Industry Update
Opinion Article 2 September 2009

Through the eyes of a Hotel Butler

By Osvaldo Torres Cruz, Hotel Staff Trainer and Guest Experience Designer

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Torres Cruz

When analyzing the dossier of some guests, we find that they have suffered certain troubles during different stays and even so they keep choosing the same hotel. Interesting, isn't it?


It is well known that the value of the experiences lived during previous stays, will have fully influence on the guest decision to choose the same hotel in the future.

Therefore, the aim of every hotel is to offer faultless services, guaranteeing welfare and satisfaction. However, in many opportunities, perfection cannot be reached and sometimes, problems start to appear despite the Hotel purpose to offer maximum quality for every service.

Once that the problem appears, first step is to look for a quick solution, showing to the guest the Hotel efficient resolving capacity. Second, but not less important step, is to find the best way to compensate the guest, aiming to transform the negative experience into a positive one, that is to say, get service recovery.

However, not only compensation should be offered but what really generates a strong impression on the guest, thus creating functional and emotional values. There is no doubt that personalization of the service and the system of bonds and interactions obtained will let us discover the emotional determining reactions of each guest. This knowledge must be applied as a tool to reverse a negative situation into a positive one.

Service personalization conveys to a better knowledge of the guest. It makes easier to realize what service will satisfy the guest or not. It enables us to personalize the different services for each guest. Therefore, we can rank services in order to achieve a high emotional value.


  • According to the guest’s dossier we know that at every stay he uses to order Italian food from room service. The same guest complains about the bad functioning of the air conditioning in the room. Once the problem is solved, we can treat him to a dinner at the Hotel restaurant, suggesting Italian dishes from the carte du jour or offer him a free dinner at a fine restaurant specialized in this type of cuisine.
  • If we have knowledge that a guest uses to request a lot of laundry service during his stay, this information can be applied as a tool for service recovery if needed, since the guest can be compensated being offered some rebate or a free service for his next request. This will increase the functional and emotional value of the compensation.

The strategies and different ways of service recovery applied to each guest must be recorded on his profile as well as the impact caused on his behavior. This will serve as a reference for further stays.

By means of a proper strategy of service recovery we can transform displeased customers into satisfied ones. The strategies of guest recovery must be personalized in order to offer to each guest a recovery service which transmits to him functional as well as emotional value, thus influencing his long lasting loyalty to the Hotel.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz

Osvaldo Torres Cruz , since 2004 he is working as a Hotel Butler at the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentine, The Buenos Aires Luxury Hotel, A member of The leading Hotels of the World. Since 2007 he is a Member of the International Institute of the Modern Butler in USA (IIMB). He has being invited as a lecturer and speaker on customised services in Hospitality by INACAP University, Chile and San Ignacio de Loyola University, Peru, Leading Schools of the World.

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