As much as we try, it is impossible to prevent problems from occurring. When problems and/or complaints arise, it is important to look at them as opportunities. Taking care of a complaint with enthusiasm can be a great way to develop guest loyalty.
Here are the top 10 steps to successful complaint handling:
- Introduce yourself, get their name, room number, and cell phone number. Make a comment of concern with a promise to take action. Use a notepad and pen to take notes. Isolate the complaining guest from other guests when possible. Say, “I’d like to help you. Let’s see what we can work out together.”
- Say, “Would you share with me what happened?” Listen actively to the guest’s complaint without interruption.
- Ask probing questions to clarify and then restate your understanding of the situation. Say, “Here’s what I understood you to say.”
- Empathize and apologize. Say, “I’m sorry this has happened to you. I apologize on behalf of the hotel.”
- Propose a solution, adjustment or compromise. Say, “What can I do to make this right?” or, “What would you suggest?”
- If you need to involve other staff, managers or departments, ask permission. Say, “Would you mind waiting while I speak to my supervisor/manager? I’ll be just a moment.”
- Propose action. Say, “How does that sound to you?”
- Take action and attempt to exceed the guest’s expectations. Say, “I really appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Thanks again for staying with us. We hope we see you again soon and often.”
- Immediately fill out a contact report, enter into logbook and put a copy of the report in the GM’s mailbox.
- Follow up to verify complete satisfaction with the solution.
Dealing with upset, complaining guests can be difficult, but these steps should help you turn complaints into satisfaction.
Watch the DC Blosser update as Dale discusses this topic: