For all those who work in the fascinating world of Hospitality, one of the most heard slogans has been undoubtedly the following:
"The first impression is decisive for the customer service."
This slogan maintains its validity because of its extraordinary influence, not only upon the organization of the guests expectations, but also when we add meanings and values to these possibilities.
A key determining factor of the Experiential Hospitality as a differentiation tool par excellence for Hotels, is its holistic character that turns Hotels into emotionally integrated scenarios, meaning that guests will feel their emotions flower skin anywhere, anytime.
There are two critical moments about the guest experience at the Hotel. It is precisely what I want to mention in this article, since they are closely linked not only to the first impression, but also to the last one (in terms of space and time) although I believe that there is never one last impression because even after the guests already left the Hotel, both remembrances will continue impacting on their minds. I am referring to check-in and check-out services.
Undoubtedly the arrival of the guests to the hotel is a fact that will leave a mark on his memory forever especially if it is the first time, then starts the process of validation of all the imagined/expected against all that was actually found. This is precisely the right time when the first impression comes into scene (agreeing not to consider previous interactions with the Hotel, like hotel web sites, Reservations Department etc.) in terms of the ¨moments of truth¨ with the Hotel product and its associated services.
The Experiential Hospitality through its key manager, the hotelier, makes sure this first impression be full of positive emotions such as the surprise to the guest for the use of his surname or the recognition of his preferences and its consequent adjustment of the product to them, for example: the type and location of the room, prior reservations in restaurants of favorite cuisines or mention or greeting for that event specific to celebrate during his tenure. All this added to the pleasure and joy of feeling important when the guest is asked for his level of comfort during the flight's arrival and his emotional state to that respect.
Last but not least is the moment of farewell, event full of contradictory feelings: the joy of having lived a unique experience and the sadness of leaving the context that made them reach their longed emotional identities. I believe that this "last impression" is crucial to show the customers how important they have been to the Hotel by showing the full knowledge about everything that happened during their tenure and expecting him to come back soon we will make them feel special, unique and above all, recognized.
I want to emphasize that these two large impressions have the peculiarity of the plurality of its management, as guests hosting and farewell are not limited to a sector or particular team in a Hotel, but are the tasks of all those hoteliers who, through close observation, detect a guest arriving or leaving. With simple phrases such as "Welcome" or "Have a safe trip" we will increase the force of impressions, which will empower the Hotel consolidation as a good remembrance in the customer’s minds.
Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Experiential Hospitality Consultancy
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