Hotel Basic Rules While Handling Guest Complaints
There are reasons behind a guest complaint that we will never know. Things can build up in a guest, and by the time he reaches us, perhaps something happens that is the “last straw.” There are those cases when you deal with a guest who naturally is a complaining person.
It is our job to make things pleasant and comfortable for guests so that we don’t give reasons for anyone to complain. When complaints occur, remember that a series of unfortunate experiences may have triggered a guest’s anger, so try to be understanding and patient.
Here are a few tips on handling guest complaints:
- Never argue with a guest; assume he is right and work from there. A guest is always right even if he is wrong – as long as he perceives a problem to exist.
- The guest always feels there is a legitimate reason to complain; listen to the reason without interrupting.
- Be understanding – put yourself in the guest’s shoes.
- Don’t raise your voice to be heard.
- Make every effort to determine the cause of the complaint and remain impartial until the situation is clear in your mind.
- Let the guest know that you are concerned and interested.
- If the guest is right, say so. then make a sincere effort to correct the situation.
- If we are not at fault, explain our policy to the guest and the reason for it. Try to avoid the word “policy” whenever possible. This should be the last resort.
- Be flexible – standing rigid for the sake of it will create anger. (Don’t simply quote policy.)
- If applicable, try to take the guest to an area out of sight and earshot of other guests. Privacy may settle things down.
- Guests almost always want to voice complaints to a “higher-up.” They will ask to see the person in charge and sometimes even the company President. If there is much anger, ALWAYS, call your supervisor and don’t try to handle it further.
- Rude or abusive language on our part will not be tolerated by the company – on the other hand – you don’t have to listen to it either. Politely excuse yourself and call your supervisor.
- Never admit fault on behalf of the hotel for any accident, concerning either a person or belongings. Do show concern and gather information.
- Always be calm under adverse conditions.
- When in doubt about a request via telephone, refer to manuals or assign someone who may know. Offer to call a guest back with the requested information, if it is taking too long.
- If you see a “suspect” person or situation, discreetly call security and carefully describe the details to them.
- Don’t gawk at personalities – you will see a lot of them. Always be courteous and help protect their privacy. BE PROFESSIONAL.
- No matter where you are in the hotel, project a friendly attitude on the escalators, in the lobby, associate cafeteria, and elevators. Let this attitude become a habit.
- Make sure you have specific information regarding a service – quality, hours, location, prices, etc.
- If you see anything wrong with the hotel in a common area (hallways, stairways, elevators, etc.), contact the appropriate department (Housekeeping, Engineering, Front Office, Security, or the Executive Offices).