Handling guest complaints in hospitality industry is such an art which needs to be adopted by all hoteliers. There are some basic principles you need to know and use while handling any complaints raised by guests. These are some basic rules for the successful handling of complaints. If you ignore or forget any of these, a simple complaint can turn into a major issue. So, never dare to ignore. These are all basic but most powerful must follow principles of handling complaints.
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This is not the first time in this blog we write about effective guest complaint handling techniques. In fact we have published 5 excellent guest complaint handling training tutorial on this topic. Here are those:
We have prepared an exclusive training video on this topic. Click here to watch: 10 thins you must know about Handling Guest Complaint
In this unit we will learn some major principles of guest handling. Let’s know what those are.
- Mind Set up
- Using Polite Language
- Proper Listening
- Remaining Calm
- Showing Sympathy
- Never blame others
- No accuse
- Not try to make your guest Wrong
- Be honest
1: Mind set up:
Setting up your mind is important. Keep good faith to help customer. It has been said that “Customer is the boss” or “Customer is always right”. So, never take any complaint personally. Try to be professional and handle each complaint with professionally. Generally people don’t complaint. If anyone complaint then try to understand his or her feelings. A complaint indicates that there must be loopholes in your service and this is the chance to solve your problem. Even world’s greatest hotel can never fulfill all the gusts. Do you know why? It is because every guest has different thinking, different expectation, different reasons to come in your hotel or restaurant. You are providing general standard service and facilities which will be suitable for most of your guests but not necessarily “EVERYONE” and for this reason you should always be ready to provide demanded service and facilities to each and every guest.
2: Using polite Language:
Use of language is the most important aspect of handling any verbal or written complaint. While you are handling any written complaint then you need to be sure enough about what you are writing, careful about each word and make sure any of the word does not give wrong meaning. When you are answering written then it is a document so proper structure should be followed. On the other hand, handling verbal complaint demands skills and tricks. Your experience and pressure handling power will be tested. Talk in polite language with proper volume, speed and tone. Proper expressions should be made. Be professional and try to explain your point of view about the problem.
3: Proper Listening:
Proper listening is necessary for two reasons. First of all, if you don’t listen complaints properly then you cannot explain properly. So, to give logical replies on guest complaints listen fully. Another big reason is that if you start replying on each point guest makes while complaints then there will not be any solution. Guest will become more aggressive. Let your guest express his feelings first then take your time, make your points and after finishing his part, start explaining.
4: Remaining Calm:
You may often find it difficult to remain calm to handle complaints but you have to be that. Just think in a logical way. Why guest become frustrated? Is it because of you? No. He is mad at the situation not at you. There is no personal clash. He is paying for having good services and as he is not satisfied so he has the logical point to complaint. It is your duty to react professionally. But yes, if guest becomes so aggressive that security measures need to be taken then don’t hesitate.
5: Showing Sympathy:
Start with sympathetic words and expressions is the most advisable way to handle any complaints. If you show sympathy then you will get a psychological advantage. Guest will start feeling that you understand his feelings and you are very careful about him. Some catchy words and phrases can easily turn the hot & aggressive situation into cool and friendly atmosphere.
Often some hoteliers come to a solution that why should I apology to guest whereas I have no fault? Don’t think in that way. Whoever does the mistake, apology first. This does not mean that you agree on the complaint makes by the guest. It means that you feel sorry only for the reason that guest is not satisfied with your service. After apology you can easily defend yourself. In fact you should but at the beginning, seek apology.
7: Never Blame Others:
Never blame others or other department. All are your colleagues who are working as your team member and blaming each other will violet your team goal. In spite of blaming others take responsibility on your shoulder if possible to handle the complaint or call the proper person to deal with the situation but do not finish your job by just blaming others.
8: No Excuse:
Never excuse. No guest will love to pay to listen at your excuses. There are some common excuses like “today we are short of staffs”, “we are very busy” etc. Each of the guests wants full attention to him. So for any reasons, even if it is logical, you should not try to get sympathy for that. Excusing is not the proper approach rather try to explain. If you are short of staffs explain it and show possible ways to solve it. From when you are selling your service from then it is your responsibility to be prepared for everything.
It is told that guest is always right. Yes it is indeed. Even if your guest is wrong then do not directly make him wrong. Logically explain why you cannot fulfill his demand. This will represent that you are really caring about your guest as a person and this will make your guest comfortable and be friendly to you.
10: Be Honest:
Be honest within yourself. Never give any promise which you cannot maintain. Also, do take follow up steps. Whenever a guest comes to you with any complaint then responsibility puts on your shoulder. Even you are not engaged with the complaint but you have to take regular follow up to finish the circle. Here circle means from where the complaint has been started, finishes at that point.