T-shirts and Calculators: It’s Those Millennials Again- by Jamie Engelhardt
Did you know that fast-food giant, Wendy’s is installing self-service kiosks this year in 1,000 of their locations across the United States? (forbes.com) I didn’t either. They are following in the footsteps of similar chains, like McDonalds; it seems as though the popular Burger King slogan, “have it your way, right away” may be even more true today than it ever has been for the fast food industry.
Consumers, especially Millennials, are asking for more self-serve functions across the board. Now, before you go judging the Millennials again- be reminded that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Wanting a self-serve option isn’t because they don’t want to interact with anyone or because they are so involved in their tablets, devices, etc, that they would rather order through a device than talk to an actual human being. No, Millennials are all about community. In fact, they tend to want to work collaboratively and to truly understand other humans they are interacting with. So why the self-service? Millennials are also driven by efficiency. Self-service is so, so efficient. You, and only you, know exactly what you want before the words come out of your mouth. Why risk a breakdown in communication or answer multiple questions when you can quickly and easily type it all in a self-serve kiosk? It’s simply more efficient.
Why does this matter to you, as a small-business? Because big box stores set the example. While as a small business you may want to convey that “local small business charm,” it might be wise to start thinking of other ways this personality might be communicated. For small retail stores and brick and mortar small businesses, the self-serve mentality will quickly catch on. It would be in your best interest to follow suit. Trust me, the Millennials will love you- even if you don’t love them back.
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