I have had many nice restaurant meals but one experience a couple of years ago keeps coming back to my mind. The food was good, the place nice but really not much better than many other places I have been to since. Different was what happened at the end. After we had payed we were given a pretty box with two complementary muffins for breakfast.
The reason I still have strong positive memories is because of what nobel price winning psychologist Daniel Kahnemann called Peak End Rule. He and later also other scientists researched that people judge a service or an event by how it was at its peak and its end. We do not sum up but we rate by the intensity of the strongest experience – positive or negative- and the end. This means the more positive the end is compared to the peak the better the evaluation.
How can a hotel or a B&B use this? Lets say you put some effort into your website. It looks good, your guests can book online. You make a good first impression. Now think about how to improve your service focusing on the peak and the end. Often the end of an experience is being neglected. Make your check out an unexpectedly positive experience for your guests.