There are 80 million millennials, born between 1977 and 1995, in the US, according to Barkely Millennial Research. They make up 25% of the US population and have more than $200 billion in annual buying power. For every business, winning the hearts of young customers holds to key to be successful.
But bankers have long been wondering how to cozy up to millennials and increase traffic into banks. Although millennials are the largest generation in the American workforce, a study by The Center for Generational Kinetics and Global Cash Card, released weeks ago, found roughly five million millennials having no checking account.
According to a similar survey from Accenture, millennials switch from their primary bank at a pace nearly double the average of other consumer groups. As many as 18% of millennials switched their primary bank in 2014 —compared to 10 percent of customers 35 to 54 and 3 percent of people 55 and older.
Millennials are choosing unconventional banking options more than any other generation. But Accenture says ‘attracting and retaining millennials involves more than just digital.’
It is not just adding more technologies, it is about integrating all channels (technology and brick and mortar) together, and creating a seamless user experience connected to all their wants and needs.
More important still, American young generation does not want to talk with machines to share their banking experience. In other words, they want human customer care executives to talk with. In a recent survey titled ‘Millennials and the Future of Banking’ conducted by CCG Catalyst, 78 percent of respondents said they prefer to talk with customer care agents either in person or on phone.
They not only want the bankers to advise them on how to borrow student loan, they also want bankers to advise them on all sorts of financial issues, from how to pay bills to how to save money.
Even the Accenture survey found that younger consumers were more likely than older consumers to want their banks to offer more services and solutions to help them with financial management and purchases. “Therefore, banks need to better understand their customers’ behavior and develop services accordingly,” said the report.
Another important finding is that young consumers want their bankers to give them real-time analytics of their spending and safe-to-spend forecasts.
Moreover, millennials are the generation who don’t really believe that banks have their best interests at heart, help them reach their financial goals or look out for their financial well-being. That means banks have to do a lot to win over them.
Ignoring millennials is not an option either, says a Gallup study, because they bring a lot to the table.
Though many banks have taken a serious look at their customer complaint procedures in recent years, millennials’ needs are still going unresolved. Gallup says banks should look closer at their customer complaints data to determine which problems affect millennial customers most often, and then evaluate their policies and procedures to correct them.