Designing The Guest Experience

The Impact of Negative Responses in the Design of the Guest's Experience - By Osvaldo Torres Cruz


The transformation of the stay of a guest into a positive holistic experience is, no doubt, a formula of success to achieve the differentiation and positioning of the hotel in the current hotel market. This can only be achieved provided that the guest reaches the longed-for emotional states such as feeling pampered, cared for, understood and, above all, important.  

When a guest requests a service, it is because he/she sees it as the only way to get out of the state of lack or need he/she is in, which in turn causes an unwanted emotional unbalance. This is why the level of satisfaction of this need will be directly proportional to the degree of pleasure the guest feels, because he/she will be reaching the state of equilibrium that causes pleasure and wellbeing.

Nevertheless, hoteliers not always look for all the necessary ways to accomplish a request of a guest and unfortunately, the guest receives a negative response, without considering its negative secondary effects in his/her state of mind, decision making and future behavior.

Negative responses to requests are an adverse stimulus to the human brain, because they are not only given greater attention, but also last longer in the mind and are more easily shared. On the other hand, the sources of negative responses are considered a hazard to survival by our brain, and they activate the instinctive retreat behavior, characteristic of our reptilian brain, which will set up barriers that consequently will reduce and stop relation-making behaviors.

Now, let´s analyze the reasons why there might be negative responses to requests from our guests:

1 - Unawareness of the processes, standards and procedures.

2 - Getting personal benefits from operative negativity.

3 - Intention of causing the same reaction than through living experiences. Here, we also include the traces.

4 - Rigid conducts due to fear to be questioned when making personal decisions.

5 - Lack of empowerment.

6 - Inflexible design of operational flows.

We should then pay close attention when we say NO to a request of a guest, because this implies limiting the guest´s possibilities to get what he/she wants to feel the way they want, so the guest can see us as the way to attain his/her ideal state, thus being in permanent interaction with us.


Osvaldo Torres Cruz

Experiential Hospitality Consultancy

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