Business Insider published an excerpt from The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It by John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister.

« Adele Gutman… is the mastermind behind the success of the Casablanca as well as the half‑dozen other boutique hotels of its parent company, the Library Hotel Collection. The hotels in New York, Toronto, and Prague all rank perennially in TripAdvisor’s top 10 for their cities, and the one in Budapest, the Aria, took TripAdvisor’s annual award in 2017 as the No. 1 hotel worldwide. »

« Gutman has identified the importance of the peak-end rule, where a bad last impression is worse than a bad first one. »

« I never use phrases like ‘meeting people’s expectations’ or ‘satisfying customers.’ I say ‘sparkling sunshine,’ and our staff gets exactly what I mean.” »

« After studying the reviews, she drew up a list of all the “contact points” between a guest and the hotel, from making the reservation to checking out, and resolved to sparkle sunshine at every point. The front desk started keeping a diary listing every request or complaint from a guest and how it was handled. Gutman focused on hiring cheery extroverts and coaching them to engage the guests whenever possible. The telephone reservation agents at the Casablanca don’t just book a room; they ask why the guest is coming to New York and if there’s anything special they need. »

The same principle can be applied to a job interview. « First impressions really do matter, and they’re definitely governed by the negativity bias. Some of the clearest evidence comes from tracking reactions of people administering job interviews. When the candidate makes a good first impression, the interviewer will be swayed only slightly, and that mildly favorable impression can be quickly reversed. But if a candidate comes off badly in the first moments, he’ll have to spend the rest of the interview trying to make up for it, and he’ll be lucky to get back to neutral… If the job interview ends on a sour note, the candidate had better keep looking elsewhere, because a bad last impression is even worse than a bad first impression. It’s an example of what psychologists call the peak‑end rule. »

« The moral for gift givers: Save the best stuff for last. »

« The peak‑end rule helps explain why reviewers on TripAdvisor will rant about an unpleasant surprise at checkout.  »

« Gutman has also created one more “contact point” with the guests by luring them into the lounge throughout the day, where complimentary snacks and coffee are offered around the clock, and there’s a reception every evening with wine and cheese. The point isn’t just to propitiate the guests with freebies. It gives Gutman and the staff more chances to sparkle sunshine and forestall complaints. “When you’re constantly taking the guests’ temperature,” she said, “you can find out if there’s some little thing they were too shy to ask for — something that could be the difference between a four‑star and five‑star review.” As we’ve seen, listening to bad is a crucial step in overcoming it. »

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