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The Intelligent Customer Engagement Blog

TimeTrade has spent the last year surveying consumers about their habits and perceptions around customer experience in a variety of vertical markets. Responses from millennials show that despite having come of age in the era of smartphones and apps, millennial consumers still value in-person contact with various service providers.

Following are key millennial data points from recent TimeTrade surveys.

Retail

As the retail market continues to experience the convergence of the digital and the physical, millennials—despite growing up in an increasingly technology-driven era—want in-person service for key transactions and buying situations.

For example, 87 percent of millennials report that when making a major purchase, such as an engagement ring, they would like it if the jeweler were expecting them and already knew their preferences (such as budget, ring shape, etc.).

Banks and Credit Unions

The ongoing transfer of wealth to millennials presents a tremendous opportunity for banks and credit unions to provide this generation with prompt and highly personalized customer service. The timing is right, as millennials have begun to reach the stage of life where they are making major purchasing and financial planning decisions (e.g., mortgages and retirement savings accounts).

While millennials are a generation that has embraced sharing models such as Airbnb and Uber, they still want to have in-person conversations when it comes to major financial decisions. For example, TimeTrade research reveals that 75 percent of millennials are willing to book an appointment for an in-branch meeting with a mortgage specialist.

Financial Services

As millennials accumulate wealth and take on financial responsibility, they are looking to financial professionals for advice on wealth management and financial planning. For instance, millennials are more likely to change financial service advisors in search of better rates and more personalized service.

Insurance

Millennials’ preference for new platforms such as ride-sharing services and alternatives to hotels, coupled with the increasing number who are becoming heads of households, makes meeting regularly with their insurance agent more crucial than ever.

TimeTrade research indicates that 76 percent of millennials would like to hear from their insurance agent when their policy is up for renewal.

Healthcare

As millennials age, healthcare is another major area of concern. The importance of in-person attention is most reflected in this category, as TimeTrade research indicates that the vast majority of millennials are willing to schedule an appointment to meet a physician and 74 percent would consider/ be comfortable having a virtual meeting (video chat) with their healthcare provider.

To learn more about millennial consumers’ preferences, read our new eBook.

Millennials, those between the ages of 20 and 35, are fast becoming the most prominent and desirable demographic group for retailers and other businesses. As millennials mature, they are gaining more buying power and entering the stage of their lives where big-ticket items—including home mortgages and financial planning for retirement—are increasingly important to them. This infographic identifies some of the key trends of millennial consumers, including how they like to interact with the businesses from which they buy goods and services.

According to consulting firm Deloitte, by 2020 millennials (defined as those born between 1980 and 2000) will make up an estimated 50 percent of the global workforce and are expected to control between $19 trillion and $24 trillion on a global scale. As the transfer of wealth shifts to this generation, they are looking more to financial professionals for advice on wealth management and financial planning.

Traditionally, consumers speak with their financial advisor when they first open an IRA or 401 (k), then they just wait to receive their quarterly statements. Millennials, however, are more active when it comes to financial planning. For example, according to financial research firm FactSet, 61 percent of younger high-net worth individuals—defined as those controlling wealth greater than $10 million—expect their financial advisors to screen investments based on environmental, social and governance factors.

To add to those millennial statistics, TimeTrade recently surveyed 1,064 consumers about their perceptions around customer experience and financial services, and also found key data points that differentiate millennials from other age groups:

  • Millennials are the demographic that most wants their financial services to be automated.
  • Millennials are the demographic most likely to change financial service providers for a better rate (68 percent) or better customer service (61 percent).
  • 81 percent of millennials are open to combining accounts with one provider if a discount or incentive is offered.
  • 82 percent of millennials are willing to schedule an appointment (online or through a mobile device) to meet with their financial advisor.
  • 75 percent of millennials are open to a virtual meeting with their financial advisor.

In other words, financial advisors must remember that millennials are an age group to be taken seriously, as they will drive the majority of financial services business during the next several years. To learn more about how consumers perceive their financial services experience, download the full infographic.

A recent article in the Credit Union Journal titled “Strategic Planning: In Search of the Fountain of Youth” reports that a host of credit union leaders have an increased sense of urgency to reach millennials—before it is too late.

For example, Michael Wishnow, SVP of communications and marketing for the Pennsylvania CU League said: “It’s urgent that credit unions enact strategies now to attract the next generation of members. One way they can do that is by modernizing delivery channels and spending money to ensure that the institution has the member-facing technology necessary to keep it relevant with younger consumers—a demographic that’s rapidly growing and that continues to demand increasingly sophisticated technology from financial institutions.”

