Millennial decision makers will soon outnumber every other generation. In fact, by 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be millennials, according to Time. Bazaar reports, “By 2018, millennials will have the most spending power of any generation.”
Millennials are a trillion-dollar demographic and unless you understand what influences Gen-Y purchasing decisions, you could be missing a ton of business.
So, what drives millennial decision makers to actually buy? It’s B2B buyers’ trust. Or rather, transparency.
The need for transparent business practices is a growing requirement by millennials. Gen Y buyers demand a high level of business trust; they want to know what they are getting into before making any purchases.
Here are some actionable tips on how your business can apply transparency and increase customer trust in your brand.
Customers trust in numbers
Millennials want to see statistics, and they want to see both the good and the bad. If you can provide a good explanation for your numbers, even better. By revealing your numbers, you humanize your business and become more relatable.
Open communication fosters B2B buyers’ trust
To help establish B2B trust, it’s important to communicate with this demographic throughout the buyer’s journey. Millennial buyers are a self-confident generation that doesn’t want to be marketed to anymore, they command respect and the desire to communicate directly with the company they are doing business with (i.e. social media).
Honesty maintains customer trust
Any exaggeration or falsity will send the Gen Y buyer running. Do not try to promote anything by making false claims that you can’t deliver on. Remember, millennial buyers would rather see your shortcomings than be lied to.
Place value on peer reviews
There’s a reason why sites like Yelp are popular. More and more value is being placed on peer reviews. Young buyers trust what others have to say, especially others who have been there, done that. SocialChorus reports, “For 95 percent of millennials in the US, friends are the most credible source of product information.” This demographic turns to sites like Yelp, Google and even social media to check reviews before making any purchasing decisions. Promote your business by building and maintaining profiles on local review sites. Businesses who welcome reviews appear to not have anything to hide. Online reviews will not only lend to your company’s credibility, but also significantly boost your company’s local search ranking factors.
Make it easy for people to leave reviews
If you want more reviews, make it easy for customers to leave them. Not only will this help gain new customers, it will reinforce B2B buyers’ trust within your current customer base. Let your customers know you’re on Yelp or other review sites. Perhaps offer an incentive for customers who leave you a positive review.
Be prepared to play the long game
If you find a Gen Y buyer who isn’t interested right now, don’t abandon the prospect. Instead, take time to try to understand what they really want. This will allow you to gather insight into other Gen Y purchasing behaviors. Show that buyer you care about his/her needs. By delivering a remarkable customer experience, you’ve increased the likelihood of that buyer returning when the time is right, moreover the chances of that buyer recommending your business to a friend.
Customers trust social media more than advertising
Eighty-four percent of young buyers don’t trust traditional advertising, instead putting trust in word of mouth (even from strangers). In fact, 51 percent of millennials trust strangers, according to Bazaar. Most young buyers put themselves in the hands of social media. But before your brand creates a company page on every social media platform, it’s important to do more than just be on social media. Help build customer trust by showing the people behind the business. Share updates and pictures of your employees. Respond to comments and interact with your followers. Be diligent in your feedback.
Explore different payment methods
Appeal to the budget-conscious millennial by offering different payment methods. Accept different payment options from credit cards to PayPal, or offer a financing solution such as Affirm.
With millennials making up the majority of the buying community, it’s important to understand what drives them. By offering transparency, you show your buyers just who you are, and what you’re all about. Building up this level of customer trust takes time, but will help your business get far ahead of the competition.