’s not just B2C that is being impacted by Millennial thinking and values. With Millennials now very much in the workplace, and gaining positioning of leadership, they are searching for B2B companies and doing their research before contacting companies online, studying the company’s website, news releases, and “Googling” them.

They then request proposals (39% of Millennials are using RFPs compared with 31% of Gen X professionals) and both groups are attracted to online marketplaces (for example those provided by AWS and Microsoft Azure for certain services), 31% and 29% respectively also according to Oracle.

The difference between Generation X and Millennials may seem subtle, but the shifts are important. When mapping a CX strategy that will succeed in driving business outcomes in a sustainable way, organizations need to look ahead and spend time understanding what may feel like nuances today, but are signals that expectations are shifting, and delivering great experiences will happen when CX platforms adapt to behavioral changes.

Eventus has completed hundreds of CX transformational projects and we’d love to hear from you on this fascinating and important topic.


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