Guidelines for Handling Guest Complaints
Handling guest complaints is an inevitable part of the hospitality industry. No matter how well a hotel is run, there are always going to be issues that arise that are beyond our control. It is important that hotel staff are well-equipped to handle complaints in a professional and empathetic manner.
The first step in handling guest complaints is to actively listen to the guests and acknowledge their concerns. This can go a long way in defusing an already tense situation. Once the guest has voiced their concerns, it is important for the staff to apologize for any inconvenience caused and take ownership of the issue.
Next, the staff should work to resolve the issue in a timely manner. This can involve offering a solution that meets the guest’s needs, such as a room change or a complimentary meal. It is also important to follow up with the guest to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.
By handling guest complaints in a professional and empathetic manner, hotels can turn a negative experience into a positive one and build a loyal customer base.
Front office management and staff should keep the following resolution guidelines in mind when handling guest complaints. The main steps in handling the guest complaints are Listen –> Empathise –> Apologise –> Take action –> Follow up.
- When expressing a complaint, the guest may be quite angry. Front office staff members should not make promises that exceed their authority.
- Honesty is the best policy when dealing with guest complaints. If a problem cannot be solved, front office staff should admit this to the guest early on.
- Front office staff should be advised that some guests complain as part of their nature. The staff should develop an approach for dealing with such guests.
Top Ten Ways of Handling Guest Complaints:
- Listen with concern and empathy.
- Isolate the guest if possible, so that other guests won’t overhear.
- Stay calm. Don’t argue with the guest.
- Be aware of the guest’s self-esteem. Show a personal interest in the problem, Try to use the guest name frequently.
- Give the guest your undivided attention. Concentrate on the problem, not on placing blame. Do NOT Insult the guest.
- Take notes. Writing down the key facts saves time if someone else must get involved. Also, Guest tends to slow down when they see the front desk agent trying to write down the issue.
- Tell the guest what can be the best done. Offer choices. Don’t promise the impossible, and don’t exceed your authority.
- Set an approximate time for the completion of corrective actions. Be specific, but do not underestimate the amount of time it will take to resolve the problem.
- Monitor the progress of the corrective action.
- Follow up. Even if the complaint was resolved by someone else, contact the guest to ensure that the problem was resolved satisfactorily.
Also, Read about Common Guest Complaints in the Hotels.
Finally, hotel staff should take the necessary steps to prevent similar complaints from occurring in the future. This can involve addressing any underlying issues or implementing new policies and procedures.