Oh, those Millennials – the group born between 1980-2000. There’s a lot of them; in fact, theirs is the largest generation, even eclipsing the Baby Boomer. And they are unique customers! Which is the topic of the seventh session of the summer term of the 2016 GsD program – a reading survey course. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to list a broad overview of some of the recent literature in the field of customer service – and you will quickly see how it connects to Guest Experiences! It’s only an introduction to whet your appetite – the application to the world of Guest Experiences for churches will come in the second summer term!
2016 GsD Summer Term 1: Survey of Customer Experience Literature 201
Author: Micah Solomon
Synopsis: Everything you need to know to transform your customer service experience and delight a new generation of customers. In this groundbreaking volume, America’s top customer service authority explains how your customers have changed-and how the customer service and customer experience you provide needs to change as well.
This is true whether your customers are members of the enormous, unprecedented Millennial generation, the Baby Boomers, or otherwise.
Technology and demographics have changed dramatically over the last decade, but customer service has not kept up. The days of scripted service, employee uniforms, long lines and longer wait times are over. Your customers today don’t want that, and they’ll vote with their feet (or reviews) if you try to serve them more of the same.
Millennials in particular (customers born 1980-2000) are over 80 million strong in the U.S. alone, and they’re unlike any customers you’ve ever had before. Millennials demand nearly-instantaneous and completely intuitive customer support. They reject hackneyed ideas of what “luxury” should mean. They actively search for brands and companies that can bring them authentic experiences that match their values.
The power of getting this right – and the hazards of getting this wrong – are immense. Since millennials share nearly all of their experiences via social media, the way you meet their expectations decides whether they’ll choose to “Yelp your business a new one” or become true, digitally-empowered “brand ambassadors” for your business.
Just as important, what millennials want from you today represents what more and more customers, from every generation, will be asking for as well in the very near future. This means that regardless of the age of your target consumer, the information inside Your Customer Is The Star is of utmost importance to you and to the sustained success of your business.
There’s an assumption long led in business that’s only halfway true: that customer service is a fundamental, timeless concept whose unchanging principles hearken back to classical Greek and biblical models, with bad service clearly distinguishable from good service and inhospitality the simple opposite of hospitality. This tidy formulation misses that the particulars of how service has been delivered within our lifetimes are artifacts of recent history that may no longer reflect the reality of how today’s customers want to be served.
- Meet the Most Important Generation of Customers in History: The Millennials
- The (Unauthorized) Jetsons Guide to Modern Customer Services
- Become a Speed Freak
- Build Something Genuine
- Your Customer’s the Star
- Set the Stage for Customer Relationships
- Redefine Loyalty (A Bit)
- Farewell for Now, and Happy Customering
About the author: Micah Solomon is a leading authority on customer services, company culture, and the customer experience. He’s a consultant, keynote speaker, and #1 bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than a half-dozen languages and have received multiple awards. Micah is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and Inc.com, and his expertise has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, CBS, ABC, CNBC, and the Harvard Business Review.
Additional Resources: Check out the author’s website for various types of resources and additional information. For additional information on his previous book High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service, check out this site.
A Quick Comment: Micah Solomon is an insightful, practical writer in the customer service field. His two books, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit and High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service are filled with useful, ready-to-use information. Though written from a customer service perspective, church hospitality ministries will immediately find application to their various teams and processes. An area that is especially helpful, but not often thought of, is “what do you do when something goes wrong?” You can read about how problems are actually a good thing and how to make things right when things go wrong. Solomon has has an upcoming book this fall about the heart of hospitality. You can be sure I will be reviewing it on this site!
Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval of the Walt Disney Company. The use of GsD (Doctor of Guestology) is my tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations that really want to understand and deliver a WOW Guest Experience need to study the best practices and principles in use today, and then adapt them to the context of their own environment.
If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the 2013 GsD Summer Reading 101 classes, you can begin reading a 10-part session here.
For more reading in the area of Guest Experiences, check out my Essential Guest Experience Library. I am always adding new resources for your learning pleasure!