Something extraordinary is taking shape in the home services industry right now, and most people have no idea.
Millennials–long considered averse to home ownership–are slowly starting to buy homes, and are bringing with them an entirely new set of home service expectations not seen before. Though they own fewer homes compared to older age groups, millennials recorded the largest increase in homeownership (2.4%) this past year–and with the economy strong, they are predicted to have a steadily increasing presence in the home industry for years to come.
So how can home service companies adapt to the needs of this new type of homeowner? What expectations do millennials have when calling for home repair help? And what is so different about millennials anyway?
Looking at the 3 common beliefs millennials hold, we answer these questions and more:
Open communication matters
Millennials (those who turn 22-37 years old this year) catch a lot of flack these days for being negatively stereotyped as the “selfie” generation–constantly glued to their cell phones, impatient, and sensitive.
The truth is these young adults are socially conscious, highly communicative (especially across digital technologies), and incredibly loyal to companies that respond to their needs and create an amazing experience.
Whether calling a home service company for help, or hailing an uber, Millennials want their companies to conduct their business ethically, deliver authentic brand messages, and offer high-quality customer experiences at a competitively low price.
That means any communication from a company–whether a phone call from a contractor or an email from the COO, needs to strike the right balance between personal and corporate speak–it needs to be informative, but also inclusive. Unlike older generations, Millennials are less likely to put up with overly dry customer service calls, or standard company messages that seem distant and lacking personality.
So when a young homeowner calls a home service company for help, they are not only looking for them to solve their problem, they also want them to speak their language, and provide plenty of digital opportunities to communicate. In fact, most millennials prefer to communicate exclusively through text, or other mobile messaging applications, so companies that utilize this type of technology will quickly position their businesses for success.
Technology is paramount & it must be user-friendly
This is true: millennials are unapologetically in love with mobile technology and will use it for literally anything that makes their lives easier. As much as 75% believe cell phones make their lives easier, and 83% admit to falling asleep with them at night.
For better or worse, millennials expect to interact with their companies through various digital mobile channels, and touchpoints. They want to be able to text, call, like, and rate their customer experiences, and they want to feel informed and part of any service or product they pay for.
This need to actively participate with–and not just purchase from–a business may seem problematic to more traditional home service companies.
For example, say your competitor offers mobile travel alerts and scheduling notifications, but you do not–you can bet your first-time millennial customer will be your last if they are expected to wait around all day for your technician to arrive at their front door. They may write a negative review online without even consulting with you first.
The logic for a millennial is this: I’m not expected to wait when requesting my laundry, ordering food, or buying movie tickets, why should I change my expectations when calling your home services company?
Decisions have to be grounded in lots of data and information
When serving Millennials, traditional home service companies may notice a frustrating juxtaposition: at times they can appear both faithfully loyal–tweeting, liking, and promoting your work–and other times, they can come off as frugal and easily willing to change for your competitor.
Millennials change companies primarily based on the information that is available to them online.
Their experiences with your company may be satisfactory, they’ve rated your work well, but the minute they discover your competitor has better reviews, and innovative customer benefits (like mobile alerts, and scheduling notifications), they will jump ship–and rightly so–because there is a superior company out there that offers a stronger customer experience and quality of work.
Though this ‘adapt or die’ mentality may seem confusing to traditional businesses, it’s important to remember that Millenials came of age during the heart of the 2008 economic recession, inheriting a knack for finding quality services and products at the cheapest prices.
Using a vast network of apps, customer reviews, and information, Millennials are simply doing what customers have done for centuries: make the best decisions possible based on relevant, time-sensitive information.
Coming of age
Home service companies should know that Millennials seek the same help as their older customers, they just have slightly different expectations of how that work should be done. They want to be more informed, more engaged, and they want to be able to communicate via the same mobile technologies they use for everything else in their lives.
The home service company that embraces the use of powerful mobile technologies will find immediate success with this ever-growing customer base.
If you are interested in learning more about how your company can do better – contact us below.