Designing The Guest Experience

The 'Shakira Effect' in Hospitality - By Osvaldo Torres Cruz


Competition has come to the hotel market to settle. Increasingly hotel chains are expanding with new brands appearing. This means that, establishing "differences" that act as booster of two fundamental behaviors of prospective customers, is one of the most important challenges for the whole hotel business, ensuring that the company remains in the market actively: I mean the election and promotion of the product and its associated services.

However, it seems easy but it isn't, since the hotel products and associated services run the constant risk of being imitated, which leaves a very narrow margin to the exclusivity and novelty.

This is why that, in my opinion, the most effective way to offer something different, even with the same products and services, is knowing the resulting perceptual in the mind of the customer who consumes them, and thus can adapt them and ensure they are interpreted as unique, different, innovative, and own.

Since the perceptual process occurs in the mind of every customer, it is necessary to connect to it, to know how it works and what are the factors that determine, among which we cite are: previous experience, culture, age, gender, social groups, emotional state, personality, etc.

The best connection with the mind of a person is established through the mind of another person through observation, listening and talking, therefore greater number of contacts that we have with customers at a hotel, the greater the possibility to watch them, listen to them and establish dialogues that pave us driveway to his sensory world and therefore to the perceptual. The perceptual world is the place where the scales of values for all products and associated services received are established.

Unfortunately, not all the hotels have visualized the importance of increasing the number of contacts of its workers with guests attending, either because there is no sufficient areas of contact, enough workers or the will required to contact the guests.

This makes that there exist "blind - deaf - mute areas" in the great hotel scene with the corresponding loss of the unique opportunity to obtain valuable information about assisted guests.

That's when the ¨Shakira Effect¨ (referring to the famous song Blind-Deaf and Dumb) invades some hotels and prevents them not only to adapt the hotel product and its associated services that guests want, but also to offer it in a different way, achieving differentiate themselves both in the customer’s mind and within the market.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz

Experiential Hospitality Consultancy

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