How To Handle Guest Curve Balls – Guest Services

From time to time guests will throw you a curve. For example, a guest makes a light-hearted joke. That usually means you have a guest who has a sense of humor and appreciates a light-hearted approach to his or her service.

Sometimes guests act irritated, when they really are not.

Unfortunately, sometimes a guest will act or say something not appropriate.

Be light on your feet like a boxer and react with quick and appropriate responses. Guests appreciate a light-hearted attitude and sense of humor from hospitality staff. We are not talking about sarcastic, but about being flexible and adjusting to the guest’s attitude.

Recently, I ordered a martini before dinner. The server asked if I wanted an olive. I said, “How about 14?” She quickly responded, “Okay, I give you a separate glass.” Of course I did not actually want 14 olives, but I do like olives and would appreciate two. She made me smile and responded much better than when a server who might say, “I’m sorry, I can only give you two.”

Another curve ball that happens frequently is when a guest has waited quite a while in line to get service at the front desk or host stand. The guest makes a negative comment like, “It’s about time!” Just smiling and saying something like, “You’re right. It has been crazy. I do really appreciate your patience.” Most guests will get over it quicker than if you try to justify why it took so long.

When guests throw you a curve, don’t strike out. Just adjust and recover. In the end, you win and the guests feel like they are dealing with a pro.

The sea of change can pull customers in many directions. It is our responsibility to light the way and take care of them…before the competition does.  –Unknown

"I am a believer in the ‘mirror test.’ All that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there, that you’ve done your best." –John McKay

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