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March 13, 2018   |   Customer Experience

Communications by Generation: Creating Customer Experiences that Resonate with Millennials

When it comes to customer communications, today’s utility providers must span a wide generational (and digital) divide. From tech-savvy 20-somethings in their first apartments, to busy middle-aged homeowners seeking new forms of convenience, to retired couples who still check their mailbox every single morning, each billing audience has vastly different communication preferences to satisfy.

In this blog series, we’ll explore the different desires and behaviors of each generation when it comes to when and how they like to communicate. Understanding these preferences is necessary for utility providers to develop a multi-channel strategy that effectively engages their entire customer base.

First, we’ll take an in-depth look at the unique communication styles of millennials.

Millennials: On-The-Go Digital Natives

Currently spanning the ages of 18 to 37, there are 80 million millennials in the United States today. They are the largest of any generation in American history, and also the first to include “digital natives”: those that were born into an already technologically connected world.

1 | Millennials prefer use of digital communication in most areas of their lives.

90% of millennials own and use smartphones, and they are increasingly using these devices for communication that goes well beyond texting friends. 41% of millennials say they prefer to communicate electronically when in a professional environment, and on average, 90 hours of a millennial’s month is spent using smartphone apps.

What it means for providers: A robust and proactive mobile communication strategy—including frequent touchpoints such as text alerts, self-service apps, and automated notifications— is one of the best ways to effectively reach millennial customers and build their loyalty.

2 | …and they’re taking their payments mobile, too.

39% of millennials use mobile payments, the highest percentage among all generations.

Unsurprisingly, millennials have also embraced mobile payment technology for its convenience and speed. 39% of millennials use mobile payments, the highest percentage among all generations, and 24% already use apps to set up recurring payments.

What it means for providers: Millennials have embraced mobile payment technology, and now need innovative mobile features to continually enhance their digital experience. This requires a dynamic mobile strategy, from pay-by-text to in-app payments, that’s built for the evolving future of mobile as a channel.

3 | For millennials, convenience is the name of the game.

Millennials are drawn to channels and tools that are fast, easy, and always accessible. That’s part of why 57% of millennials say they are interested in convenience-based features such as automated payment reminders. Their need for expedience even extends to the way they interact with content—20% of millennials will only read headlines when consuming written information.

What it means for providers: Communications geared towards millennials need to be intuitive as well as seamless across channels. Clear, effective bill design that easily translates for viewing on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device will help satisfy millennials’ desire for anywhere accessibility. The use of push alerts and reminders also adds convenience that improves millennial customer satisfaction.

Build Lasting Relationships with Young Millennials with Level One

Millennials will continue to be a huge segment of the overall utilities customer base, and providers need to capture their loyalty now to ensure they can maintain them as lifelong customers.

Level One can help utility providers rapidly implement targeted, 1-to-1 mobile-based communications at scale in order to satisfy this digitally-connected generation. With document design support, multi-channel solutions, and dynamic customer communications management tools, we make it simple to address millennial preferences while simultaneously catering to the distinct needs of older generations.

Learn more by downloading our latest infographic, Effective Communication for Every Generation: Embracing the Multi-Generational, Multi-Channel Billing Reality, where you’ll discover much more about the preferences of millennials and other adult generations.