Tech-savvy, socially aware and hyper-connected, millennials can be a difficult nut to crack. However, since they represent such a lucrative market, it’s essential to get on the right side of this new generation of travellers planning their breaks online.
While the kind of content that resonates best with millennials is a topic for another blog, here are 6 potentially costly mistakes you definitely need to avoid when marketing to this much-discussed market segment.
1) Your Hotel’s Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly
It won’t surprise you that 85% of millenials own a smartphone, and they spend more time on them – and more money- than any other generation.
Google statistics show that 38% of leisure travellers and as much as 57% of corporate guests use their handheld devices to look up travel information and just over 50% use a smartphone to actually complete a booking – a figure which is only going to increase moving forward.
2) You Don’t Show Room Availability and Allow Online Booking
Having grown up with Google and surrounded by digital technology, millenials want, no expect, things right now. That includes the possibility to check availability at your property and make a booking, on the go and whenever the mood takes them.
3) You Haven’t Set Up Automated Email Booking Confirmations
So, millenials are stereotypically somewhat impatient, and this extends to your post-booking communication too. Don’t frustrate and confuse your younger audience by failing to send out the booking confirmation email straight away. This easily automated email serves the essential purpose of reassuring your guests that their payment was successful and that their credit card information is safe with you. Internet savvy millenials, in particular, are likely to be hyper suspicious if this standard email fails to arrive within a few seconds of purchase.
4) You Don’t Get In Touch With Guests Before Their Stay
The younger generation are accustomed to the first rate level of customer service exemplified by customer-centric brands like Amazon. They don’t want to be bombarded with marketing messages everyday, but they do want to hear from you before their stay - in fact, they feel neglected if they don’t.
Use your pre-stay email communications to remind guests of your check-in procedure, up-sell any additional services you offer and most importantly to get them excited for their impending stay. These simple messages go a long way to show your guests that you value their custom and look forward to meeting them.
5) You Forgot About Their Special Requests
Does your booking engine allow you to add notes to a booking or collect custom information from your guests at the time they make their reservation? If not, it can be difficult to keep track of any special requests your guests make, and millennial travellers are renowned for being rather, shall we say, particular about their personal requirements (gluten free, dairy free, meat free, sugar free clean living enthusiasts we’re looking at you!) Forget a guest’s special requirements and you can pretty much guarantee a bad review, so make sure your booking engine allows you to record this information at the time of booking.
6) Your Strategy For Responding To Reviews Needs Work
Getting overly argumentative in your response to negative reviews is potentially more damaging to your reputation than the reviews themselves, but not responding to your guest feedback at all is almost as bad.
More than any other market group, young travellers are using review sites, apps and social media to check out what other people are saying about your property online and get a glimpse at how you interact with your guests. Don’t waste this free opportunity to advertise how much you care for your customers – put your best face forward, hold your tongue, thank everyone for their comments and clearly state how you plan to prevent negative issues happening again in the future.
How does your hotel market to millennial guests? Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? Let us know in the comments below!