It seems like millennials have been analyzed and reported on more than any other generation. From their purchasing habits to their motivations, we simply can’t say enough. The perennial question behind this generational analysis seems to be: How can we capture real and significant market share of this generation? We’ve put together a list to help you win over this elusive generation and increase your millennial customer base.
- Make it convenient
Millennials are all about convenience. Instead of waiting for a taxi, they download a rideshare app; instead of going out and renting a DVD, they stream their favorite shows and movies. For brands, this translates to offering services that make it easier and more convenient to do business with you – or, more simply put, offering services that allow millennials to conduct their business without physically going to your business. Whether it is a mobile app to check billing history or payment capabilities on your website, offering a more convenient solution will win the hearts of millennials everywhere.
- Relate it back
Understanding millennials and their motivations is the key to gaining their trust and their business. Millennials in today’s market look to connect with a brand based on their values and beliefs. While in the past brands have relied heavily on marketing their latest products or services to win customers, it is now up to companies to showcase their brand holistically and connect personally with Millennial consumers. According to Forbes: “We found that 60% of millennials tend to gravitate toward purchases that are an expression of their personality — the brand must speak to them at this level and make them feel good.”
- Keep the communication open
You can’t win over a customer and build a lasting relationship if you aren’t communicating with that customer – and choosing the right channel of communication has a lot to do with it. While you may be used to sending out direct mailers, many of your millennial customers are communicating digitally, via email, social media and mobile apps. Including these channels in your omnichannel communication strategy ensures your message is always reaching your customer.
Like generations before them, millennials’ needs and expectations when interacting with brands are vast and varied. Understanding exactly how to target this generation is the key to increasing your millennial customer base.
Not sure how to initiate a campaign targeting millennials? Let our Account Executives get you started.
Working with clients on their critical communication needs means we get insight into how different types of companies transmit information and which methods prove most effective for them. Here are some general observations that apply to anyone trying to create a better customer experience.
- Pretend you’re the customer.
Obvious, right? But really consider it from their end. The thing about billing is that we all deal with it, so what are the ways to make the experience less annoying and more fluid? What are some offers or messaging that would have an impact and not just take up space?
A point that comes up again and again is the issue of clarity. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: poorly designed bills and invoices will slow down your revenue stream. If they can’t understand the bill, they certainly won’t pay it on time. Once we achieve clarity, we can work on messaging that reinforces your brand and drives new business.
- Don’t be so quick to declare that paper is dead.
The funeral for paper has been scheduled and cancelled dozens of times. It’s true that as many companies have made the promise to be eco-friendlier and offer payment options more in line with the modern world, the need for electronic billing services has become more prominent. But that need isn’t universal. Many people still rely on paper when it comes to bills, whether for security reasons or plain ol’ habit (yes, even millennials). Listening to that need and being flexible is critical.
- Think about the industry.
One thing we pride ourselves on is not being a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to communication services, particularly since we work with clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Thinking about the needs of specific industries, and how their customers interact with them, is central to our work.
Here at OSG, we’ve just completed our annual customer survey. Though we love hearing the praise (shout out to Account Management for scoring more than nine out of 10), the constructive feedback is what keeps the trains moving. Maybe there’s a way to make a process run more smoothly. Maybe a client is interested in a new service of ours. Maybe there’s one simple change that would make the company’s overall experience with us that much better. Because that’s what we’re delivering—an experience, not a product.
Every single year, we read each comment, cull the best suggestions, and incorporate changes into our business where it makes sense. It’s crucial to live up to the kind of partnership we promise. The questions vary in scope and topic (customer service, products, management), but they boil down to this essential query: How are we doing?
We value this input so much, in fact, that we offer customer survey inserts as an option for our clients to send to their customers. It makes sense to use an invoice package as an opportunity to ask the questions that often go unasked amid the day-to-day tasks that keep us all bogged down.
Not everyone is going to speak up without prompting. Open a new line of communication. You might find insight that improves specific relationships and moves you closer to the bigger picture goals of your company.
Do you have a company newsletter? It’s a great way to stay in touch with your customers and build brand loyalty.
Think in this day of Tweets and Posts that newsletters are no longer relevant? In a recent report issued by Quartz Insights, 60 percent of over 1,300 global executives, indicated that they read an email newsletter as one of their daily news sources. They also indicated that they get their news twice as often from email than from video.
