There are two types of guests — the guest who simply does not want to make a fuss and the guest who will not hesitate to make a fuss.
Guests who do not want to make a fuss usually feel if they complain, nothing would change. They are typically not comfortable voicing a complaint, and the worst thing about this situation is that they simply will not come back.
Guests who have no problem telling us where we fall short are very valuable. Their feedback should be used as a tool for prevention and improvement. Today (especially with the invention of social media) it is extremely important not only to resolve the issue, but also to work hard to prevent the issue from happening to other guests. Remember that our guests have the ability not only to tell us their issue; they also have the ability to tell the entire world with just the click of a mouse.
Being visible in our hotels and making contact with our guests is extremely important as it builds rapport and trust. When we gain the trust of our guests they typically feel more comfortable providing valuable feedback and helping us prevent issues that could arise in the future. The same goes for the team; encourage them to engage our guests in conversation and ask the right questions. Open-ended questions are the most helpful. “What did you like most about your stay?” or “How can we improve?” Make sure they ask these questions conversationally, as we do not want to put our guests on the spot. Most guests will be flattered if you ask for their opinions, and these questions will help the team member establish a rapport with the guest.
When they encounter guests who are not happy, remind your team members to use their HEART:
H – Hear the guest out.
E – Empathize with the guest.
A – Apologize to the guest.
R – Resolve the issue.
T – Thank the guest.
Remember, empathizing and thanking the guest goes a long way, and most of the time our guests just want someone to apologize. Train your team members, encourage them to use their HEART and welcome feedback and help them understand “complaints” are actually a good thing.