|Neurohospitality: A Superior Link in the Development of the Industry?|
By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Tuesday, 4th December 2012
At present, one of the biggest challenges which companies should tackle is to be able to keep generating revenue in the unstable context in which the world economy lives today. The current financial crisis has created major uncertainties as to the permanence of many companies in the markets where their products and services are offered.
However, the hospitality industry has not stayed behind in this situation and fortunately for all those who work in it, has maintained some growth rate. This leads to the hotel market becomes one of the most competitive. This market is characterized by being a space where great battles are taking place for control the power of choice of its most important client: the distinguished guest.
It is well known that when choosing a Hotel in a specific tourist destination, potential guests base their choice on the opinions of other guests about their stays in hotels. Comments convey to the customers experiences related to the product and associated services offered by these Hotels. Prospective guests are seeking to live something different that leads them to reach their hopes and desires, thereby achieving the best use of their most important investment: time.
The Experiential Hospitality arises to address this need. As demonstrated, is completely valid and safe convert every Hotel stay in a holistic experience, positive, unique and unforgettable. Besides and very important, these memories will provoke on the guests the instant desire of talking to other people about what they have enjoyed so much.
However, those who have the privilege to act as managers and designers of this kind of experience in the guests must face new challenges such as:
1 - Identify sensory stimuli more akin to the guest, in order to use the services he consumes as generators of those stimuli and therefore cause positive emotions and feelings. The guest will feel identified with the services that he regards as own. Thus he will feel recognized, valued and differentiated.
2 - Decipher how to establish reciprocal links to provoke behaviors of approximation allowing us to get him closer and to gain his trust. More knowledge enables us to discover what nobody before has discovered, to give him just what nobody before has never given to him.
3 - Ensure the guest's stay like a remembrance which can be activated .This will make him returning to the Hotel in search of the same context needed for reliving what he was longing for.
4 - Generate the guest need of sharing his experiences with other people, thus reducing Hotel costs in the acquisition of new customers.
There is no doubt that the foregoing leads us to know processes, pathways, mechanisms and structures that have a common denominator: the mind of the guest.
It is why, the Experiential Hospitality has found then, a tool of great value in Applied Neuroscience to get information about the source of sensations, thoughts and emotions of the human being, in addition to its social behavior, creativity and intelligence that represent, without a doubt, the key to enhance the well-being of the guest. Therefore the Hotel will gain a better position in his mind.
Applied Neuroscience is multidisciplinary, because it is based on disciplines such as clinical psychology, cognitive science, neurophysiology, ergonomics, physics, etc. The advancement made on its principal matter of study, the human brain, has given rise to new fields such as Neuroeducation, Neuroeconomics and Neuromarketing, which have contributed to attain more knowledge, making that all studies on brain reached new levels of progress.
I strongly believe that the fundamental advantage of the application of Neuroscience in our industry lies in finding the best way to get into the mind of every guest. Let us think then, how to get access to their inner thoughts and find the answers to the following questions:
How does the guest perceive his stay at the Hotel?
What feelings would his stay generate?
How much of all these feelings will remain on his mind?
All these questions make us easier to learn how it will be the behavior of the guest in the Hotel not only during his stay but still more important, after his departure.
Therefore, a lot of questions are coming to my mind, such as:
As you can see, there is still much for answering. That is why I would like to leave an open space for reflection and debate on this fascinating subject that has conveyed great satisfaction not only to me but to the guests who I attend.
- Could we say that we are facing a new kind of Hospitality Industry, based on domination and conquest of the guest mind?
- Could we think of some way of including the study thereof in Hospitality schools?
- Could we be talking of a new application of the Neuroscience which would give rise to the NeuroHospitality as a new link in the development of the Hospitality Industry?
Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Guest Experience Design Advisor.