Would You Like Your Service Today Live or Programmed, Madam?

Part Two - Explore the Vistas Opened up by the Robot Builders Amongst us.

By Steven Ferry Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers | December 06, 2015

This is Part II of a two-part article. Please click here for Part I.

Those in hospitality, who tend to be more aware and engaged than others, know that the human and emotional element cannot be replicated by software programs, and that the very definition of hospitality must include these elements-but only if we are to be servicing humans. If we are servicing guests who have lost their way as humans, or robots, then free-spirited and self-determined human service providers do indeed become not just redundant, but a liability.

Flawed Logic and Intelligence, Missing Emotional Engagement-The Scientist at Work

No amount of programmed facial expressions or even, perchance in the future, crocodile tears, or dancing dummies, will ever make up for the lack of…what is it? One could say sincerity, but the actual missing element is the one element that these gods of the aspiring religion of science, have neither awareness nor understanding: spirit!

The simple definition of man for millennia has been, "Body, mind, and spirit." But that is not how such scientists describe man, because the humanities went astray in 1879 when Marxist Professor, WilhelmWundt, of Leipzig University in Germany, declared that the mind was simply the brain (based on the observation that most nerves were in the brain and all nerve channels went to the brain). He taught that man was a stimulus-response animal and had neither spirit nor self-determinism. Psychology and then psychiatry based their entire works on these erroneous opinions, and so we have mind as brain, software as hardware. Suddenly everything mental is physical, which is why psychiatry has a pantheon of just three "therapies," all physical: lobotomy and its variations (making people into vegetables by severing the front of the brain); ECT (electric shock) and its variations; and drugging. None of these work (if by work we mean to correctly diagnose and alleviate a condition to the benefit/increased abilities of the patient) because the brain is not the mind. These cruel treatments fix things as effectively as smashing the headlights when the oil needs changing.

And then we come to the spiritual-psychiatrists and such scientists think they are bodies. They have persuaded many people to believe the same thing by onerous repetition from a self-proclaimed point of authority with unlimited funds to forward that message. So for them, there is no mind and spirit in man, it is all just "body."

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.