Four steps to success: get in the mind of millennials

01 September 2016Jonathan Faurie

Those of us in the financial services industry have probably heard it before: Millennials are coming and they will be disruptors. But why? Why should your future client base be a disruptive force for your business? Do you want to wake up every day and dread facing the prospect of servicing the needs of this client base?

We recently came across an article on which offers some ideas on how to get into the heads of Millennials. Shall we see if they make any sense or if they can be used by us? 

What is Really Important to a Millennial? 

Although the mere mention of the word Millennial associated with the word business may conjure up images of offices filled with ping pong tables, bean bag chairs, boutique coffee shop runs, and afternoon naps, the truth is that they’re not all that different from anyone else. 

What do Millennials value?

 1. Transparency 

No one likes a liar. And the internet makes it pretty easy to present a certain persona, even if it’s not real. However, that bubble bursts pretty quickly when companies don’t live up to expectations. 

Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, even the Better Business Bureau, have accustomed Millennials to seeing honest reviews of the performance of any brand, product, or service. 

It’s this kind of transparency that Millennials have come to expect from companies. 

2. Authenticity 

Although I’m not a fan of the current dressing down for work trend, I understand the sentiment behind it. Unlike the generation that entered the workforce in the 1980s — where making money and getting ahead were of prime importance — Millennials want their workspace and their living space to be cohesive. It’s all about doing something you love and not pretending to be someone you’re not. 

Years ago, office hours were office hours. However, now that you can be reached night and day by phone, internet, and texting, personal time on weekends and evenings barely exist. So why not make it more comfortable? If work life can be enjoyable and blend seamlessly with the rest of life, why not make every effort to be comfortable and happy? 

3. Responsiveness 

Since Millennials haven’t experienced a workplace without instant communication, they expect nothing less than immediacy. That’s not to say that they are always demanding, but they don’t understand slow response time. 

To the Millennial generation, there’s little leeway given for failing to respond rapidly by social media, messaging, text, email… the list is so long, there’s just no excuse for not replying in a timely fashion. 

4. Analytics 

The Millennial generation is perhaps filled with more doubting Thomases than any other. This only makes sense since they’ve grown up in a world filled with competition. 

Think about it. If you were born in the 1950s, how much competition was there for home phone service? Now, think about how many cell phone providers exist. I can think of at least a half a dozen top-tier ones right off the top of my head. And they’re all vying for your business. 

Millennials are accustomed to this mentality. They really don’t know anything else. So they want proof, not just talk. Facts and figures speak louder than promises.

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Quick Polls


The FSB is thinking of scrapping Level II Regulatory Exam (which would have tested product knowledge) in favour of an approach that forces insurers to train staff and monitor their actions. Do you agree with this approach?


Yes. The Level II Regulatory Exams were a massive headache for those who had to write them
No. At least with the exams you knew who were the top achievers. A lot of trust now needs to be given to insurers.
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