"Technology cannot hug a repeat guest," says George Aquino, VP and managing director of AHC+Hospitality, in the New York Times. As he points out, it's not enough to bring customers back if staying in a hotel is a transaction, even a good one. This is why they run training programs for managers and staff so they can improve their hospitality skills, namely to serve as a "concierge corps." In other words, "hug guests."
Putting the emphasis on doing the job efficiently, right, and in a timely way is the definition of a great transaction. Having the perfect hotel room isn't enough to bring guests back. That takes the personal touch – “a hug.”
Amazon Prime seems to have figured this out. While providing customers with incredibly flawless transactions, Amazon Prime provides the "hugs" (fast free shipping, deals of the day, exclusive access to movies and TV shows, ad-free music, unlimited photo storage, and Kindle books).
The challenge that salespeople face is that of combining the perfect transaction with the personal touch transaction with a generous "hug." But don't forget the donuts.