Through the Eyes of a Hotel Butler: Eliciting positive emotions and feelings through the customized services rendered - By Osvaldo Torres Cruz

It is necessary to get inside the skin of the guest and understand that he/she is constantly perceiving colors, shapes, and faces and receiving information through the senses of hearing, smell and touch, as human interaction is basically emotional.

HTrends In a previous article I talked about the Experiencing Hotel Services approach as a new differentiation trend in the Hospitality industry of the XXI century. Creating an experience does not mean coming up with particularly attractive or flamboyant things, but focusing on what the guest feels. It entails conceiving the guest as an emotional being rather than a functional one. In short, it is a question of eliciting positive emotions and feelings. It is necessary to get inside the skin of the guest and understand that he/she is constantly perceiving colors, shapes, and faces and receiving information through the senses of hearing, smell and touch, as human interaction is basically emotional.

How do we elicit emotions?

According to experts, emotions are usually a response to external and internal events or stimuli. They can even outlast the stimulus. Therefore, providing customized services to our guests allows us to identify internal and external stimuli that can evoke positive emotions in them. Once identified, these stimuli can be reproduced and thus influence guests' behavior during their stay.

A person, whether consciously or unconsciously, regards an event as relevant when it is related to a personal goal that is considered important. An emotion is positive when the event represents a move forward toward achieving that goal, and negative when it is experienced as an obstacle. Therefore, emotions can be positive or negative depending on whether the event is in line with our personal goals or not. Daily contact with guests through customized service allows the gradual identification of the events and stimuli that trigger emotions in them.


Generating positive experiences in our guests is closely related to the feeling of moving forward toward an individual goal which, in turn, depends on the level of satisfaction of individual expectations. When the service provided exceeds our expectations, it is felt as a positive move toward an individual goal, and even more so when the 'wow' effect is achieved, I would like to share with you some ways to generate positive emotions and feelings while butlering:

1 − When waking up in the morning, the guest listen to the voice of the butler asking about his rest and offers him a nice cup of coffee made in the way he likes best, together with the newspaper open in his preferred section.

2 − Arriving to the room: After a wearing day of work, he finds, ready to be used, the suit previously handed over in the morning. Getting to the recommended restaurant, he finds the ambience just right to relax and enjoys the welcome glass of wine from the winery he likes best.

3 − When unpacking a lady's luggage the butler can perceive her dressing style; thus he can give her his recommendations for her shopping and even she can count on his company, if needed.

There can never be two identical situations or two persons who show exactly the same intensity of feeling in connection with the same event; that's why customized service before, during and after the stay allows characterizing the degree of intensity of the emotions and feelings experienced by each guest. The detailed observation plus the butler direct and systematic contact, will let him to decipher and visualize the eventual functional and emotional needs of the guest. Therefore, these needs can be fulfilled prior to the guest's requests and satisfied by personalized services adequate to his lifestyle. This way, the guest can perceive those services as tailored-made and feels identified with them.

Which are the advantages of generating positive experiences for our guests? By regarding the stay as a positive experience, one of the most significant positive emotions is evoked: WELLBEING, which in turn triggers another positive emotion - SATISFACTION- which generates the feelings of MOTIVATION and GRATITUDE.

The motivated guest is eager to be assisted: more receptive, accessible and even helpful. The guest is more confident regarding the services offered and thus demands more services, generating greater interaction with hotel employees. This increased interaction allows obtaining more information that can be used to provide increasingly customized services. Consequently, the guest becomes a priceless Hotel ally, as confidence translates into loyalty.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Hotel Butler

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