Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is that we have two ears and one mouth, and we should use them in that proportion. Success in our business requires empathy – for colleagues, guests, owners, and shareholders – and it’s why my Hyatt colleagues and I engage in a lot of listening. It allows us to keep a pulse on what’s important to our customers and influencing their behavior. These six global consumer trends are examples of how we can listen to our guests, even when they’re not “saying” anything.
Embracing Experiences – No longer just checking destinations off their bucket lists, consumers’ bucket lists are now full of unique experiences that will define them. This is great news for travel, which has always been inherently experiential, but we as hoteliers need to keep upping the ante…whether that’s enabling guests to immerse themselves in local culture during a business trip or creating a family vacation they’ll be talking about for years. To that end, we recently launched FIND, a curated selection of experiences for World of Hyatt members ranging from a Taste of Buddhism bicycle tour in Siem Reap to a paragliding tandem flight session in Los Angeles.ome of the best advice I’ve ever received is that we have two ears and one mouth, and we should use them in that proportion. Success in our business requires empathy – for colleagues, guests, owners, and shareholders – and it’s why my Hyatt colleagues and I engage in a lot of listening. It allows us to keep a pulse on what’s important to our customers and influencing their behavior. These six global consumer trends are examples of how we can listen to our guests, even when they’re not “saying” anything.
24/7 Digital Ubiquity – Our desire to always stay connected has made Wi-Fi a basic essential, for our hotel guests but also as the backbone for delivering new services. The Wi-Fi at Hyatt hotels now remembers each guest’s device after the first sign-in, removing the need to sign in on their next stay…even at a different location. We’ve also grown the ways guests can communicate with us on their terms, expanding to more social media channels and in-app chat.
Changing the Face of the Consumer – Our guest base is changing, particularly as Chinese outbound travel booms to an expected 234 million by 2020. More than half of those Chinese travelers are Millennials. We must cater to these new consumers, by adopting their preferred mobile payment methods and enabling more exploration.
My Life, My Way – People generally expect to get what they want, how they want, and when they want it. Just consider that nearly two-thirds of U.S. households have Amazon Prime! Travelers expect nothing less in our hotels, and it’s up to us to offer tools that make personalization easy. For example, we’ve been expanding the capabilities of our Hyatt mobile app so it does everything from requesting a forgotten toothbrush to streaming Netflix on the guestroom TV.
Conscious Consumerism – More consumers want to do business with brands who share their values and purpose-led lifestyles. Hyatt’s purpose is clear – we care for people so they can be their best – and we use that as the guide for all we do. It drives how we work together as a Hyatt family, how we operate as a company, and how we treat our planet. Recently, our purpose spurred Hyatt’s efforts to eliminate plastic straws and drink stirrers at hotels worldwide, providing eco-friendly alternatives on request.
Wellbeing – Similarly, Hyatt recently expanded into the wellbeing space because we believe wellbeing is the foundation for being your best self. Today’s consumers are placing more emphasis on being purposeful and productive, balancing life’s stresses and meaningfully engaging with their loved ones and communities. We view wellbeing as more than what you do; it’s how you feel. Building on the strength of our Miraval and exhale brands as well as our long-standing philosophy: Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. We are working to help guests find travel experiences that enhance their wellbeing, rather than disrupt it.
Across each of these trends, one thing is clear: with so much access to information and choice, travelers’ expectations are higher than ever. At home and on the road, they want a seamless experience that fits their unique lifestyle and identity. I’m proud to say that our focus on listening and taking meaningful action has set Hyatt hotels up to rising to the occasion.