Yesterday I began “translating” a list of “Eight Strategies for Millennial Loyalty” for our use as college ministers. (Details in yesterday’s post.) Again, Millennials aren’t our “customers,” but they are indeed our present audience. It sure doesn’t hurt to know what their generation prefers and is helped by, so we can serve them even better.
I discussed items 1-3 yesterday; here are the rest (with my thoughts following the original tips):
4. Proactively notify customers over their channel of choice.
If Millennials are big on proactive notification, what does it mean to be proactive with our students? That’s worth thinking about further, but here are some first guesses:
One way would be letting them know what’s coming – the upcoming messages in our series, for example, or a good calendar of semester events. We could also have the foresight to prepare students for upcoming hiccups in their lives – whether that’s Finals, the sometimes difficult school breaks, potential difficulties, or graduation. Oh – and we could try to contact freshmen even before they arrive. What else?
5. Make the customer experience convenient by offering self-service.
College students may make great use of self-service options. Providing abundant information, resources, and even instruction on our web page is one way to hook up our students in a way they’ll appreciate.
6. Use branch, remote and expert agents to provide the level of expertise your customers require.
This makes me think about two things for college ministry: being on campus, and helping with big questions.
Regarding the former, I think our regular presence on campus may be more important to our students than we realize (or even than they realize sometimes).
As for the latter, it might help to remember that we’re serving college students, and they’re depth-appreciating Millennials at that. They’re not satisfied with simple answers or guesses – nor should they be. If we’re not regularly consulting commentaries, theology books, brilliant authors, brilliant ministers, etc., to find answers for our students, then we may not be providing “the level of expertise [our students] require.”
7. Listen and learn from your customer, to enhance the customer experience.
Change “customer” to “student” in that sentence, and that’s a no-brainer for us. We can institute lots of “listening” means in our ministries – from one-on-one sit-downs to ministry-wide surveys.
8. Adapt your customer service process to meet ever-changing customer demand.
While “demand” isn’t as big a concern for us as “needs” are, we college ministers should probably be the biggest tweakers of all Christian ministers. With around a quarter of our audience turning over every year, “ever-changing” is the only constant.