Guests are not Customers

Guests are not Customers

A World of Difference

In the world of hospitality and customer experience, there is a crucial distinction that is often overlooked: the difference between guests and customers. These two groups may have a lot in common at first glance, but the approach they require is fundamentally different. What can I help you with? is the typical question you ask a customer. To a guest, however, you say Welcome, glad you’re here. This small nuance makes a world of difference.

The Customer: Transaction-Driven

Let’s start with the customer. Customers come with a specific intention: they are looking for a product or service and want to complete a transaction. Their focus is on efficiency, price, and quality. They expect clarity and directness in communication. A customer wants to be helped with the question: What can I help you with? This immediately indicates that you are ready to solve their problem or fulfill their need.

In a customer approach, everything revolves around the transaction. You ensure that the customer quickly finds what he is looking for, gets the right information and can make his purchase without any problems. This means focusing on speed, accuracy, and customer satisfaction in terms of the purchasing experience. It’s about delivering value for money and making sure they leave the store satisfied.

The Guest: Experiential Driven

Guests, on the other hand, don’t just come for a product or service; they come for an experience. They are looking for warmth, hospitality and a sense of welcome. It all starts with Welcome to Welcome, great to have you here. This creates an atmosphere of friendliness and hospitality, something a guest expects and appreciates.

A guest approach focuses on the total picture of the experience. It’s about creating a comfortable, pleasant, and memorable environment. You welcome them with a smile, offer personal attention and make them feel at home. Interacting with a guest is less transactional and more relational. You’ll invest in the relationship, get to know their preferences, and make sure every interaction exceeds their expectation.

Practical examples

Imagine you work in a restaurant. When a customer comes in, they’re likely focused on ordering a meal and being served quickly. You approach him with a business-like attitude: What can I do for you? This shows that you are ready to take his order and serve him efficiently.

A guest, on the other hand, expects more. He wants a friendly greeting, a conversation about his preferences, and maybe even a recommendation from the chef. You say: Welcome, glad you’re here and makes him feel appreciated and special. This can make the difference between a one-time visitor and a loyal repeat guest.

The distinction between guests and customers is essential for successful interaction and long-term relationships. Customers want efficiency and a smooth transaction; Guests are looking for warmth, attention and an unforgettable experience. By approaching these two groups in the right way, you can not only exceed their expectations but also gain their loyalty. So remember: guests are not customers, and a warm welcome often makes all the difference.

19 June 2024 |