DEALING WITH GUEST COMPLAINTS by Takeme

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									DEALING WITH GUEST
COMPLAINTS
   Guest complaints can be classified into 4 kinds :
    complaint about equipment , complaint about
    service attitude , complaint about hotel service
    quality , and complaint about unexpected events .
   The epuipment can include air-conditioner ,
    illumination , water supply , power supply ,
    furniture , elevator and so on . Dealing with these
    complaints , the best way for the receptionists in the
    front office is first to investigate on the spot , then to
    take measures according to the concrete situation .
    After that , the receptionist should telephone the
    guest to make sure if the guest is satisfied .
   The complaints about service attitude generally
    focus on the following : rude language , irresponsible
    reply , icy manner , indifferent manner , or over-
    enthusiasm and so on . Because the service and
    guests are the groups with respective characters ,
    the complaints happen very easily . Such cases
    include that attendant dose not follow the principle
    of “ first come , first served” in serving the guest ,
    distributes the wrong room , not delivering the mails
    to guests in time , not carrying the luggage for
    guests , and not giving morning call on time , etc . All
    these will lead to guest complaints about the hotel
    service quality , particularly during the busy time .
    So the best way to reduce complaints is to reinforce
    the training on service clerks . It’s necessary to train
    them in establishing a correct attitude to the guest ,
    enriching their knowledge and improving their
    skills in guest relations .
   Such cases as the hotel cannot help guest buy air
    ticket or train ticket, the flight is not on time
    because of the weather, or the rooms is sold out, all
    belong to unexpected events, about which guests
    may complain. It’s difficult for the hotel to handle
    such complaints, but guests hope that the hotel can
    help them to solve the problems. The receptionists
    should try their best to help solve the problems. If
    they cannot, they should explain it clearly to the
    guests. Most guests can understand completely, as
    long as the servers are showing good sense.
   Therefore, the methods on handling those
    complaints should be like this: the runners of the
    hotels should do research on the customers’ basic
    demands, and find out the aspects that are likely to
    lead to guest complaints. Only by analyzing the
    common problems carefully, and taking measures in
    advance, can the hotel ensure high quality service
    and reduce guests complains.
   The three basic rules, which the receptionists of
    front office should obey which coping with guest
    complaints, are:
   Help guests to solve problems sincerely.
   Do not dispute with guests.
   Do not damage the hotel’s interest.
   See the following example:
   G: Excuse me, I… I have…
     Excuse me, I… I… have…
     Excuse me…
   A: What! (Interrupted in a sudden)
   G: Excuse me, I have a complaint, I’ve been standing
    here for 5 minutes, trying to get someone to talk to
    me about my bill. I can’t get anyone to even listen.
    What kind of hotel you’re running here, anyway?
    That! You ruin my day. I don’t have to put up with
    this. I demand some satisfaction and If I don’t get it,
    I’m never gonna stay in this hotel again and I’m
    gonna tell all friends what a rotten operation you’re
    got going here. All right, which one of you is next?
   Whether it’s a small country inn or a large high-rise hotel ,
    lodging properties across the country take pride in
    basically the same thing ----giving quality service to each
    and every guest . However, no matter how an operation is
    run , at home point , a guest will relate some
    disappointment or will have a problem with someone or
    something . When this happens at the front desk, one of
    the most critical parts of your job comes into play ---
    handling guest complaints . Most people don’t enjoy
    making complaints . Being on the receiving end is no fun
    either . But handling complaints correctly produces a
    smoother , more efficient operation for the entire property
    . It’s an important part of your hotel’s marketing efforts ,
    because it affents repeat business and positive word of
    mouth advertising . It contributes significantly to the
    satisfaction of your guests , and it is a good way to make
    your job a lot easier and more satisfying
   This part on the front office will show you ways to
    deal successfully with many types of complaints. We
    will demonstrate techniques, which will help you
    resolve the vast majority of complaints, both to your
    guest’s and to your hotel’s satisfaction. We’ll explore
    the unusual situation where the guest’s reason for
    complaining is not readily apparent. Finally we’ll
    show you how being calm and rational yourself can
    diffuse a potentially serious situation involving
    emirate guest.
   Hospitality involves serving a constantly changing,
    always diverse group of people with varying needs
    and expectations. While a property must do its very
    best to fulfill the needs and expectations of every
    guest, it’s not possible to please everyone all of the
    time. So even though your primary to handle the
    guest who is displeased. You find the reasons for
    complaints are as varied as the guests themselves.
   A room is ready for a guest who wants to check in.
    Air-conditioners, showers or televisions don’t work,
    or duty room service trays are left in the hallways.
    Guests might complain about waiting in line, broken
    vending machines, or even the weather. As you can
    see, problems that provoke complaints are often
    beyond the control of the front office. Nevertheless,
    the front office is normally where the guest will go
    to complain, either in person or over the telephone.
   “Front office people are really seen as an extension
    of management, and for most people are really their
    only exposure to the hotel and hotel management.
    They’ve dealt with front office. They have
    relationship there. They’ve been helped in the past
    when they checked in. They’ve confident that office,
    the front office, can help them, so they return to the
    front office if they have problems.”
