When it comes to cus­tomer expec­ta­tions, it is no sur­prise that with all the lat­est tech-lean­ing us towards instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion that mil­len­ni­als have high­er expec­ta­tions for cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. This is most­ly due to instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion with mobile and email noti­fi­ca­tions from brands.

A recent report from Adobe sur­veyed 1,500 U.S. adults regard­ing pref­er­ences and expec­ta­tions for dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences in the retail, trav­el & hos­pi­tal­i­ty, media & enter­tain­ment, and finan­cial ser­vices indus­tries and found that expec­ta­tions for cus­tomer expe­ri­ence are much high­er com­ing from the mil­len­ni­al age group than ever before.

Tay­lor Schrein­er, Direc­tor, Adobe Dig­i­tal Insights said, “You can see this expec­ta­tion that tech­nol­o­gy will pro­vide great expe­ri­ences in some of their sur­vey respons­es. For instance, about half of peo­ple under 35 would rather engage with a com­put­er than a human when inter­act­ing with a brand. Old­er groups much more clear­ly want to talk to real peo­ple and expect inter­ac­tions with peo­ple to give them bet­ter expe­ri­ences.”

Cus­tomers expect to have instant com­mu­ni­ca­tion when inter­act­ing with a brand such as mobile text mes­sages for coupons or email receipts right to their inbox after pur­chase. Now with Ama­zon 2-day ship­ping and noti­fi­ca­tions any time that the pack­age is shipped or deliv­ered, there is a sense of need­ing to always be in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with brands. There­fore many brands have devel­oped apps so that they can be as acces­si­ble as pos­si­ble. We can now check our bank accounts, our inter­ac­tions, our mail, and so much more all by the click of our smart­phones.

Chat­bots are now very pop­u­lar amongst brands because it allows them to inter­act in real time for issues and ques­tions. Mil­len­ni­als tend to be more self-effi­cient than old­er gen­er­a­tions and want to fig­ure out things for them­selves and there­fore this gives them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do this quick­ly and effi­cient­ly. Even food chains, like Star­bucks, have jumped on board the self-serv­ing band­wag­on by allow­ing cus­tomers to order ahead of time and pick up for faster and more accu­rate order­ing.

This comes into play with more than just good cus­tomer expe­ri­ence though, this is also impor­tant when it comes to poor cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. The study shows that nine in 10 peo­ple ages 18 to 34 said they will take an action after hav­ing a bad online cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, such as telling friends, stop­ping pur­chas­ing from the com­pa­ny, and post­ing reviews on a review site or social media.

One thing that is clear in our data is that peo­ple under 35 feel they have a stronger voice in any rela­tion­ship with a brand. For instance, while they are less like­ly than old­er con­sumers to actu­al­ly com­plain to a com­pa­ny after a bad online expe­ri­ence, they twice as like­ly to write an online review or post to social media about the expe­ri­ence. They see those online chan­nels as empow­er­ing them to respond when they have had a bad expe­ri­ence,” said Schrein­er

Con­sumers want to be heard and they expect a response. Among those who post­ed on social media about their expe­ri­ence, two in three heard back from the com­pa­ny. Brands should keep this in mind and can try and rec­ti­fy bad expe­ri­ences, not just to retain that per­son as a cus­tomer, but to show oth­ers that the com­pa­ny lis­tened to the neg­a­tive feed­back and made a change. It can show trans­paren­cy and make it so oth­ers are will­ing to give them anoth­er chance.

Trav­el is also a major one when it comes to cus­tomer expec­ta­tions. Accord­ing to the sur­vey, four in 10 said they expect to receive a text mes­sage from an air­line if their flights were delayed. Cus­tomers expect to be able to check in online for flights, hotels, car ser­vices and oth­er trav­el relat­ed items before they arrive at their des­ti­na­tion. There are even hotel apps now that let you pick your room tem­per­a­ture and make spe­cial requests before even arriv­ing. This cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is per­son­al­ized and con­ve­nient. Con­ve­nience is key when it comes to trav­el expec­ta­tions and peo­ple do not like to wait for infor­ma­tion, they expect to know what is hap­pen­ing the moment it is occur­ring. This could also be attrib­uted to social media where news spreads quick­er and is always at our fin­ger­tips.

When it comes to their trav­el expe­ri­ences, con­sumers want to be sur­prised and delight­ed,” Schrein­er told CMO.com. “Any­thing that can save them time and effort, and make their stay more pleas­ant, is going to be key, as are per­son­al­ized and cus­tomiz­able ser­vices that enhance the trav­el expe­ri­ence.”

See­ing as the trend has no signs of slow­ing down, it will be inter­est­ing to see what expec­ta­tions are held from Gen­er­a­tion Z when they reach the age of today’s mil­len­ni­als. There could be some major shifts in how brands inter­act with their cus­tomers in the future.

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