Despite digital upbringing, millennials still crave human contact

Despite being thought of as the generation that organises pretty much everything in their lives through social media, new research from call center specialist Mattersight reveals that when it comes to service issues millennials prefer to speak to a human being.

Only one per cent of millennials want to use social media to contact a brand when they have a product question or problem. Of those surveyed, 76 per cent say they prefer to call (56 per cent) or email (25 per cent) brands for customer service issues.

In addition more than 85 per cent have been disappointed with a brand's service and support in the past year. All of this is in stark contrasts to the views of brands, 67 per cent of which believe social media-based service is growing in importance.

"Despite growing up in the digital age, millennials haven’t abandoned person-to-person contact", says Mattersight CEO Kelly Conway. "Contrary to popular belief, we found that most millennials prefer to communicate in-person and over the phone because it allows them to have the most meaningful conversations".

These communication preferences go beyond customer service too. At work, 85 per cent of millennials surveyed said that they prefer to meet and communicate in-person with their co-workers. The second most preferred method of communication at work is a tied between email and talking on the phone, which indicates millennials' equal desires for efficiency and social interaction. Over half of those surveyed said that outside of work they prefer to communicate in person, and that an important characteristic of a quality conversation is having chemistry - which is hard to cultivate through digital and online means only.

"Just like in the workplace, millennials want to be able to communicate with a company person-to-person in order to quickly solve problems", says Conway.

"Unfortunately, companies generally aren’t providing the call center experience that millennials are seeking, forcing them to abandon phone options for less preferential ways to connect with brands, or even disengage completely."

You can find out more in the full report which is available to download from the Mattersight website.

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