Introducing “Generation Clean”
The new traveller segment with health and safety top of mind
Originally published on Hospitality Net.
While global travel markets continue to grapple with the implications of COVID-19, one thing is becoming increasingly clear – the crisis will have a deep and lasting impact on the industry. One area we know for certain that will be changed forever is our approach to health and safety. The way that travelers will book hotels will change, and hoteliers need to take note of this now as they prepare to welcome guests. Moving forward, marketing cannot just be focused on Baby Boomers, Millennials, or Gen Xers. Instead, we are welcoming “Generation Clean” – a singular segment with elevated expectations for cleanliness standards, and a make or break factor when it comes to booking properties.
What does this mean for hotels?
The creation of “Generation Clean” will impact the customer buying journey, with previous decision factors replaced in favor of hotels that clearly display updated health and safety protocols. Trust will be key, as guests want to know that the initial promise of enhanced cleanliness will be delivered throughout their stay. And those hotels who can provide the right experience, will be the ones who are more likely to create loyalty.
To help you on your way to satisfying the needs of “Generation Clean”, consider the following steps:
- Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: When it comes to housekeeping, there’s a clear difference between the two. Cleaning does not kill germs, disinfecting – using chemicals – does. For this reason, make sure disinfecting plays an essential role in housekeeping moving forward. This includes using disinfectants in guest rooms and public spaces and when washing sheets and linens. Make sure your staff is supplied with proper personal protective equipment and following specified procedures to remain safe.
- Make it part of your brand: No matter your hotel type, those that incorporate this into their DNA will eventually become synonymous with the higher standard of safety, security, and cleanliness necessary to attract this new generation of loyal guests.
- Introduce a “Cleanliness Theater”: Cleanliness theater refers to visible cues provided to on-property guests that demonstrate you take cleaning seriously. Good examples of this include additional signage, staff regularly cleaning public areas, and the introduction of self-cleaning stations with hand sanitizer.
- Communicate a clean culture: In addition to making cleanliness part of your brand promise, you’ll want to highlight your unique “culture of clean” by leveraging the capabilities of your central reservations system and booking engine to make your property attractive to shoppers. Use social tags to call out special cleaning technologies. Share images and videos on your website that show your sanitization procedures in action and position your property as safe and germ-free. In-room cleanliness or wellness-focused amenities will likely be well received in a more health-conscious era. This can easily be personalized, communicated, delivered, and automated with the help of customer relationship management (CRM) and service optimization solutions. Thoughtful in-room offerings can be translated into meaningful hands-off experiences, ensuring guests return to where their individual needs are known and met. And don’t forget to include all of this in your guest communications. Use your CRM to adapt pre, on and post-stay communications highlighting changes to your procedures and where guests can find any additional information.
Visit our dedicated crisis management page for more tools to help your property.