Hospitality Industry
2 min read

How does Service Excellence for youngsters alter Customer Care

EHL Insights
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Millennials and generation Z, our future big spenders, are more and more interested in the experience-driven economy. Adjusting customer care to suit their needs and expectations, as well as keeping in mind the desires of existing clientele, is key to maintaining healthy service excellence in the hospitality industry.

In the pursuit of service excellence , the hospitality industry has honed its ability to cater to people’s needs and wants. Recognizing that these are dependent to a certain degree on their target demographics, businesses are aware of having to adapt to new expectations and desires. Hence the birth of the experience economy: transitioning away from a strictly product- and service-driven marketplace, to please millennials and generation Z. Weighty emphasis on customization, cheap and cheerful capsule hotels and next-generation digital experiences with an ethical, sustainable edge are all examples of the industry’s efforts to accommodate younger travelers.


It goes without saying that generalizations according to generation-specific stereotypes are to be handled with care. Indeed, as Deloitte would have us know, there are commonalities that transcend generations. However, whether we turn to the cross-generational profiles of “aspirationalists”, “responsible go-getters”, “pragmatists” and “discerning achievers” or sort our insights by birth year, knowledge is power. Here’s a reminder of those all-important generation categories:

  • Baby Boomers: 1940s-1950s
  • Generation X: 1960s-1970s
  • Millennials: 1980s-early 1990s
  • Generation Z: mid 1990s-2010

Customer care under the microscope

As EHL Insights demonstrates, evolution shifts the definition of service excellence over time. Service excellence, in turn, is a holistic concept and a question of corporate culture that impacts each and every level of a company. With both millennials and generation Z willing to spend big for superior service, it is worth taking a closer look at customer care specifically to ensure it is up to par.

 

Millennials

Adapting to millennials’ travel preferences has been a hot topic for some time now and continues to be of relevance as these younger adults of the current era are set to consume hospitality offerings for years to come. What criteria does customer care have to fulfil in order to meet millennials’ service excellence standards?

  • Omni-channel customer care with seamless design and experience
  • User-friendly FAQ pages
  • A click-to-call option or live chat platform
  • Short and concise customer service interactions
  • Rapid social media customer support answers
  • Tailored customer service assistance
  • Customer service reps as technology-savvy as possible
  • A good balance between automation and human interaction

Generation Z

Catering to generation Z is of two-fold importance: not only do parents currently booking holidays consider the preferences of their teenage sons and daughters, but also, these teenagers are soon to bud into the hospitality consumers of tomorrow. With this in mind, meeting gen Z’s expectations is both a matter of not alienating current customers as their children age and of future-proofing your business.

When providing customer care, it is therefore paramount to remember that generation Z is highly unappreciative of being made to wait. Their limited patience and extremely short attention spans mean that prompt replies are essential – with the bar for service excellence set higher still. Appealing to this target group may include:

  • Adopting a mobile-first mentality
  • Ensuring speed, security and availability
  • Providing interactive, visually appealing solutions
  • Emphasizing the use of instant messaging apps, social media and AI-powered apps, such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Integrating software to quickly categorize and automate replies without neglecting human interaction

In a nutshell

Customer care as an integral component of service excellence is being pulled in several directions. Any and all endeavors to cater to upcoming target groups must be balanced against the requirements of existing customers. This diverse landscape requires hospitality businesses to provide up-to-date technological solutions, while also ensuring that customer-friendly telephone support conversations and face-to-face interaction meet the expectations of loyal baby boomers. They must communicate and be able to provide customer care via all channels, while remaining mindful of the fact that their generation X guests may wish to reserve social media purely for personal use. Modern-day customer care may be a minefield, but generation awareness can help carve a path to success.

   From service design to service recovery, here is your guide to achieving  service excellence.  Learn more

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