Customer, Serve Thy Self: New Study Reveals Millennials’ Desire for Self Service, Digital Interaction to Change Customer Service Forever

  • Fifty-five percent of Millennials say that their customer service expectations have increased over the last three years, more than half have stopped doing business with at least one company because of poor customer service in the past year
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 consumers prefer to solve their customer service issues on their own, setting the stage for big changes in the consumer experience landscape
  • Sixty-five percent of all consumers and 69 percent  of Millennials say that they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service

Aspect Software, a leading provider of fully-integrated customer interaction management, workforce optimization, back-office and award-winning cloud solutions, today released a study examining the generational and technological divergence between consumer groups and their perceptions and preferences towards customer service. The key takeaway: Companies need to quickly address the customer engagement preferences of the Millennial demographic or risk going out of business.

The Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations provides analysis on how companies can adapt to this shifting consumer challenge. The new survey developed with Millennial expert Jason Dorsey (The Gen Y Guy®) is designed to help businesses identify key characteristics of an increasingly influential Millennial population (individuals aged 18-34). Insights in the study will help companies address Millennials’ evolving needs and expectations when engaging with brands.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Customer experience is increasingly defined by customer service: 76 percent of all generations view customer service as a “true test” of how much a company values them.
  • And nearly a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service.
  • 56 percent of Millennials moved their business from at least one company in the past year due to poor customer service.
  • Consumer preferences are not being addressed: 73 percent of consumers said that they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own.
  • The big opportunity: Help consumers help themselves and let them do it with text and other digital channels. 65 percent of all generations and 69 percent of Millennials say that they feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company on their own.

“The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers’ digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own. This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty,” says Joe Gagnon, SVP and GM of Aspect’s Cloud Solutions. “As Millennials are more ‘experience-loyal’ than ‘brand-loyal,’ consumer engagement is quickly becoming a far more influential factor in building positive brand perception. It’s imperative that businesses adapt their customer service strategies to deliver an interaction strategy that addresses Millennial engagement preferences.”

While companies need effective strategies for all generations, they can’t afford to ignore the increasing buying power of Millennials – this generation is poised to outspend boomers by 2017. Millennials are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if left unsatisfied. The study suggests that companies willing to embrace integrated omni-channel support and self-service will have a competitive advantage over firms that choose to rely on traditional support channels and technologies.

“Millennials are self-reliant and technology dependent, but not necessarily tech savvy, and they expect instant gratification. They don’t just like speed and ease of use, they expect it,” says Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. “When it comes to customer service, the average Millennial is going to look for both the ability to communicate the way they like, be it through text or Twitter, and maintain that level of customization made possible when speaking to an agent in real-time. Therefore companies who don’t adapt their engagement approach are at great risk of near-term obsolescence.”

To download the full study, view the infographic and checkout the take-action strategies to create a great customer experience with all generations, please visit


New study explores how loyalty programs drive engagement among canadian consumers

Loyalty programs in Canada have an important influence on how consumers navigate purchasing decisions, and represent a unique way for brands to connect with them during this process. In fact, 90% of Canadians currently have a loyalty card, which represents approximately 22 million consumers.  Our newest research “Talking Loyalty” explores how Canadians adopt loyalty cards and how brands can effectively build engagement through these programs across categories including coalition (loyalty cards provided in partnership by more than one brand), entertainment, gas, retail and travel.

Choosing a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are popular in Canada and consumers evaluate the benefits carefully:

  • On average, Canadians have four loyalty cards in their wallet.
  • Value is a key factor; six out of 10 consumers choose a loyalty card with no annual fees.
  • 52% of consumers frequently use loyalty cards to accumulate points/miles.
  • 66% of Canadians calculate the value of a loyalty program online.

Shopping Behaviour
Loyalty programs can influence not only where people shop, but how much they spend:

  • 56% of Canadians make an effort to visit retailers where they have a loyalty/reward card.
  • Loyalty cards encourage consumers to spend more with brands; 47% of membership cardholders say that loyalty programs impact their purchase amount.
  • Retail loyalty cards have the greatest impact on purchase amount, followed by coalition cards.
  • Millennials are 5% more likely to spend an increased amount due to their loyalty cards affiliations.
  • In order to earn more points, one-third of consumers buy more products/services when using their loyalty cards.

