Designing The Guest Experience

New Approaches in Achieving the Differentiation According to the Experiential Hospitality - By Osvaldo Torres Cruz


Although it is not an easy task, hotel businesses are always thinking about finding the magic formula to guarantee a real differentiation and, consequently, the competitive advantages for the market sector to which they offer their products and related services

In this paper, I want to share some issues hotels may focus on to manage to turn the stay of their guests into positive holistic experiences which is, no doubt, the differentiating factor par excellence in the present tourist market.

1- The importance of ¨being¨:

Consider that one of the main objectives of a hotel business is to improve the quality of life of every human being they interact with, by making them reach the ideal emotional state to become what they look for, do what they want and, therefore, achieve what they dream of.

Making the hotel product and its related services be the means through which the guest and the hotel worker can achieve their goals as human beings will lead, without question, to establishing strong links with the media (hotel business) in which they become true.

The importance of being lies, above all, in asking yourself who the person is. Consider that every person, whether a client or a worker, is a different individual, so the way of treating them has to be personalized in order to know how this person will determine the range and type of behavior towards the hotel.

2- The affectivity of services:

We are all constantly reacting to the great amount of stimuli from the surrounding world, so as to adapt ourselves to it, in order to achieve our wellbeing and survival. However, the responses to these stimuli in terms of behavior vary, depending on their affective impact and the emotions and feelings generated by them.

If we manage to make all hotel products and related services become enhancers of affectivity with a positive valence, then we will consolidate the need of the guest to consume them and, therefore, their demand. On the other hand, as the hotel services are offered by the hotel staff, this positive affectivity will generate an appropriate interactive framework to reinforce the relations between them and the guests who consume those services. This is so, because when one is fond of someone or something, this becomes reciprocal and, in this case, it is reflected in the disposition of the hotel worker to attend and satisfy the client. 

3- The capacity to encourage:

Many hotel businesses have well defined goals, but are still stagnated in their attempt to meet them. One of the reasons why this happens is that they have not visualize the need to encourage their workers to achieve this.

If a hotel business wants to achieve different results, it must stop doing things the way they do and take a different course full of challenges; changes to which the first response of the workers is refusal, following the rules dictated by their brains. This is then the time when we need to encourage them to meet the new goals by creating motivation, trust and self-esteem, the three key elements to generate movement.

William Arthur Ward said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”

4- Creating inspiring and shared visions.

The vision of a business defines its future goals. These goals have to be realistic and reachable so that the proposed vision has an inspiring and motivating character.

To define the vision of a business, it helps to answer the following questions: What do I want to achieve?, Where do I want to be in the future?, Who will I do this for?, What benefits will I get through this? However, these questions must also be answered by the workers, so we can then determine the degree or level of identification between the two responses which will determine the authentic commitment of the workers by creating shared images of the expected future.

A shared vision brings about concentration and energy to face all challenges on the road to success, for the individual vision of every worker will generate transformation statements appropriate to the actual world (mission), necessary to think on the patterns of practice to be followed toward excellence and, above all, in a willfully way.

5- The speed of learning:

According to specialists, the knowledge of human kind varies increasingly faster, so one has to be constantly updated. The continuous incorporation of new knowledge to a hotel business will not only help to its development, but also to its flexibility and adaptation to the constants changes in the real world. It helps prepare the business from different perspectives, thus increasing its response capacity.

The systematic education and training of the hotel staff will help to:

1- Increase the capacity of individuals to make effective decisions and solve problems.

2- Foster reflexive and critical thinking

3- Turn innovation into a basic strategy for constant business growth.

In a fast learning process, the organization becomes a community of thinkers and doers, thus breaking the paradigm that only the upper levels think and the lower ones execute. A hotel that learns is a live hotel, in constant change and transformation, which will become a source of attention and attraction to its clients and workers.

6- Development of a systemic thinking.

Thinking of a hotel as a system means to consider each that its departments are inter-linked in such a way that they condition and support each other. The creation of thinking, perception and behavioral synergies in each department will generate a systemic outcome.

If a hotel is thought of as the scenario for generating processes and these, in turn, are seen as moving and interacting with each other, then, the sum of this interaction will determine the survival and success of the whole system.

The existence of territories and frontiers, unilateralism, communicational and relational inability between hotel departments increases the levels of toxicity of the hotel as a system and slows down its development. Systemic thinking in a hotel can only be developed if they follow the win-win slogan.


Osvaldo Torres Cruz

Experiential Hospitality Consultancy

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