Transactions vs. Interactions

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

December 21, 2020 | Hospitality



Hospitality properties can provide one of two types of service: transactional and interactional. Transactional service has its place in hospitality however not in luxury. Interactional service is what should be expected in any luxury property. JOR Hospitality Solutions provides luxury experiences to luxury hotels.


Transactional service is one that you can typically receive anywhere. It’s a type of service where the employee goes through the movements, get the sale, and move onto the next person. You don’t normally feel like a guest rather a customer whose sole purpose is to give the company money. However, this is not always a bad type of service. Transactional service has its place is hospitality. When you go to certain places such as fast food restaurants or full service hotels, you should expect this type of service. Fast food restaurants are great when you just want your food and don’t need an entire conversation asking about your day, where you’re from, or what brought you in. There are three main steps to transactional service. It begins with the employee solving a problem the guests have. In many cases employees make assumptions for their customer and when they’re wrong it feel more transactional. All customers want when it comes to transactional service is a knowledgeable employee. For example, when you go to a basic fast-food restaurant, they use the transactional style of service where the employees go through the actions, receive the transaction, and move on to the next customer.


On the other hand, when you are in a fine dining restaurant or a luxury hotel you should expect interactional service. Interactional service is when the service is memorable and focuses on the guests needs rather than the monetary outcome. There is more thought in interactions that leave the guests truly amazed. Proper interactional service is where the staff member investigates their guest and obtains beneficial knowledge. They will then prove their knowledge throughout the experience. An example would be, during a conversation the staff member learns about how the guest is on their way to the pool and the staff member will then take it upon themselves to escort their guest to the pool and go get them a towel. Take the work away from the guest so they can enjoy themselves and feel like a true guest rather than a customer. Another option could be supporting them on a 3-hour fine dining experience, they are the cornerstones to making something more of an interaction that people enjoy at a luxury destination.


Now let’s talk about the main differences between the two and learn how to transition away from transactional service and towards interactional. Transactional services are there to make a guest feel satisfied while interactions should make guests feel amazed. Think about a hospitality destination you’ve been to or work at. What areas could be strengthened? This could include improving service personalization, understanding the guest needs, the ability to go above and beyond basic service, and creating memories for the guests that will last a lifetime. It is crucial, for the success of the property, that the guests experience interactional service rather than transactional.


This is a very simple concept of transactions vs interactions however there is a lot of layers and depth. To continue understanding the concept, please review our blog titled “Providing a G.I.A.N.T. service Experience” and focus on A – anticipate needs and T – thoughtful gestures. They are important factors in transitioning the service into interactional. Luxury service, interactional service, is anticipatory and thoughtful. Continue to think about how you can transition any transactional service into interactional.


Written by: Company & Client Relations Coordinator, Caitlyn R. Klauder

December 2020

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