Catering & Hospitality - Hospitality News

How to tap into millennials desire for quick, efficient and smart-phone centered hospitality

January 2022

Catering & Hospitality - Hospitality News

How to tap into millennials desire for quick, efficient and smart-phone centered hospitality

January 2022

iCharge point is an urban power bank rental service that launched in Dubai at the beginning of 2021. It has since provided a network of fully-automated vending machines that are accessible to the public using an app. The service is sustainable and based on the reuse-deduce-recycle model.

Working with hospitality and healthcare leaders in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the company is headed up by CEO and founder Madina Gedgagova.

Here we ask her why tapping into millennials’ mobile device obsession is a no-brainer for hotels.

What is different about millennials, in your opinion?

Millennials grew up with a strong presence of technology in their lives, have lower patience for services that involve standing in a line or being put on hold. They also prefer to interact with as few people as possible and like to help themselves. Because millennials grew up online, they’re accustomed to providing private details to websites and companies to use certain services. For millennials, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more and eating smarter. They are the first generation concerned with environmental issues and want to know that businesses they deal with are behaving ethically.

Do Millennials have different expectations from hotels compared to older generations?

I would say that expectations are the same: pampering, relaxation, and having all their needs met. It’s just that they have different needs. Millennials see their ability to connect, convene, and create disruption via their smartphones as essential. A survey by Openkey showed that 98 percent of guests expect high-speed wifi, and 88 percent expect device charging options in the hotel premises (something that doesn’t bother baby boomers that much). But hotels should be ahead of their game: Generation Z starts travelling and spending early on, earning by taking advantage of the gig economy and demand for skilled tech workers.

How can iCharge point service help to enhance the guest experience?

A long wait for hotel check-in can be painful for guests arriving after a gruelling day of travel, and naturally harms guest satisfaction scores.

Mobile check-in? But most of the guests arrive after a long trip, and their phone is often dead when they arrive. Having an iCharge point station in the reception area will allow guests to use mobile check-in and keep those who opt for in-person check-in occupied. But it’s not only check-in: Mobile key, in-app room service, concierge, and loyalty app, all those services require a powered phone. Let’s not forget about mobile wallet payments. Emirates NBD reported that five out of six payments in 2020 in Dubai were contactless. Guests expect to use their smartphones to be able to pay for their stay.

There is a benefit for the hotel itself: Staff is freed up from accommodating guests’ requests for the charger.

Tell us more about your service?

iCharge point is a portable power bank rental service provided through fully automated IoT machines accessible via mobile app. Hotel guests can rent a power bank, charge on the go, and return at the hotel or any other location in Dubai. We are present in all major tourist destinations.

Machines are custom branded to reflect the hotel’s design concept. iCharge point is a great way to provide a reliable, convenient, and universal guest charging option at no cost to the hotel.

Seamless delivery and installation, maintenance, monitoring, and restocking are all provided by iCharge team. Many prominent hotel brands already trust us to provide service to their guests, and this number is growing by the day.

Hospitality is a conservative industry, but it must pivot to technology. Only the agile will survive in a fast-changing business environment.

Madina Gedgagova