Wokingham, 2nd October, 2008 - A new global survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), shows that most companies are struggling with how to adapt their businesses to serve a new wave of consumers from the Millennial Generation. The global survey looked at how consumers born between 1982 and 2001 will impact the customer experience, asking C-level and senior executives from around the world how they are creating a customer experience to attract and retain Millennials.
Three key findings emerged:
The report highlights the urgent need for businesses to invest in new modes of customer communication and to tailor their approaches to match customer preferences. The research is part of an ongoing set of thought leadership initiatives by Genesys designed to help leading enterprises respond to key challenges they face and enable them to improve the overall customer experience. Genesys helps solve these issues by providing the software and expertise to manage customer interactions, resources and processes from end-to-end, across all channels of communication.
Of the 164 executives who took part in the survey, 29 per cent came from North America, 31 per cent from Europe, 30 per cent from Asia-Pacific and 10 per cent from the rest of the world. Participants represented 19 different industries. One-third of respondents' organisations had annual revenue greater than one billion U.S. dollars and just over one-half (51 per cent) had less than 500 million U.S. dollars in revenue. Board members and CEOs comprised 30 per cent of respondents. CFOs, CTOs and other C-level executives made up an additional 19 per cent. The remainder was split among other senior and middle management functions.
Who are the Millennials and why do they matter?
The Economist Intelligence Unit found that, unlike the baby-boomer generation, a group studied closely for decades, the millennial generation, and its influence on consumer spending and corporate attitudes, is just beginning to be understood. The Millennials, or generation Y, include approximately 80 million individuals born between 1982 and 2001 in the U.S. alone. The millennial generation outnumbers baby boomers today, and its ranks will continue to grow in influence as the majority of Millennials reach adulthood in the next decade, the report said.
How will companies balance between Millennials and older consumers?
Largely as a result of the Baby Boomers, executives overwhelmingly agree (81 per cent) that each generation has specific work and marketplace needs, but they are split on which demographic group should receive the greater share of market investment. A surprising 42 per cent believe that a bigger share of investment in marketing and service should go toward catering to Millennials, while 39 per cent favour older consumers. As a result of this split, the research found few companies have cemented their approach or yet implemented a strategy.
Have companies set their strategies to court them?
The survey found that 75 per cent of companies believe that in the next three years they will need to have a millennial strategy in place, with 30 per cent expecting a major impact that will lead to change across the organisation and 45 per cent expecting a more modest impact. Despite this, 54 per cent of respondents say they have yet not set their strategy for targeting, attracting, or retaining Millennials, while 32 per cent say they have done so. For example, most companies have not kept pace with the Millennials' preference for interacting through newer, community-based technologies, as most firms continue to rely on telephone, e-mail and store/office-front points of contact.
How will companies try to attract more Millennials?
The Economist Intelligence Unit found the proliferation of blogs, podcasts, videos, chat rooms, social networking sites and other online interactive communication has changed the corporate-customer relationship. In the past, customers tended to go directly to the company to enquire about a product, make a purchase or raise a complaint; today they increasingly go online. On the web they learn, shop and share their experiences, both positive and negative.
The survey identified key features and motivating factors that companies expect to resonate with Millennials, which revolve around issues such as convenience, customisation and community. For example, when it comes to purchasing products and services, corporate reputation and brand are less important with the Millennials than peer recommendation and viral marketing (such as online promotional communications passed from one customer to another). Moreover, respondents say it is convenience, more than price, that drives Millennials' purchasing decisions. Others include "fast, reliable service," "frictionless interaction," a "tailored approach," "honesty and trust" and a "personal touch."
A complete copy of the research is available upon request by visiting http://genesyslabs-registration.com/?p=ECGG to register and download it, or email email@example.com.
About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.
Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company, is the only company that focuses 100 per cent on software to manage customer interactions over the phone, Web and in e-mail. The Genesys software suite dynamically connects customers with the right resources - self-service or assisted-service - to fulfil customer requests, optimise customer care goals and efficiently use resources. Genesys software directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day for 4,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries. These companies and agencies can leverage their entire organisation, from the contact centre to the back office, to improve the overall customer experience. As a result, Genesys helps stop customer frustration, drive efficiency and accelerate business innovation. For more information, go to www.genesyslab.com or visit the industry blog at www.betterinteractions.com.
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organisations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 17.8 billion in 2007 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com