Millennials, aged 25 to 35, are no longer the group that is known as the work experience kids, but rather are the new clients that are demanding businesses be socially and environmentally conscious.

They want businesses to be flexible and tech-savvy, in much the same way that they are, and if companies are trying to get their hard-earned cash, they need to think of ways to attract millennials.

This according to general country manager at XERO SA, Collin Timmis, who takes a look at how this new generation of clients could help move your company forward.

“Businesses that fail to adapt to their need, and tailor their products and services to be more Millennial-friendly could find themselves left behind, the question is how does your company attract and retain Millennial clients,” says Timmis.

He believes that there are four steps for businesses  to try in order to attract a generation of millennial customers.

Embrace technology

According to Timmis, millennials are the first generation to fully embrace digital life, adopting and using technology more quickly and effectively than any other age demographic.

He advises that cloud tech is the key to meeting millennial needs, and engaging on their level because it allows nearly all businesses and clients to work together in an integrated way from anywhere in the world at any time.

Businesses powered by the cloud include digital payments, mobile apps and software that makes processes quicker and simpler, which in turn will create a more flexible working relationship and a complete digital experience, he continues.

“Millennials are environmentally conscious and have preference for paper free admin and desire the work-life balance of remote working and they expect technology to be fully integrated into every aspect of their business,” he points out.

Use social media

The Xero SA country manager says millennials are quick to embrace social media and not only for personal use but for its enormous potential to move their careers forward through promotion, networking, organising events and engaging in conversations with others within the industry.

Timmis notes that an active social media account is not enough, but it’s about offering added value. He says that businesses can add millennial-friendly services like free seminars and talks with leading industry figures, or offering competitions and rewards for promoting  companies within their network, are great ways of building a firm’s profile.

“Business can reach an audience of young professionals Millennials through various social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, to demonstrate that your company feels comfortable engaging through technology,” he adds.

Provide diversity

Timmis explains that it is no longer about providing one product in isolation, but building the full experience for millennial clients.

It is about offering a diverse range of services that a business can also provide complementary products to, to enhance the existing relationship, while also selling themselves as a more complete service that could save time and money and offer the kind of integrated working environment millennials desire.

“Throughout the relationship communication and customer service are important aspects in retaining the loyalty of a generation with an entrepreneurial spirit, who are often starting up their own businesses or may plan to do so in the future,” continues Timmis.

A corporate ethics policy

In addition to offering diverse products and services, he says that millennials are more socially conscious than ever and expect the same from the companies they work with, as all they want is to have a positive effect on the world and actively seek out ways to do so beyond their private lives.

Timmis adds that if your company doesn’t have a corporate ethics policy in place, or it has one that is outdated then now is the time to get your priorities in order, and communicate your beliefs to existing and potential clients. Good corporate citizenship, he stresses, could very well be the deciding factor for millennials about to sign with a new business.

“Furthermore, three out of four Millennial were willing to pay more for a product or brand that championed sustainability, according to an online survey by Nielsen, that 75 percent of a generation prioritising sustainability,” Timmis concludes.