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The Art of Waiting: When Anticipation Becomes a Luxury Experience


Allow me to share a tale of a dissatisfied client who recently stayed at a prestigious palace. He entrusted his shoes to a professional in a carefully crafted space within the hotel's lobby. The employee promised to treat the shoes with such reverence that it would border on a ceremonial dance. The ambiance, masculine and steeped in luxury, with the heady scents of leather, contributed to the exquisite experience for which the guest was willing to pay a premium.


However, the spell broke when the guest inquired about the duration of the service, to which the professional replied, "15 minutes." The guest was submerged in disappointment, feeling shortchanged. How could such grand promises culminate in a mere quarter-hour of service?


This story highlights the critical nature of presentation and the weight of a client's expectations in a prestigious experience. While the instinct is often to minimize waiting times, this instance serves as a reminder that, in the realm of luxury, anticipation can be a thrilling element. However, it is crucial that the duration of any wait is skillfully communicated and aligns with the overall opulence offered.

Consistency and quality at every touchpoint of the customer's journey are vital in ensuring their contentment.

In this scenario, the artisan set the stage with a polished presentation but deflated the experience with a service duration that fell short of the guest's heightened expectations.

This illustrates the importance of consistency and quality service at every stage of the client's experience, with a spirit of benevolence and care to meet the highest expectations of our most demanding clients.


Allow me to share another anecdote that paints a different picture. In a company that prides itself on providing the "ultimate luxury experience" across a broad spectrum of services, clients have voiced their vexation over the years about the automated messages played during the seemingly interminable wait to speak with a representative. Despite enduring ten minutes or more, after selecting their preferred language and service, they found themselves waiting several more minutes, leading to profound dissatisfaction. The company eventually eliminated the annoying presentation.

But was it really the presentation with soft music and a pleasant voice that was the problem? We must tell you that it was not. The problem was and remains the excessive wait time, which in this case cannot be justified in any way. In fact, for a high-end service, the phone response time should not exceed one minute.

The remedy lies in increasing the number of receptionists or better distributing calls, allowing for the reintroduction of pleasant hold music, which clients will scarcely hear before promptly being attended to.


The third example draws upon the principle articulated by Kahneman.


Which inner square appears darker?



They are the same, yet here we see the framing effect at work.


The same range of services and hospitality can be perceived differently depending on their presentation. The framing effect can significantly influence the perception of the services and hospitality extended. Indeed, the manner in which a wait time is conveyed to a client can vary. Phrases like "I will get back to you" are all too common, yet such vague timeframes are unacceptable. An undefined wait always feels longer than one with set parameters. Therefore, clients will feel more satisfied with communications like: "I will respond to you within the day, Madam" or "Mister Bond, I will give you a response in X minutes."


In conclusion, meticulous presentation, quality of service, attention to detail, and a genuine regard for our most demanding clients are the cornerstones of our luxury experience. We must continually strive to deliver unforgettable experiences that are in harmony with our promises, ensuring our clients' ultimate satisfaction.


Anastasia Shevchenko

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