On Thursday of this week, we hosted a webinar, “Delivering the Ideal Millennial Experience.” Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn’t get to answer all the questions our attendees asked. So, here are our answers to the questions we missed. If you were unable to attend the live webinar, you can download the recorded video HERE.
How do Millennials feel about luxury? Do they shun it? If they care about speed more than service, what will that do to luxury?
According to a survey conducted by Chase, Millennials are actually more likely to indulge in luxury amenities like massages or spa services than previous generations. It’s not that they care more about speed than service, but they do have higher expectations for speed of service. Luxury will have to adapt in two ways: One, in the way that it conducts operations behind the scenes in order to optimize its efficiency, and two, in the way that it communicates with guests, so that communication is immediate, on the guest’s terms, and fully integrated with hotel operations. Our platform inGuest is a tech solution that facilitates exactly this kind of change.
*source: Chase Infographic
This past season my guests have shifted from Boomers to Millennials, and they bring with them the famed “Entitlement Attitude.” What’s the best way to deal with that in the guest experience and change that from a point of confrontation to a win-win benefit? I find they don’t take care of the property like the older folks do, for example.
That’s unfortunate, and I’m sorry to hear that. But I think the issue you’re describing is more related to age and maturity than generational demographics. You have to remember, the Boomers didn’t necessarily take care of hotel properties very well either when they were in their 20s. How many stories have you heard about hotel rooms getting trashed in the 1960s or 70s or 80s, say, in hotels near concert venues? Coming full circle, I’m sure Millennials will be much more tame 10 or 20 years from now, and there will be a new generation of rambunctious youngsters to contend with.
That being said, perhaps one way to contain the “Entitlement Attitude” is by considering the expectations you’re setting with your branding, your tone on social media, and your pre-stay communications. It’s hard to evaluate your needs without more specific information about your property, but it’s something to think about.
Our previous webinar, “Creating a Guest Feedback Driven Culture” talks about how messaging and branding can set correct expectations for your guests. CLICK HERE to download the complimentary recording of that webinar.
How do you tell this generation about your customized marketing messages? Are they just social media? Or are they at the front desk? How do you inspire these buyers to think about you before they travel?
Your customized marketing messages should feel like a relationship, complete with natural 1:1 conversations and storytelling. Think about the ways you can build your guest profiles and email lists in such a way so that guests can be targeted by interest, preference, or a specific detail about their stay. You could email the guests who booked an appointment at your spa with a massage discount upon their return.
As far as inspiring guests before they travel, there is a whole range of possibilities. It may require some testing to find what is right for your property. Here are some things to try:
- Social Media. Engaging on social media is more critical for hotels now than ever before. It’s where you can identify and engage with your brand advocates (your best customers), and leverage user generated content to build a relationship with their social networks.
- Update your TripAdvisor and Social Media pages frequently with fresh images. TripAdvisor recently released a study that links photos to increased direct bookings.
- Display reviews on your site. Reading reviews is now part of the booking process, so having reviews on your site enables travelers to make purchase decisions without leaving to look for reviews on OTAs. According to a case study by L2, Four Seasons launched user reviews in 2010, and was among the 17% of brands that featured them on their brand.com sites. Those brands sent 39% less traffic to OTAs, avoiding expensive OTA commissions.
- Try Pinterest! If you have the resources, Pinterest is a great place to find highly engaged customers who are very likely to be inspired. If you’re interested in learning more, we blogged about it recently: CLICK HERE to access the post.
If you’re looking for more suggestions, we’d love you to subscribe to our blog! We write about this topic pretty frequently, and we’re always coming up with something new. The subscription field is at the top of the blog page on the right-hand side.
Would you suggest more of a social media presence, especially on sites like Instagram?
If you have the resources, absolutely! Instagram is a great site for this, because you can get the whole team involved if you want, and it doesn’t necessarily require expensive resources. Anybody with a smartphone can participate. We’re actually publishing a blog post about Instagram on Monday, so stay tuned!
Next in demographics…
What generation comes after the Millennials?
Since this generation, sometimes called Generation Z, is currently so young (born roughly in 2000 to the present), we need to watch them a little bit longer before we can really talk about trends. But, here is one thing to consider: These kids were the first generation born with the Internet and are suspected to be the most individualistic and technology-dependent generation yet. Already, they spend 41% of their time outside of school with computers or mobile devices, according to a Sparks & Honey report. “They suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) more than Millennials, so being culturally connected is critical,” researchers wrote.