If You Want to Do Business with Millennials, Here’s What They Expect


You have probably noticed that Millennials are different from any other group you have worked with before. Ever-so-smart and eager to rise to the top, millennials between the age of 18-34 have cut their teeth on tablets and technology, and have an aversion to wasting time with outdated technology. 

The old adage, “know your customer” is never more apparent than with this group. I read an interesting article from Kelsey O’Neill, a millennial herself. In summary, her suggestions to connect to this group are:

HEAR US: We share events in our lives more than any other generation. Companies have the opportunity to reach us in new ways by listening.

ENGAGE US: Take advantage of our openness by interacting with us. As Millennials, we are not shy about conveying our ideas and feelings, so you can use our input to engage further with us.

INSPIRE US: Millennials appreciate when you actively demonstrate an effort to making the world a better place. For example, reducing your carbon footprint, or supporting ethical trade practices.

RESPECT US: Not all Millennials are tech-addicted teens playing non-stop games. Our group includes recent high school graduates, as well as suburban parents trying to keep a work-home life balance. Don’t risk alienating your base audience by reaching out to a narrow segment.


I checked in with a few millennials and found an interesting phenomenon – they don’t like to use the phone! Don’t get me wrong; they still have long phone conversations with a friend, but it just as likely turns into a texting marathon. If they want to order a pizza, buy tickets to a movie, or do some clothes shopping, they hop online where there isn’t the need for them to talk with anyone. When they need directions, they don’t call anyone but use their GPS navigation. And, if they want to make an appointment with a Doctor, they go online rather than make a call.

As customer-centric businesses catch on to this trend, they realize that when doing business with millennials, they better make it easy – like offering them a customer portal so they can serve themselves.

This will:

  • Give them options to setup their profile and preferences, so they never have to make a call.
  • Let them build their own orders without human intervention.
  • Enable them to give you feedback without needing to dial your phone number.
  • Create a way to log service requests, so you can deliver solutions quickly.

Think of your investment in creating a state-of-the-art customer portal as a necessary way to do business with a generation who embraced technology from the time they were two years old. Adapting your business to your customer’s preferences removes barriers and makes it easier for them to engage with you.

What do you think about applying portal technology to attract and keep millennials? Comment below to continue the discussion.

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