3 Ways the Hospitality Industry Should Engage With Millennials
Travel Trends Speak Volumes
Three things describe how millennials interact with society: technology, social media, and adventure. Not only do these define most of their relationships, they also extend into their travel habits as well as how they engage in the hospitality industry. It is important that the business world accepts the simple fact that millennials are not only the future of the hospitality industry, they are the present.
Millennials want easy online access to customer service, and they expect timely responses. Hospitality websites should have integrated responsive booking engines. Chat features are an added bonus.
Millennials do most of their web surfing using smartphones. So, mobile-friendly sites or customized apps are preferred. They also prefer to pay digitally. Bulky wallets are not popular with young travelers. They keep less cash and rely more on credit card payments, net banking, e-wallets, and online payments. Even with the growing security risks, the wave of digitization has been unanimously accepted by the millennials as safe, convenient, and easy to keep track of.
Loyalty Programs, which track interactions with brands, is a great way to maintain loyal millennial customers. The easier it is to sign and the quicker rewards become available, the better. Millennials who are loyal to a brand based on earning and using points are apt to recommend the brands when traveling for business. This young generation is budget conscious, so when they realize a good deal, they are quick to jump on it.
Millennials “check-in” on social media. Where Boomers and Generation Xers are more conservative when it comes to sharing their location or exposing every single move they make, Millennials are just the opposite.
The easiest way for the hospitality industry to engage with this generation is to have an active and responsive online presence. Live streaming, mandatory check-ins, current photos/videos, polls, and other interactive content will definitely ensure a venue is a trending piece of news on social media platforms.
Online reviews are vitally important to millennials. In fact, surveys show that nearly 90% rate online reviews as an important factor when booking travel. “Word of mouth” has taken a different format for millennials; now the “mouths” are their social media connections as well as online reviews from strangers.
The hospitality industry should make online reputation management a vital role within their business development programs. One or two bad reviews could mean a loss of thousands of dollars in business.
Millennials may be workaholics but they are also avid shoppers and seasoned party-goers. They believe in living life to the fullest and while traveling for work, they strive to make time for adventure and learning. Many are found to work in jobs that require some travel; giving them the ability to see the world partially on someone else’s dime. When traveling, millennials enjoy visiting tourist destinations that offer exciting experiences.
When selecting travel destinations, millennials choose to be close to local culture and cuisines. They are true explorers and adventurers, constantly and extensively searching for content online which lets them know about the location they’re traveling to. They’re keen on gathering information on the traditions and local cuisines and want to explore every bit of it.