Industry Update
Opinion Article22 August 2013

The Hotel Employee Curiosity and its Effect on Differentiation of Hotel

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

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Torres Cruz

One of the advantages which the Hotel obtains from experiential hospitality is to perceive the guest in a different way, achieving to get to his emotional world where never before anyone had searched and hence, discover what never before anyone had found out: his hopes and aspirations, therefore, the Hotel will be able to offer what no other hotel had never before offered: his emotional balance.


The knowledge of the emotional universe of the guest, i.e. their stimuli, sensations,

perceptions, emotions and feelings, lead to establish a system of links and relationships where the empathetic factor plays a decisive role. In order to meet the guest from the inside out, to be able to enter their inner world and leave indelible imprints, the hotel employee should feel the need to approach the guest to discover something new. A stimulator par excellence to accomplish this attitude of approaching is, without a doubt, curiosity.

According to definition, curiosity is all natural inquisitorial behavior obvious in the

observation of many animal species and is the emotional aspect of living beings which generates the exploration, research and learning.

And it is precisely curiosity that leads us to get closer to the guest in order to obtain

information that later will be used to generate stimuli on the guest activating positive emotions such as joy and surprise.

As Hotel Butler, curiosity has helped me to generate indelible imprints in the minds of

customers who have attended; for example, a gentleman who had requested the Concierge buys a bouquet of 18 roses and places it in the room. Curiosity led me to discover that it was a gift from husband to wife and they were celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary; so the Hotel used the opportunity to participate in this great event of their lives by providing the couple a special treatment.

The feeling of curiosity activates an unknown number of psychological behavior

mechanisms which have the effect of encouraging us to search information and interaction with customers, thus reinforcing behaviors of approaching, so much needed to make the guest feels valued.

Feeling curiosity means also that the Hotel desires to acquire and therefore increase

knowledge about the assisted guests. This generates a special benefit for us: provide tailor-made services to the guests which permit us to connect more easily with their emotions.

Curiosity leads us to discover habits, customs and behaviors of guests. This allows us to

be more identified with them generating levels of links and relationships which make each guest feels recognized, special and different.

Inquisitiveness also leads us to seek new routes, strategies and procedures to offer

services that make greater profits. I remember once, out of curiosity, I stopped by to examine the labels that airlines placed in the luggage of every passenger, tags that on the return flight the airline employee has to rip off in order to place the new ones.

Out of pure curiosity I discovered that on these tags we can find valuable information

about the guest, for example day and time of the flight back (in case of returning to the previous place) and also the final destiny (entering on the website of the airline the reserve code and passenger´s last name). On the day prior to the check-out of the guest, this data will permit us offering him the wake up service and breakfast on the right schedule to get in due time to the airport and also to let him know the weather forecast for the city of arrival.

While all people feel curious very often, we differentiate ourselves by the scope and

intensity of curiosity and our disposition to experience what makes us to be interested. Among the numerous advantages of encouraging the curiosity of the Hotel staff, we must include:

1. The curious person is typified by seeing things that other people usually don´t see,

paying attention to details that others do not perceive, even making the Hotel services be offered in a more diverse and creative way. This will have an impact on the differential perception of the guest relative to the Hotel services.

2 - Very curious persons experience a greater intimacy and closeness with others as

they are prone to be more interested in knowing and understanding people. This is called social curiosity, which in our case stimulates and develops empathetic links between the Hotel staff and guests.

We must ensure that all Hotel employees feel curious to learn more about the guests

they are attending. Curiosity, seen as a novelty seeking, is associated with positive emotions, creativity, and willingness to confront stereotypes and prefer challenges at work. All together lead to strengthen the determination to achieve one goal: customer satisfaction.

However, to generate those behaviors in the personnel, the Hotel must ensure a

positive work atmosphere that encourages their motivation highlighting profitable emotions, such as attention, creativity and enjoyment in their jobs.

There is an old saying: ¨curiosity killed the cat¨. We can say that in our case the

curiosity of the Hotel staff will give the Hotel a new life.

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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