A cheat sheet on what millennials want from business travel
23 Jul 2018 - by Ryan Potgieter
As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, having the right team will make or break your business. You need people who are not only willing to work hard but have the right attitude and share your company’s views and values.
For business owners, it’s important to understand what makes your most valuable employees tick. And, chances are that while you’ll be juggling multiple generations in your workforce, your team will likely comprise a large component of millennials.
A lot of research has been conducted about how to keep the millennials in your company happy, but if one thing stands out, it’s that millennials love to travel.
According to the 2017 Adobe Digital Index US Working Millennials Survey, 70% of this generation value experiences over things, and 86% say they don’t want to miss out on life experiences. This generation are more interested in travelling abroad, and travel more frequently than any older age group.
Good news is that this attitude doesn’t only apply to leisure travel but extends to corporate travel as well. According to MMGY Global, 81% of millennials actually associate business travel with higher job satisfaction. As a result, the demographic was found to take more business trips than any other generation — 7,7 per year on average.
However, before you shift every business trip to the millennial employees within your company, realise that millennials put a great focus on a healthy work-life balance as well. Millennial professionals want to work in an environment that prioritises the health and happiness of its workers.
How can you marry frequent business trips and work-life balance? In millennials’ case it’s quite simple – by offering them flawless technology and the possibility to extend their corporate trips for a few days to explore the destination for their own personal enrichment, new research has shown.
Here’s Flight Centre Business Travels’ cheat sheet for millennial travellers:
At FCBT, we have found that the digitally adept millennials not only value 24/7 support on any device of their choice, they demand it. They want instant travel updates, reminders, booking confirmations and boarding passes conveniently sent to them.
However, although millennials value technology above all else, they also want to know they can speak to a human consultant whenever they need more information. According to three new studies, millennials have discovered the value of relying on travel agents not just to book their trips, but also as advisers for making travel decisions. So, make sure there’s a professional and reliable human behind the tech you are offering.
A rigid travel policy won’t win over the hearts of your millennial travellers who are craving more flexibility when it comes to choosing the comforts they prefer. Did you know that millennial fliers are 60% more likely to upgrade for extra leg-room, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group? It probably won’t come as a surprise that they are also four times more likely to pay for WiFi.
This generation is 100% technologically fluent and expect the same from their service providers. A recent GBTA study shows that close to two-thirds of millennials feel their overall travel experience is improved by the use of mobile apps from travel suppliers.
However, those travel apps need to be fast and efficient, because these digital natives are looking for a seamless experience. According to a Pew Research Center survey, messaging apps are also very popular with younger smartphone owners, with 42% of smartphone owners aged 18 to 29 using these apps. So, look for chatbots and messaging apps to make your millennials happy.
The line between personal and professional life is more blurred than ever for the millennial road warrior. At FCBT, we have found an increasing number of millennials wanting to extend their business trip with a few days’ leisure. Even if there’s no time for an extension, they want to get professional advice on how they can make the most of their trip.
Although millennials are likely have done a lot of research online about their destination, they are turning to their travel professional for personalised and professional recommendations based on their preferences. They don’t want to receive endless offers for a few days at the beach, when in fact they’re interested in a cultural city trip. So, make sure your travel professional is tuned in to their preferences.
Although, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with the millennials in your company, understanding this fast-growing demographic will be beneficial to the growth of your company.
As Julie Hoffmann, head of T&H industry strategy and marketing, Adobe, says: “There’s great value in taking time to understand millennials now rather than later. Millennial interests aren’t exclusively unique to this demographic alone. Over time, we’re seeing other demographics develop a millennial mindset with similar interests and expectations.”
Ryan Potgieter started his career with the Flight Centre Travel Group as a travel consultant in 1999. Working his way quickly through the ranks, he brings a collective 18 years of experience in the travel industry. His wealth of expertise from working across the Flight Centre brands gives him great insight on the customer experience and what it takes to exceed their expectations. As FCBT general manager, Ryan leads Flight Centre Business Travel with passion and great guidance to ensure they deliver amazing travel experiences to every single customer.