Industry Update
Opinion Article10 November 2009

Through the eyes of a Hotel Butler: www. The experience.com By Osvaldo Torres Cruz

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

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Torres Cruz

We all agree that the Hotel market moves on and evolves day by day. Today it is not only enough promote and sell products or services to keep up and differentiate. It has been demonstrated that the Hotels which strategy is aimed to design positive integrative experiences for the guests, are reaping ever more remarkable success.

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The degree of experiences that a guest can live in a Hotel will be determined by the set of values and meanings that the guest reveals i.e. to live the experience as his own and unrepeatable, notwithstanding the context in which it develops. We know also that there is an increase in the number of guests in search of the special meaning that gives a maximum value to their leisure time.

It is difficult to sell experience due to its intangibility; however, we can incite or motivate the guest to live it. The feeling of living a personal experience should start as soon as the first contact with the Hotel is established. That contact often takes place via Internet, i.e. with the site of the Hotel on the Web; therefore, in the interest of writing this article I had been visiting some Web sites of renowned hotels around the world, aiming to measure in myself, the emotional effects that this would cause to a prospective guest.

During my navigation I found different Web sites. However, I could see that all pages carried the same questions asked to the prospective guests: bed type preferred, category of room, high or low floor, smoking or non-smoking, etc. and all had a space where the guest himself had to write some special comments about his needs. As I noticed this, I could not prevent the next sentence coming to my mind: “We have to anticipate the needs of the guest”…. and I asked to myself: how can we encourage the new guest to have a personal experience, and even more, make him feel it as a unique and different one, while no page is showing the least interest in knowing aspects of the sensory and emotional guest’s world, which are key elements to define a personal experience?

Then I asked to myself: how can we make new guests feel from the first CLICK that he is just at the proper site, in order to live the experience sought? The effects of the commoditization doesn’t affect only the hotel products, but also the services associated with them, including, in my opinion, another item of no less importance: prearrival guest’s information.

That is why the Hotel Butler must develop the necessary strategies, in order to obtain the precise information at the right time, thus enabling him to provide services tailored to each guest.

I believe that the Web sites of the hotels should be more interactive and creative, offering to guests the opportunity to take part in the design of their experience.

If we show the guest our need to get to know the elements, not only rational but also emotional, comprising the experience of leisure that the guest is expecting, we will strengthen the Hotel commitment to ensure total satisfaction during his stay, thus enhancing the importance of his choice.

Imagine yourself in the following situation: after a hard working year you decide to take some rest time for you and your family and choose a tourist destination and a new hotel. You resolve to check booking through Internet, therefore, you look up to some hotel Web site, where, in addition to asking you about wanted room type, bed size, etc., you have to answer questions concerning your preferences relating to food, beverages, aromas, hobbies, colors, books and magazines.

At your arrival, you are taken to the allocated room, finding that it has been decorated with a bouquet of roses or flowers of your favorite color, the bathroom provided with your chosen essence, at the hotel restaurant the waiter is offering you a glass of your preferred wine and when you are ready to enjoy the Spa, the attendant is impressively approaching you the last number of your favorite magazine. Interesting, isn’t it?

Experiencia.com is without doubt, the primary promoter of emotions and feelings that will determine the successful achievement of the guest personal experience.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz.

Hotel Butler
[email protected]

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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