Wishnow and his fellow credit union leaders are correct. Millennials are now surpassing baby boomers as the largest demographic in the U.S., which translates to a transfer of wealth estimated at $300 trillion. This presents a tremendous opportunity for credit unions to provide this generation with prompt and highly personalized customer service in a modern way as millennials are reaching the stage of life where they are making major purchasing and financial planning decisions (e.g., mortgages and retirement savings).

A recent Q2 2016 TimeTrade banking consumer survey reveals that 75 percent of millennials are willing to book an appointment for an in-branch meeting with a mortgage specialist or wealth management advisor. So while millennials are a generation that has embraced sharing models such as Airbnb and Uber, they still want personal, face-to-face conversations when it comes to major financial decisions.

However, there is a disconnect between credit unions and millennials according to Karen Houston-Johnson, vice president of OnBalance, a credit union strategic consultancy. She pointed to research from CUNA and Cornerstone which indicates that 71 percent of millennials are unfamiliar with credit unions, and she points out that credit unions need to lead the conversation with this demographic by emphasizing the positive differentiators of credit union membership. These include: member ownership, which means credit unions don’t have obligations to outside investors; lower fees and higher interest rates on deposits; lower interest rates on loans; and a commitment to their communities.

Ultimately, to win business from millennials, credit unions must market themselves effectively to this increasingly powerful generation. But equally important, they must use the technologies preferred by millennials—online and mobile—to bring them into the branch for personalized conversations that drive business. Online appointment scheduling is an important way credit unions can attract millennial members so they can meet their financial needs today—and for many years to come.

Feel free to visit us to learn more about how TimeTrade can help deliver a superior experience to your members.

It’s that time of year again – finding a parking spot or treadmill at the gym puts you into warrior mode, health food stores are much more popular, and everyone is on some sort of diet – but like every year, it eventually dies down by mid-February.

For retailers, however, maybe it is time for a lasting resolution – one that will help create a better, more personalized customer experience. I know you’re rolling your eyes right now – how many times have you heard that term? It’s right up there with retail customer experience. But in today’s on-demand economy, customers expect retailers to be ready to serve them, and be knowledgeable about the products they are selling. Customers do their research online, and come into the store to either seek advice or narrow down their selection. In these circumstances, they want to talk to exactly the right person to help them.

Personalizing the Customer Experience for the Concierge Economy

Millennials are especially used to this level of personalization – growing up in an already connected world, they expect retailers to treat them in a certain way. They want that VIP treatment – think of the last time you were in a retail store with a loyalty card – you accrue points and receive either gifts or coupons. Retailers like Sephora (I’m a proud member of their “VIB” card – meaning I’ve spent way too much money there) have cards labeled “VIP” in some way to show status. Sure, money talks, and giving customers rewards and points is a great way to retain loyalty. But in an economy where customers have choices, how do you play to the on-demand economy, but with that human level of engagement?

Whether it is through implementing retail scheduling software or other in-store technology, retailers who figure this out will certainly win my loyalty. I’m going to venture to say they’d win over my peers as well.

TimeTrade recently conducted a survey of 1,029 consumers which asked in-depth questions regarding their perceptions and habits around retail shopping. The survey reveals that various demographics have different shopping habits. For example, Millennials have different shopping habits than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers.

The infographic below reveals why retailers must keep different demographics in mind in terms of marketing in order to improve their retail customer experience.

 

customer service experience

You can download the full State of Retail 2015 report here.

You can learn more about Millennials’ shopping habits here.

You can learn more about Baby Boomers’ shopping habits here.

A recent article by AdAge points out that the hottest big retailer among Millennials is Walmart. The article cites Walmart’s focus on online and mobile search to be the driver for its partnership with popular Millennial brands, such as Tommee Tippee baby bottles.

Walmart’s smart approach to search aligns with TimeTrade’s consumer retail survey results, which are discussed in the white paper, “Demographics Drive Different Shopping Habits.”

According to the white paper, various demographics have different shopping habits and retailers must keep Millennials in mind as this tech savvy age group will soon overtake Baby Boomers as the largest population in the U.S. Some data points from the white paper are:

  • More than 92% of 25-34 year olds plan to shop in stores at least as often in 2015 as they did in 2014
  • Millennials expect more knowledge from sales associates: 74% want to know the best value, 69% want to know the highest quality, and 62% want to know which product are most reliable
  • Millennials like individual attention. For example, the TimeTrade survey reveals that 25-34 year olds are more likely (59%) to schedule appointments online than to visit a store

Smart retailers will take note of this digitally-raised demographic and convert their online and mobile activity into actual sales.

The topic of Millennials will be discussed at the Future Stores conference taking place June 23rd-25th in Seattle where you can find TimeTrade at Booth 8. You may Click-To-Schedule an appointment with Sales Executives Mike Roberts and Andrew Ryding at the conference.

Photo credit: FastCompany.com