For more articles on millennials
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“Training the Next Generation,”
“Prepare Now for Millennial Buyers,”
“Engage the Self-Directed Buyer,”
Meeting the challenge
Millennials tend to seek instant feedback, are self-reliant and embrace technology, according to the
sponsors of the Aspect Consumer Experience study.
They want to interact with a company using the
communications technologies they prefer, wheth-
er that’s via text, Twitter or telephone. In fact, the
study’s sponsors describe millennials as being more
“experience-loyal” as opposed to “brand-loyal.”
These ;ndings indicate that originators should pay
close attention to their communications strategies and
channels, and assure that they are o;ering a multiplat-
form customer service interface that is easily navigated,
optimized for interaction and focused on delivering a
pleasant experience for the millennial customer.
Following are some options and strategies for
accomplishing that goal.
n Interactive voice response (IVR): IVR systems
are the front line of all inbound calls from consumers, so it is critical that they represent the company
well. Scripts should be reviewed regularly to ensure
that callers have easy access to self-service functions without the frustration of confusing menus.
When callers need to speak to a live person, they
should be routed e;ciently to the person or unit
best able to serve them.
n Live chat: This service o;ers the opportunity for
a millennial customer to contact an originator or
other customer service representative without having to talk to that person. In addition to receiving
timely, updated information, consumers who take
Over the past 10 years, the mortgage in- dustry has confronted many unique challenges — chief among them the housing-market crash and the regulatory
reforms that followed in its wake. Even as the industry
continues to adapt to those changes, however, originators also are grappling with a fresh set of challenges as
the ;rst wave of millennials — ages 18 to 34 — enters
the mortgage marketplace.
There’s probably been more research related to
millennials than any preceding generation. We know
how they think, use technology and conduct online research regarding nearly every decision they make. This
includes ;nancial decisions, especially around ;nancing a home purchase. Mortgage originators must continue to adapt business practices to serve millennials
and their unique needs. By doing so, those originators
will be more successful in expanding their business
Study after study has shown that millennials are
tech-savvy and want the option of conducting
personal-;nance business on their own terms, be it online, over the telephone or in person. Customer service
also is a hot button for millennials. One recent study
— the Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial
Research on Customer Service Expectations — found
that 69 percent of millennials said they feel good about
themselves, and the company they are doing business
with, when they solve a problem without talking to
customer service. In addition, 55 percent said their
customer service expectations have increased during
the last three years, and more than half have stopped
patronizing at least one company because of poor customer service in the past year.
Although it is not easy for a homebuyer to switch
mortgage originators in midstream after having a bad
experience, that doesn’t insulate an originator from
blowback. Millennials are quick to share their bad experiences through various social media channels, and
such reviews always have the potential to go viral and
reach thousands of people on the Internet. The potential negative fallout that can result from such an event
should encourage originators to review their operations for areas that can be improved.
Mortgage originators that want to be successful in
meeting the needs of millennials and o;ering them a
good customer service experience will need to make
adjustments in all their consumer-facing channels.
Barry Hays is co-founder and senior vice president of
TeleVoice, a provider of customized call-center solutions to
the ;nancial-services industry. During his more-than-30-year
career, he has successfully led TeleVoice’s e;orts to market
a broad range of voice-response applications for mortgage
servicers, banks, federal agencies, Fortune 500 companies and
brokerage companies. In 1980, Hays co-founded Synergos
Inc., which developed the ;rst functional microprocessor-based terminal-control unit for use in the airline industry.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Generation Is Reshaping
the Customer Service Landscape
Originators can meet the millennial challenge by adopting
a multichannel communications strategy
By Barry Hays
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