Customers younger than 36 prefer contact via social media
Attention businesses. There is a fundamental shift in the way your customers want to have contact with you. The time for change is now!
Two developments and statistics have come to our attention in recent weeks that businesses need to be across to remain up-to-date on the way consumers are using digital platforms.
Facebook adds @usernames for businesses
While it's not that new for businesses to receive private messages from consumers on Facebook (a fantastic customer service feature that helps to grow loyalty in our opinion), Facebook has quietly added usernames to business profiles just below the profile name.
This is a clear signal to consumers that they can and should now reach out to businesses using Facebook Messenger the same way they chat with their friends. Simply find the business' username on their Facebook profile (denoted by the @ symbol) and search for that username in Messenger.
This evolution of Facebook also presents a huge opportunity for businesses as it allows people to make enquiries in almost real-time on the platform of their choice about absolutely anything, from product enquiries to dinner and motel reservations.
Tip for businesses - if you go to the web address m.me on your computer it will open Messenger in a new browser tab. You should keep this tab open every day to see new messages as they come in rather than relying on alerts on your phone.
Social media is preferred contact option for customers younger than 36
We now also know that Gen Y consumers (ie. anyone born between 1981 and 1999) prefer to have contact with businesses via instant messaging, the internet and social media ahead of traditional forms of contact such as email and telephone, according to Dimension Data's 2015 global contact centre benchmarking report. Generation X isn't far behind Gen Y in
So what does this mean for small business? It means you'll need to have a solid approach to your web and social media presence by 2020 if you want to engage with customers younger than 40 via their preferred channels. You'll need to be active, and responsive, to contact from their via these channels or they will turn to a business who is.
If you want to read something fascinating and mind-blowing, check out Mary Meeker's 213 page Internet Trends 2016 report for some incredible insights into the changing consumer internet habits over recent years. If you're a business owner, it's worth a solid read.
So in conclusion, latest research reveals that consumers younger than 36 prefer to have contact with businesses via digital channels ahead of the telephone and email, and Facebook has given every business a username and positioned it prominently below their profile name. It's time to connect the dots to avoid being left behind.