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By Colin Timmis, General Country Manager, Xero SA

Millennials are asking more of the world than ever before – demanding businesses be socially and environmentally conscious, flexible and tech-savvy – which is certainly not a bad thing. Now in their 20s and 30s, they are no longer the work experience kids, but the new clients that could help move your company forward too.

Businesses that fail to adapt to their needs, and tailor their products and services to be more Millennial-friendly, could well find themselves left behind. The question is, how does your company attract and retain millennial clients?

1 – Embrace tech

Millennials are the first generation to fully embrace digital life, adopting and using technology more quickly and effectively than any other age demographic. From the environmentally conscious preference for paper-free admin, to the work-life balance of remote working, they expect technology to be fully integrated into every aspect of their business.

Cloud tech is key to meeting Millennial needs and engaging on their level. It allows nearly all businesses and clients to work together in an integrated way from anywhere in the world at any time.

From digital payments to mobile apps, the software makes processes quicker and simpler, creating a more flexible working relationship and a more complete digital experience.

2 – Make use of social media

Millennials quickly embraced social media, not just for the role it plays in keeping in touch with friends, but for its enormous potential to move their careers forward through promotion, networking, organising events and engaging in conversation with others within their industry.

Businesses can reach an audience of young professional Millennials through various social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, to demonstrate that your company feels comfortable engaging through technology.

An active social media account is not enough, it’s about offering added value. Posting ways to prepare for tax assessments in the lead-up to the tax deadline, or how to save in the new year will tie-in with their day-to-day lives, while Millennial-friendly services like free seminars and talks with leading industry figures, or offering competitions and rewards for promoting your company within their network are all great ways of building your firm’s profile, within an already crowded social media landscape.

3 – Provide an experience

It’s no longer about providing one product in isolation, but building a full experience for Millennial clients. Offering a diverse range of services means that a business can also provide complementary products to enhance the existing relationship – 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. They need a firm that has their back and provides them with a service that extends beyond the basics.

4 – Practice good corporate citizenship

Millennials are more socially and environmentally conscious than ever and expect the same from the companies they work with. They want to have a positive effect on the world, and actively seek out ways to do so beyond their private lives.

‘A Finger On The Pulse’ study by Horizon Media revealed that 81% of Millennials expect companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship. This means being transparent about legal, ethical, economic and social responsibility efforts towards people, the planet and future generations.

In addition, three out of four Millennials were willing to pay more for a product or brand that championed sustainability, according to an online survey by Nielsen. That’s 75% of a generation prioritising sustainability.

If your company doesn’t have a corporate ethics policy in place, or it has one that’s outdated, then now is the time to get your priorities in order, and communicate your beliefs to existing and potential clients– because good corporate citizenship could very well be the deciding factor for Millennials about to sign with a new business.