Building Engagement

Brands can increase loyalty through rewards programs, and digital channels are key to driving engagement with these programs:

  • 55% of Canadians say it’s important for loyalty programs to send them relevant information.
  • 1 in 5 consumers learn about loyalty programs online.
  • Email has the greatest impact on awareness of loyalty programs, followed by display/native advertising and mobile apps.
  • Millennials are nearly two times more likely to prefer mobile for loyalty information.


KPMG Announces New Strategic Collaboration with Microsoft

Strategic collaboration to deliver new generation of data and analytics, cloud and business solutions

KPMG has announced an expansion of its strategic relationship with Microsoft to include a global collaboration to jointly deliver new suites of innovative solutions and services in data and analytics (D&A), cloud compliance and transformation, and business solutions.

The collaboration signals an important phase in the Microsoft and KPMG relationship, driven by a shared certainty that clients are looking for business partners with solutions and services that combine the best in leading-edge technology, industry insight and innovative thinking with proven excellence in managing complex global projects. KPMG has already guided over 100 clients using Microsoft’s Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics and Microsoft Dynamics products to transform their business operations.

The new strategic collaboration, based on Microsoft’s Azure, Dynamics and data platforms, will allow Microsoft and KPMG member firms to work together to develop and deploy solutions and services that will help address the disruptive challenges topping the Board agenda today. These include realizing the business potential of one global, scalable platform which can deliver cloud-based solutions for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Data and Analytics, which will collectively help transform the business while maintaining regulatory and compliance requirements.

The global collaboration will facilitate the development and selling of new, innovative and scalable solutions and services in three key areas:

  • Data and Analytics:  Clients will derive increased performance and productivity with a new, integrated data and analytics platform and Microsoft’s data solutions within the cloud, and in their existing environment using tools from Microsoft Office over Power BI, to machine learning and predictive analytics
  • Cloud Compliance and Transformation:  Clients will benefit from new cloud compliance and cloud transformation offerings.  Microsoft will provide hyper-scale, enterprise-grade and hybrid cloud technologies.  KPMG will work with clients to help ensure compliance requirements, supply expert know-how and change management expertise.  Building on decades of experience with technology disruption and transformation, KPMG and Microsoft will help clients make the journey to the cloud safer and more secure.
  • Business Solutions:  KPMG will use Microsoft’s Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning and CRM Solutions to further its technology-enabled transformation and customer and growth engines.  KPMG will focus on developing industry-specific solutions and services to serve the needs of companies in key industries.

“We are excited to bring together KPMG’s industry expertise, global network and business transformation acumen with Microsoft’s enterprise cloud technologies, data, analytic and business solutions to help customers deal with their most challenging issues,” said Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise.  “KPMG’s deep experience in global business transformation combined with Microsoft Azure, SQL Server, Power BI and Dynamics will help our mutual customers compete in today’s mobile first, cloud first world.”

Mark Goodburn, KPMG’s Global Head of Advisory, said:

“The CEOs I talk to are increasingly looking for KPMG to combine our business expertise with the power of new technology to better help them transform their business. The real point of difference in this collaboration is our ability to set new standards for innovative business solutions, enabled by Microsoft’s leading platform and application suite, delivered rapidly to market to create real business value.”

Bryan Cruickshank, KPMG’s Global Head of IT Advisory, added:

“This collaboration will allow us to develop a new generation of business solutions, underpinned by Microsoft’s Dynamics technology.  In conjunction with Microsoft, our clients now have a global partner they can trust to help them solve their key challenges such as improvements to productivity, customer engagement and competitiveness. The recent acquisition of Crimsonwing is further evidence of KPMG’s commitment to invest to be a leading global provider.”

Christian Rast, KPMG’s Global Head of Data & Analytics, concluded:

“We are investing heavily as a global leader in Data and Analytics, helping customers use the power of D&A to make better business decisions that drive real competitive advantage. Jointly, we will help clients turn data into insights into value. KPMG’s and Microsoft’s collaboration will help customers derive greater performance and productivity from these new industry-standard integrated solutions.”

For KPMG, the collaboration with Microsoft will provide new and existing clients with preferred access to proven technology solutions including: advanced big data and analytic solutions built on Power BI and SQL Server, enterprise-grade, hybrid cloud technology from Windows Server and Microsoft Azure, and business solutions powered by Microsoft Dynamics.

