People who are experts at providing guests with positive experiences during their hotel stay understand that they must cater to everyone, while understanding that not every guest has the exact same needs. As technology continues to define the way we work and play, no other demographic is helping to raise the bar for service providers of every industry other than millennials. This is especially the case for hoteliers. As millennials become a regular demographic traveling for business or pleasure, their expectations are becoming ever more discerning.
1) Deliver Strong Technology Services
It is no secret that millennials are inseparable from their smartphones and other digital devices. Therefore, one sure-fire way to fall short on their expectations is to provide an internet speed that plods along at a snail's pace. Instead invest in fast Wi-Fi services and make sure your hotel services are reliable and easy to access. Remember, millennials represent a large segment of app developers, tech start up founders, and employees at all of the major tech companies. It goes without saying that fast and efficient Internet speed is crucial. Consider also pairing a strong, password-protected Wi-Fi connection with an equipped office or lobby with Skype capabilities. And, don’t forget to provide wireless charging adapter loaners for when your guests leave theirs at home.
2) Offer Complimentary Services
Millennials tend to be budget conscious, so any perks hotels can give are welcomed. This includes free airport pickups, alcohol packages, and complimentary breakfast. Another thing about this demographic is that they have grown up in the age of convenience. Be sure to offer breakfast options that are “grab-n-go” and ensure your shuttle service is both timely and frequent. The biggest complimentary service that you can offer besides free food, is free Wi-Fi. While these services are a requirement for most of us, when it’s free, your hotel automatically earns rave reviews.
3) Provide Mobile Friendly Websites and Apps
Smartphones have changed the hotel industry dramatically over the last few years. Millennials tend to research hotels and book rooms directly from their smartphones. Therefore, if a hotel's website or mobile app is not easy to navigate, there is a good chance you'll lose millennials as potential guests to another hotel with a website or mobile app that is easier to navigate.
4) Engage via Social Media
What makes this generation so unique is how they engage with social media. Ninety-two percent of consumers trust online content from friends and family. A simple tweet from a guest about her stay at your hotel can either encourage her followers to consider also staying there or have the complete opposite effect. Therefore, engagement is key: comment on guest posts and answer any questions they may have. When millennials are sharing and liking your posts, you get great search benefits.
For events happening at your hotel, your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages are ideal ways to tout what's happening during your cocktail hour. It's also perfect for alerting them about featured bands playing in the lounge. Again, it's all about keeping millennials socially engaged.
5) Suggest Local Experiences
Think of millennials as quintessential social butterflies. In other words, they flutter about from collaborative work environments to personal relationships, to family interactions with ease. Ensuring that millennials can continue this type of interaction by meeting new people during their hotel stay, is one more way to provide them with the comfort they seek while traveling. Consider offering a large community space or lodge where guests can meet others at the hotel or have a meet and greet with locals in the area. While your millennials guests won't stay booked in your hotel endlessly, for the period they are there, you'll want to stay mindful of their needs. More than likely, they will be looking to learn more about the area they’re visiting and will look to you for assistance. Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about the local attractions, tours, nightlife, and restaurants. They will appreciate it and remember it.
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