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For a while now, we have been talking about how much technology is changing the face of travel. With the advent of wearables, iBeacons, and the ability to check in to your hotel room from your phone, hospitality has been forced to rapidly adapt. The rise of millennials has only spurred this forward as an entire generation comes of age and expects access to amenities at the tips of their fingers.Screen Pilot recently sat down with Marc Lewis, the creator of HelloTel and ProximiTel to talk about some things that hotel properties must do to cater to hospitality’s newest and most influential audience. With the number of Millennials slated to surpass the Baby Boomers at the end of 2015, hotels that are early adopters of technological advancements will have a clear advantage in the luxury hotel marketplace.Just WiFi Is No Longer EnoughIf your property is charging for WiFi, you are already behind the curve. Access to the internet is something that Millennial hotel guests expect as a given, not an add-on that they should have to pay for. Upgrading your property for higher bandwidth internet is something that is just as important as upgrading the room decor. Lewis elaborates, “This means WiFi for their room, the lobby, restaurants, club, coffee shops, pool, etc.”By allowing accessibility throughout your property, you are not only making your guests happy, but also providing them the opportunity to continuously share photos, videos, and their own unique experience of your property. This earned media is worth every penny that you will spend updating your properties WiFi infrastructure.Give People a Reason to Get Out of Their RoomsA guest who leaves their room is more likely to spend money at the bar, restaurant, or pool than one who doesn’t. According to Lewis, Millennials are seeking out social experiences from hotels in addition to a place to rest their heads. By hosting happy hours, special events or live music, your property can foster a social environment which in turn creates opportunities for social sharing. That means more of that magical earned media that we keep talking about.The Internet of Things Is HereEarlier this year, we saw Starwood launch an app that allows users to check-in and open the door to their room with their phone or wearable. In the future, hotels will even have the ability to adjust your room temperature, dim the lights, or start a pot of coffee before you even enter your room. Soon everything will have access to the internet and thus the ability to communicate on a larger scale.“It is called the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s the fancy term for the connectivity of the everyday things around us that are online. From customer experience and social sharing experiences, if it’s not already connected, it will be soon,” says Lewis.Today, it is even possible to communicate specials and deals to your guests when they are nearby what are known as iBeacons. iBeacons communicate with the location services on guest’s phones, sending them push notifications based off of their position on the property. For example, you could have an iBeacon next to the spa, and when a guest walks within a certain radius, they can receive a special discount on a massage.The technology being used by Marc Lewis and his team at PromixiTel.com can even gather demographic information for guests; data that is allowing hotels to create an even more customized on-property experience.“When opened, push notifications reveal mobile-ready landing pages for specials, coupons, a free appetizer. drink specials, promotional room rates, tickets to a show or whatever else a business may want to promote,” says Lewis.Focus on Customer Service in Real-TimeIn a world where news is reported on as it happens, brands are learning that they too must adjust to the real-time nature of customer feedback. With the introduction of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, news, photos, and reviews can be shared at any time. This means that hotels must view adequate employee training programs as an investment in their company’s bottom line.Customer service failures are inevitable, and learning how to respond to negative reviews is an art that some hotels do better than others. But by investing in training programs, and hiring based off of attitude rather than experience, hotels can be proactive in the review/social sharing process.Lewis’s PromixiTel product even has the capabilities to provide a glimpse into guest sentiment as it is being spread, giving hoteliers real-time updates as guests post reviews, photos, or comments online. Anytime a negative review is posted, the hotel has the opportunity to respond constructively to the comment before it can take on a life of its own.Everyone Loves a Little Eye CandyIf you want to generate the right kind of earned media, you have to work for it. Millennials travel almost twice as much as the previous generation, and they love to share their experiences on social media. You have probably seen pictures of beautifully presented food, gorgeous travel shots, and videos from a concert. These are the kinds of things that people want to post. Create it for them during their guest experience. Leave gorgeous flower arrangements in guest rooms, concoct a signature drink; create special moments for your guests, and they will repay you by becoming brand evangelists.“When you give your guests a reason to share memorable experiences at or about your hotel, that’s just free marketing for the hotel,” says Lewis.This has been a joint article between Screen Pilot, HelloTel, and ProximiTel. If you are interested in learning more about iBeacon technology, please contact your Screen Pilot Account Executive.