The hotel industry has become one of the fastest growing in the current economic scenario. This fact brings advantages and disadvantages to hotels. Although it favors companies with rhythms of exponential growth, we must bear in mind that this growth hinders that hotels can differentiate themselves in the market, due to the speed with which its products and associated services become commodities.
All those who have the possibility of staying in different hotels become aware of how often the Hotel products and its associated services are copied and reproduced. However (and fortunately) the final perception of the services will not be the same in each case, since it relies in great proportion on the hotelier’s behaviour. Unquestionably the real differential value of services will be determined by the resultant of the guests’ interpretations or perceptions which comes straight from the involved hoteliers performances.
If we consider that the interpretation or perception of an offered service involves a number of factors such as emotional state, culture, religion, age, gender, thoughts, habits, personality and previous experiences of the receptors, it should be highlighted that the more information obtained from guests, will allow us to approach them more frequently in order to render services that match their expectations and aspirations, causing that our products be perceived as unique experiences, own and positive. Nevertheless, the foregoing leads us to the urgent need for a deeper knowledge of our guests.
The sight is undoubtedly the sense that brings the greatest amount of information to our brains about the reality that surrounds us. According to Neuroscience, we only see those visual stimuli that attract our attention or interest, so we must ensure that the guest become the main driver of our attention throughout our entire working day, because as we know, all human being is constantly transmitting information.
However, the truth is that we do not always pay due attention to guests. Mostly often our mind goes to a device that regardless all the uncounted benefits that provides to our daily life, has become an enemy of our attention: the cell phone.
No doubt that the cell phone has become an essential tool in our lives, however, we must admit that it has provoked an important change in the behavioral of our interrelations, based on the prevalence of the attention demanded which conditions our gaze downwards.
In the context of a Hotel, some hoteliers constantly keep their eyes down, diverting their attention towards the cell phones, either pending of the reply to a message, or due to the anxiety of knowing what is happening on social networks. Thus, these hoteliers are limiting their observational angle and as a result, they are losing a very valuable visual info about the guests. This information, once it is applied to the services we offer, becomes a strong generator of positive emotions such as joy and surprise, two key ingredients in the formula for the consolidation of stay at the Hotel as an indelible and lasting memory.
With this I do not advocate the denial or restriction of the use of our cell phones during the workday since they help us to create a favorable atmosphere in order to achieve a state of emotional balance which really favors the general working accomplishment (e.g. when we need monitoring the welfare of our loved ones). I am simply recommending that we must be well aware of making a proper, rational and functional use of cell phones privileging determined places and / or occasions (back office, lunch hour or during breaks).
Let's remember that for every glance that the hoteliers direct downwards, they lose every possibility of anticipating to some situation of comprehension and thus obtain the guests' satisfaction. The consequence will be, no doubt, that the guests will direct their gaze towards competition.
Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Consultant trainer on Experiential Hospitality
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