For Microsoft, KPMG’s global reach and deep industry knowledge gives Microsoft access to new insights through KPMG’s role as a trusted advisor to the C-suite.

Photobucket selects Hitachi Data Systems cloud solutions to actively host and serve billions of customer photos

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), today announced that Photobucket, a photo and image hosting service provider with 54 million global unique visitors per month, has selected Hitachi Data Systems as the enterprise cloud provider for their photo- and image-hosting application. Hitachi Cloud Services, an enterprise cloud storage service powered by Hitachi Content Platform, provides the foundation for Hitachi cloud object-storage services.

Faced with an aging network attached storage (NAS) infrastructure, Photobucket sought a more flexible and cost-effective consumption solution to better meet customer capacity growth needs and move from NAS to object-based interfaces. Hitachi Content Platform provides massive scale via open interfaces, including REST, Amazon S3, and Openstack Swift, and is built on legendary Hitachi hardware that is known for its availability and performance. In collaboration with its partner, Trace3, HDS eased the integration process — from application connectivity verification and support and tuning of Photobucket’s key revenue-generating application through to the Hitachi Cloud Services infrastructure.

Photobucket chose Hitachi Data Systems over a number of competitors, due to the unique HDS ability to provide the entire solution. HDS provided integration services, ranging from trial accounts that verify application connectivity, to support and tuning of Photobucket’s key application, through to a Hitachi Cloud Services infrastructure. This solution has increased security and data integrity that is provided by the cloud service and platform and offers Photobucket the ability to transform from an infrastructure business to focus on their revenue-generating core application business. Hitachi Data Systems offers Photobucket a flexible, open solution with predictable costs that are based on actual pay-as-you-grow consumption: There is no oversubscription of storage, and there are no unpredictable charges from per-request fees.

Key Highlights

  • Photobucket is a new customer for HDS. Within the first year, HDS anticipates over 8PB of customer photo and image objects will be ingested, followed by over 1PB year-over-year growth.
  • Hitachi Cloud Services, powered by Hitachi Content Platform, will allow Photobucket to integrate its patented application to store two copies of original media in the globally dispersed Hitachi
  • Photobucket is a global leader in online photo hosting, sharing and printing services. More than 2.25 million images are shared daily. Photobucket has 26.4 million users in the S. across mobile and desktop, with 54 million global unique visitors per day.

Reach the Right Audience with CNW’s Newest Targeted Industry Lists

Over the years, CNW has worked with news organizations to develop strategies for targeting the newswire to the right editors and journalists within newsrooms. For those without in-house editorial systems, we developed filtering options at to enable users to tailor the feed for ultimate relevance. We also developed Targeted Industry Lists, a high precision e-distribution offering that has grown today to support 15 of Canada’s most newsworthy industries.

“CNW’s Targeted Industry Lists boost the visibility of your news by sharing it with the people who care most,” said Laurie Smith, CNW’s Senior Director Strategic Communications, Audience and Media Relations. “They also help maintain your credibility by keeping your news from those who care the least.”

Designed to supplement newswire distribution, CNW Targeted Industry Lists consist of verified beat reporters, bloggers and influencers across major industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Building and Housing – New
  • CSR/Environment
  • Education – New
  • Entertainment
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Labour – New
  • Lifestyle
  • Mining & Natural Resources
  • Oil and Gas
  • Retail
  • Sports – New
  • Technology
  • Transportation – New

Given today’s tumultuous media landscape and the ever-changing environment of the web and social platforms, many communicators find it difficult to keep their in-house distribution lists up-to-date. CNW’s Targeted Industry Lists are researched and maintained by a dedicated Media and Audience Relations team in full accordance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). In addition to accurate media contacts, our lists contain relevant non-media contacts that have opted-in to receive news releases issued by CNW clients.

“Today’s communicators need to be thinking beyond the newsroom,” adds Smith. “News releases are also useful for bloggers, industry associations and social media influencers seeking good content to share with their audiences.”

If you would like to be added to one of CNW’s Targeted Industry Lists above, please contact

To learn more about targeting your communications download our article Driving Audience Awareness by Targeting Your News Release.




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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.