Interessante stellingname van Alain de Botton in The Financial Times, 4 januari 2014: [zie link boven]
Imagine an ambitious luxurious hotel trying to stay afloat in a competitive market. The hotel would tend to imagine it knew what it needed to do for its customers; the struggle would be all about delivery. However, what tends to be rushed is the definition of what exactly a good night in a hotel is. Where do the sheets and the minibar fit into this? What is the role of the soap and room service? What if one went back to the drawing board to address the question of what a hotel is?
There are many problems that can destroy a night in a hotel. Here are some of those that tend not to be thought about (they are too philosophical). One might feel anxious, or confused. One might be lonely. One might have an argument with one’s partner. One might feel disconnected from the culture of the country all around. Typically, hotels do not think these sort of problems belong to them. They limit their focus to the soap and the bed. In other words, they are forgetting the full range of implicit promises they have made to their customers: you will be happy with us.
A hotel that took fulfilment very seriously might be led to develop a whole range of new services and products. Hotels, like so many businesses, are only at the dawn of understanding their customers’ real needs because they operate with too narrow a definition of happiness.