As a hostel owner, you know how important it is to always appear on the radar of young people. Whether you’re based in Europe or Asia or South America, you make a living off of twenty-somethings looking to experience the world. And to drink with friends old and new. And to try out new local foods. And to go on pub crawls and walking tours and other adventures, all of which you now offer. Sometimes, visitors enjoy themselves so much that they come back to your hostel years later, and they always leave rave reviews in the guestbook at the front (and drunk messy scribbles too).
However successful you are, though, there are always new people to attract. And Gen Zers, who spend a ton of time researching any financial decision they make, are a challenge. How do you convince them to stay with you, when there are so many options on the same bustling street? Well, it’s all about strategy. And here’s how.
Provide reviews and information
We’re not kidding when we say that Gen Zers are thorough when it comes to financial decisions. They grew up with the Internet, which means that they’ve always had the chance to Google anything anytime. Which means that, when they find your hostel on Hostelbookers or Hostelworld, they’re not going to make a purchase just by looking at what rating out of ten you have.
According to Small Biz Trends, “Almost 80 percent of Generation Z holiday shoppers do online research before making a holiday purchase, even for products that cost under $50. As the price of the goods increases so does the percentage who research before they buy. In fact, more than half of Gen Z started researching in October or earlier.” So this means that, when they head over to your website, it has to be not only beautiful but also provide all the information they need. This means including pictures of every kind of room, visitor reviews, and in-depth information about your amenities and what there is to do in the city.
Make your site mobile friendly
As you can see from above, trust is a big issue for Gen Zers. They want to feel like you’re authentic and providing all the info they need. That’s why having a mobile-friendly site is so important. This demonstrates that you’ve put the time in to create a site that not only looks good but is functional, too. Which means that when it comes to their hostel experience, you’ve put in all the time needed to make it as fun and professional as possible. So if you’ve already spent time using online logo maker tools and perfecting your brand, go the extra mile and make your site mobile-friendly.
In 2017, Gen Zers spent over four hours a day on their phones, so it’s likely they’ll find your hostel’s info on that tiny screen. Luckily, lots of website builders like Wix and Weebly automatically come templates that are mobile-friendly, which means less work for you.To learn more about mobile-friendly tips, check out this blog post.
Create stories on social media
According to entrepreneur and social media expert Deep Patel, “Gen Zers are the first generation that has never known life without easy Internet access…they recognize the value of their attention. They don’t sit through ads. They don’t give heavily sponsored content the time of day. What they’re looking for is value.” And the best way you can show this value is by using a narrative. Luckily, as a hostel owner, this perfectly fits in with your niche. Travel is all about telling stories. It’s the first thing a tourist does the minute they arrive back home: tell stories about what it was like to spend time in another city or country.
One great way of providing narratives is by having a blog on your site about different things to do in the city, or tales by guest bloggers who stayed at your hostel. Blogging is an important way of reaching out to customers, which is why entrepreneurs like Brian Magierski do it. But additionally, you should get on Instagram and Snapchat. One in five Gen Zers say that Snapchat influences their purchasing decisions, so if you aren’t on this platform already, it’s time to start.
Focus on customer service
Any business leader, whether they’re a lawyer like Aaron Kelly or a travel blogger, know how important it is to provide great customer service. But with Gen Zers, you have to work even harder. According to The Balance, “[Gen Zers] believe that they are armed with more power (and intelligence) [than] their older siblings and parents… Which means they expect you to treat them like they are 30 and not 20. Customer experience is everything to this generation.”
This explains, in part, why it’s estimated that 80 percent of businesses will be equipped with customer service chatbots by the year 2020. You’re in the hospitality business, so you understand a lot about serving your customers already, but if you’ve received any complaints recently, it’s time to shape up.
By using these strategies, you’ll attract Gen Zers in no time. What other strategies do you use to convince travelers to stay in your hostel?