Millennial Hotel Guests Are Causing a Paradigm Shift in 21st Century Guest Services
By Sapna Mehta Mangal Associate Professor, School of Hospitality Management, Kendall College at National Louis University | April 12, 2015
The Emerging Internet-of-Things (IoT) Generation
The Millennial generation has witnessed the exponential growth of the internet since the 1990's. They are early adaptors of technology and navigating between online platforms and offline realms is second nature for them. With greater accessibility of the "IoT", this generation tends to display heavy reliance for anything internet-related from search engines, news content, social media platforms, music, user content generated sites, ecommerce sites, brand websites etc. The inception of a new technology lingo has resulted in the informal manner they communicate, more often found on Twitter and SMS platforms. Enticed to always report and seek information in real time, Millennials are constantly connected to IoTs. The new normal for this generation is the baseline service expectation of seamless WiFi connectivity.
The Millennial Traveler
Studies have indicated that Millennials tend to spend lengthier overnights during a trip than any other group. They also spend more during their trips than their Traditionalists, Baby Boomer, or even Generation X counterparts. They prefer to travel with someone they know and are often inclined to socialize online and offline. A millennial business traveler perceives travel as an opportunity to conduct business and also explore the environs during these trips. This generation values speed and convenience on their excursions. They prefer to book hotel rooms at companies that uphold a concern for the environment and institute companywide sustainable business processes and practices. They seek instant gratification, search for services and ambient conditions they deem "cool," and any unique non cookie cutter experiences they can share with their virtual communities.
Pinpointing Millennial Guest Service Nuances
Fully immersed in technology but not necessarily tech savvy, this group has an abstract meaning of guest service. The bottom line is that they rather consult gadgets first than approach a front line agent for any assistance. They do not value face-to-face frontline contact as compared to other generations that deem this to be a status quo guest service rendering. As they do not have high regard for responsive personnel or value front line personnel assistance, they prefer to make bookings online and check in on their own. Free Wi-Fi accessibility, self-service check in kiosks, staying in hotels that have a personality, lobbies that encourage social exchanges and all day availability of grab-and-go food items has come to be their baseline guest service expectation. One of the areas that matter is the time it takes to deliver the service. It is not the run-of-the-mill straight out, scripted service that grabs their attention. They value the ability to access informal spaces where they are able to work, can socialize, and be connected. Lastly, they are on the lookout for exceptional local amenities and lingering experiences.
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