This just in: Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation in history. They are digital natives. Very few know of – or can remember – a world without cellphones, the Internet and, of course, social media.
Naturally, young adults turn to these outlets to interact with their friends, get news updates and share their opinions about the world around them. Millennials also prefer the Internet – over TV and certainly over older media like newspapers and magazines – to learn about businesses and brands.
For the next installment of our series on Millennials (the first part was here), we’ll examine some of this generation’s media habits and how you can turn those habits into an advantage for your restaurant or hospitality business.
Millennials Increasingly Dependent on Mobile Devices
Since the first iPhones shipped in 2007, it’s been hard to miss the fact that this age group increasingly accesses the web via smartphones and tablets. (Tablets will soon outnumber desktop computers with IDC projecting growth of 174.5% between 2012 and 2017. In fact, there will be more tablets shipped in 2015 than desktops and laptops combined.)
How addicted is Gen Y to its mobile devices? Here are some stats:
- 50 percent post reviews or research businesses on their smartphones.
- 74 percent say the technology makes their lives easier.
- 54 percent say technology keeps them closer to family and friends.
- More than 50 percent of tablet owners are Millennials.
- 80 percent sleep with their phones next to their beds.
- 60 percent like the convenience of using a smartphone or tablet to research a product on the go.
This generation also has an unwavering need to check with others before acting and to share their feedback. Seventy percent of Millenials say their friends’ approval is very important to them; 55 percent share their negative experiences online.
On average, 61 percent of Millennials say they rate products or services online, either on review sites such as Yelp or on social media. Nearly a quarter seek opinions on social media before making purchases.
How Data Translate for the Hospitality Industry
Bottom line: If you want to communicate with these folks – and you do – you need to go where they are: on mobile devices and social media. Don’t waste time or money on ineffective methods that they probably won’t see.
You also can’t ignore their need to give and receive feedback. After all, it takes only one negative review to cast a shadow of doubt on your establishment.
Businesses in the hospitality industry can avoid negative reviews by keeping a close – and by close, we mean real-time – watch on service and identifying and resolving issues on the spot, before a customer even walks out the door.
Technology such as digital survey tablets is a proven way to gather instant feedback in a technological package Millennials already love. Restaurant or hotel employees can customize survey questions to target each aspect of the customer experience.
Tablet software can alert a manager if anyone records a negative experience, and he or she can speak with the customer, or staff member, to correct the problem. This solution allows the patron to leave happy and the business owner to prevent similar negative experiences from happening in the future (and avoid the backlash from a nasty review).
Find Out More About The Millennial Generation
Complete the form below to download the free eBook, The Millennial Mindset: Reshaping Hospitality, for more detail about why businesses need Gen Y-ers and how dismissing them can be fatal to your business.
Jason Barge is a marketing manager at LRS and an expert in communications for the hospitality industry.