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Through the Eyes of a Hotel Butler: Mastering Guests' Information

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Osvaldo Torres Cruz, May 2009

Nowadays, hotel services are focused on ensuring guests’ satisfaction and offering unique experiences. To such end, many Hotels have created new departments whose goal is to get to know the guests and obtain information on them. 

Globalization and EDP have provided access to valuable information on guests arriving at the hotel. However, the best source of information regarding a guest is the guest himself.  Guests bring along countless data that turn out to be useful tools with which we can have an effect on the guests’ feelings and emotions. This kind of information is referred to as DIFFERENTIAL INFORMATION, which is used to make the guest experience the service offered as something different from any other service provided to him/her up to that moment.

However, according to my experience while Butlering, the following considerations must be taken into account regarding guests’ information:

1- How should this highly necessary information be obtained?  The Hotel butler or any employee in charge of providing the customized service must understand and visualize the significance of the interaction with guests, during which “moments of truth” take place, generating a relationship with them. The Hotel butler must create a favorable environment for this “moments of truth” to occur. and the Hotel .the necessary means to such end. 
 
2- What type of information should be gathered? Any piece of information can be used at a certain time to trigger positive emotions and feelings in guests, attaining guest satisfaction. Small details are the best tools to elicit positive emotions in guests. Therefore, the Hotel butler must pay special attention to them. Obtaining specific information represents a differentiation tool for Hotels. 

3-When should it be obtained? Not all guests are equally open to moments of truth. Therefore, the person in charge of offering customized services must determine the appropriate time to approach the guest without making him/her feel it as an invasion of privacy, and so that he/she feels comfortable and motivated to communicate.

4- How should this information be used? Once obtained, it is important to know how to process this information, i.e., transform it for the benefit and satisfaction of the guest. Therefore, the person in charge of offering customized services has to master the tools available for such purpose. In turn, the Hotel must empower the employee and provide him/her the necessary freedom to use the information obtained. In many cases, this type of information turns out to be useful when dealing with complaints, serving as a tool for service recovery.

5- Where should the information collected be stored?  All the information obtained during the guest’s stay must be stored ( Guest Final Profile) so that it is available at a future stay. It is also useful for guest post-stay follow-up and valuation.

One kind of differential information is all data leading to personalization of detail and timing of the service rendered to every single guest. Thus, the search and creation of the data is a must in the personalized relations service. The hotel butler or any other service provider, must be aware of every kind of data that the guest might, direct or indirectly, transmit and to know how to use this data as an emotional trigger.

The systematic and active assistance while we are butlering , let us get singular and specific data from the guest that leads us the decoding of the guest emotional algorithm, thus arising additional needs to his lifestyle and emotional features, resulting in services rendered with a high degree of personalization. The guest shall identify himself with those services which convey an emotional value never experienced before so setting the differenciation.

Finally, I can assure you that one of the most significant differentiation tools available at a Hotel is the type of information gathered from its guests. The more differentiating information obtained, the better will we get to know our guests. As a result, we will be able to offer them just what they need. This way we can reach the guest emotional fidelity and personalize the meaning of the experience.
 

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Contact:

Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Hotel Butler
hotelps@gmail.com.

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Also See: Jointly Striving for Guest Satisfaction: The Butler and the Concierge / Osvaldo Torres Cruz / December 2008
The Active Role of the Butler in Today's Hotel Industry / Osvaldo Torres Cruz / July 2008
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