The study went on to report that if they read work-related content that they felt was valuable, 88 percent said they would share it via email.
So, what are you waiting for? Not only is a company newsletter a great way to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis, research shows that the content will be read and, if deemed valuable, shared.
What should the goals of your newsletter be?
- Educate Your Target Audience. As a valuable source of information for your customers, your company newsletter can update them on the latest happenings within your company, answer frequently asked questions, include store hours and contact information or further explain a service plan.
- Establish Recognition. Establishing your brand is powerful. The regular delivery of your newsletter will help your customers develop a strong sense of your brand. Your newsletter is a simple and effective marketing tool that is perfect for spreading information directly to your audience. Use it to announce a new product, promotional discounts or just send season’s greetings.
- Increase Web Traffic. Your newsletter is the perfect vehicle to drive traffic to your website. With the proper use of content and links within your newsletter, customers can quickly and easily access your website which helps further establish your brand. A company newsletter is also a subtle reminder to those customers who may have lost touch with your business.
- Communicate More Effectively. Developing reliable and timely communication with your customers is important for your business to thrive. Although you have plenty of marketing tools at your disposal, only a newsletter gives you the adequate space you need to speak directly to all of your customers. This compelling form of communication will become something your customers will look forward to receiving.
Does your company produce a newsletter? Is it print, electronic or both?
Sometimes, for any number of reasons, a customer stops being active and may even go elsewhere. Here’s some encouraging news, the odds of bringing that customer back are quite good. In fact, the chances of converting a lost customer are usually much better than your chances of converting a new one. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20 percent while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent. And according to the White House of Consumer Affairs, it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
That’s why a WinBack Program is a critical tool to ongoing success. Through a series of strategically positioned campaigns that include letters, postcards and eblasts, you can get in front of prior customers, get their attention and strategically pique their interest.
Not sure how to begin? The OSG Creative Studio has a team of marketing experts with extensive experience in implementing successful WinBack Programs. Speak with your Account Manager about how to launch one. It’s never too late for customers to come back.
It’s that time of year again – when we’re all in optimistic moods and positive cheer in the midst of the holiday season – to plan our resolutions for the upcoming year. Not only do we want to make ourselves into better people, but also into better workers and co-workers. So let’s make a list of achievable goals that can help with our job satisfaction and the satisfaction of those working around us:
Clean out your email inbox.
Email is great, but the inbox needs some maintaining or the emails just pile up and overload your mind. Start off the new year by organizing and cleaning out junk emails. Make folders for the “must respond by tomorrow” emails and emails that you only need to read when you have time. An organized inbox reflects an organized you.
Commit to personal development and learning.
Let’s admit it; even the best professionals have room for improvement in their field. Today’s business world moves fast. Keep up with the latest technology and most relevant topics in your field by taking an online course or going to your local community college. Even reading blogs, books and visiting websites on a regular basis about your industry can be beneficial.
Realize you’re only human.
We all make mistakes. Even the best of us. So if you do make a mistake at work, acknowledge it, do what you can to rectify the situation and then, to quote “Frozen,” let it go. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t have the need for a resolutions list…
Say “thank you” more often.
Whether it’s your customers or co-workers make a commitment to thank people for all they do. Has someone at work made your life easier, been pleasant to deal with or has a customer or vendor gone out of their way to help you? Remember to say thank you. Emails, a personal note or doing something special not only shows people you appreciate them but also makes you feel good too.
Happy New Year from your friends at OSG!
Thanksgiving has been a tradition celebrated each year since the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. President Abraham Lincoln made it a legal holiday in 1863 during the American Civil War. For 394 years, we have been giving official thanks as a nation, let’s make sure to keep the tradition going strong and make this the 395th year filled with gratitude.
To do this, we have to make sure to let the people in our lives know how important they are to us. Whether with a handwritten note, a verbal “thank you” or even an email marketing campaign, this nationally-accepted opportunity to express gratitude should be taken advantage of. Let your customers, your employees and other companies you do business with know how much they mean to you. Aside from just keeping the tradition alive, this effort to reach out will create positive associations with your company and help it to thrive.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we at OSG would like to convey our appreciation to you for doing business with us. From our family to yours, Have a Happy Thanksgiving.