Millennials demand more social media engagement in exchange for loyalty

Social media is at the crossroads of customer experience and customer satisfaction –- and all businesses need to have a strong social presence. But how loyal are millennials?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Millennial consumers will increasingly contact businesses directly through social media to provide feedback rather than using traditional company surveys in 2019, according to IT solutions company TELUS International .

It partnered with Harris Insight in summer 2018 to survey 570 millennials amongst over 2,000 US adults to find out how loyal they are towards brands.

The survey showed that over two out of five millennials (43 percent, compared to 21 percent of Americans aged over 45) say if a brand they purchase from does not have a social media page to provide feedback on, they would consider purchasing from a different brand that does.

Also: How to target millennial holiday shoppers

Almost three out of four (72 percent) of millennials (versus 47 percent of Americans aged over 45) would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that responds to feedback via social media over a brand that does not.

Almost two out of three (62 percent) of millennials would likely recommend a brand that has an exceptional social media presence (e.g., quick response times, informative, across multiple sites) -- even if they were not initially happy with their product or service.

Over half of Americans (55 percent) and two out of three (66 percent) of millennials say their loyalty toward a brand would be impacted by how quickly they address their feedback via social media      

Feedback on social media is like gold dust for brands. The survey showed that 38 percent of millennials (and 24 percent of Americans overall) have provided feedback to companies they purchased from using social media once a week, or more often, during the past 12 months.

Almost one in five millennials (18 percent) most prefer to leave positive feedback for a company they have purchased from via company social media channels, whilst 13 percent use it for providing negative feedback.

This digital imperative means that every business, big or small, must have a strong social media presence and great customer experience to ensure brand loyalty across brand channels.

Brand loyalty relies on social media engagement and the business value associated with establishing digital and social touchpoints for customers to be able to contact brands through customer service channels. 

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Brands will need to place an even greater focus on providing top quality and rapid customer service across social channels if they want to keep their millennial customers.

Engaged customer experience teams can help brands connect with their customers wherever they want to connect. They can also deliver good round the clock support, and give their brand a second chance if something goes wrong

Millennials will increasingly connect with brands through social media, highlighting its importance as part of an overall customer service delivery strategy.

Jeffrey Puritt, president and CEO, TELUS International said:

 "Millennials are poised to represent 30 percent of retail sales, and are clearly in the driver's seat when it comes to influencing where and how brands need to engage with consumers in order to remain relevant and top of mind.

An authentic and strategic social media presence that provides consumers with personalized, informative and immediate responses is no longer a 'nice to have', but a necessity in the digital age when customer experience, not price, is the top competitive differentiator."

Social media -- and a great digital strategy -- may give brands a second chance to make a first impression with millennials.

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