   As we said earlier, it’s no gun receiving complaints,
    and it may be natural to react negatively to them.
    Negative reaction can include: taking down to the
    guest , being defensive , blaming another employee
    or department , blaming the guest and arguing back
    .
   A: Front desk.
   G: I am in room 105 and the heat doesn’t seem to be
    working.
   A: Oh, don’t worry about it, dear. Someone will take
    care of it. There is no need to be alarmed. Have a
    pleasant day.
   Don’t talk down to the guest. It’s totally
    inappropriate in an industry which prides itself on
    hospitality. Some guest finds it difficult to
    complaint. You shouldn’t do anything to make them
    wish they hadn’t done so.
   Situation 1
   A: Yes.
   G: Yeah, my room isn’t cleaned yet today.
   A: Well, I wasn’t supposed to clean it.
   Situation 2
      A: Yes.
      G: Someone left this luggage in my room.
      A: Oh, it’s not my luggage.
      G: What?
   Situation 3
      A: Yes.
      G: There is no hot water in my room.
      A: But I don’t use it at all. It’s not my fault.
     Don’t take complaints personally. After all, the guest is
    doing the hotel a service by pointing out the problem. It’s
    one way a property can get the feedback it needs to be
    even better. So don’t take it as a personal attack on you.
      G: Excuse me, I am in room 102. it’s 5:30. No one comes
    to clean my room.
       A: What! Just a second. Yeah, housekeeping? Hey, I got
    a guest in room 102, her room hasn’t been make up yet.
    What’s matter with your guys? Yeah, we’ll get out of it, do
    it now!
      G: It’s great.
      Don’t blame another employee or department. Notifying
    the department which can solve the problem is an
    important part in handing a guest complaint. However
    blaming that department, especially in front of the guest,
    is counter-productive and can create a poor image for the
    hotel.
   A: Good morning, checking out today.
    G: Yes. And I want to let you know about a couple of
    problems in my room. The shower had dripped last night.
    It kept me awake for a quite while.
   A: Oh, well, you should’ve said something earlier.
   G: That’s just part of it. When I wanted to take shower this
    morning, there was hardly any water pressure.
   A: Well, no one else complains about it.
   G: Well, I just want to bring these to your attention.
   A: You know, I’ve worked here for two years. No one ever
    had problems with the water pressure.
    Don’t blame the guest and don’t argue back. When you’re
    confronted with complaint, it matters very little whether
    the guest is right or wrong. After all, the guest is always
    the guest. The most important consideration is that your
    guest has a problem and that problem, if all possible,
    should be corrected to the guest’s satisfaction.
   “A guest’s complaining about problems, you have the
    advantage. First of all, solving problems, so this
    doesn’t happen to another guest, and zlso you have
    an opportunity to turn that guest into satisfied
    customers before they they leave the the hotel.”
    To deal effectively with complaints, you need to be
    part psychologist, part troubleshooter and good
    listener. Remember you’re not only handling a
    problem but more importantly a person. So look at
    from the guest’s perspective, think how you would
    feel and how you would want to be treated, if you
    had problem in an unfamiliar place far from home.
   Here’re some basic techniques you can use for
    handling complaints in the positive manner. Listen
    with concern and give guest your undivided
    attention, stay clam, apologize for the guest’s
    problem and empathize, ask questions and be
    prepared to take notes when necessary, offer
    solutions, act on the problem and monitor progress
    and follow up.
   A: Hello. May I help you?
   G: Yes, I have called twice about this and now I’m
    coming to talk about it in person. I checked in a
    couple of hours ago and the air-conditioning won’t
    come on. I don’t like to make a fuss, but it’s the
    hottest night of the year over there.
   A: Very sorry. Let me see what I can do about it.
    What’s your room number?
   G: 209.
   A: Miss Tailor?
   G: That’s right.
   A: I’m really sorry about the inconvenience, Miss Tailor. I
    know how frustrated you can get when the air-
    conditioning doesn’t work, especially on the night like
    tonight. A maintenance person is on a call right now. So
    we can do one of the two things. Maintenance can be in
    your room in the next 20 minutes. Or if you like, you can
    have another room right now, just down the hall.
   G: Oh, I really don’t want to more right now. But if it’s in
    20 minutes like you say, that will be all right.
   A: Oh. I’ll give maintenance another call and we’ll have
    taken care of it. Again I apologize for the problem.
   G: That’s fine. Thanks for the help.
   A: You are welcome. Maintenance?
   Notice how our front office professional use the
    techniques for handling the complaints that we list a
    moment ago. She listened with the concern, giving the
    guest an undivided attention and remained calm
    throughout. She maintained eye contact, refused to be
    interrupted and treated the guest with respect.
   A: I am very sorry for the inconvenience, Miss Tailor.
   She apologized to the guest for the problem. The
    situation we’ve shown here clearly calls for an
    apology, but even in that incident where you
    disagree with guests, you can still tell them that
    you’re sorry they feel bad and that may go a long
    way towards making them feel better.
   A: I know how frustrated you can get when the air-
    conditioning dosen’t work, especially on the night
    like tonight.
         Being sorry, let the guest know you feel,
    showing empathy, tells the guest you know how she
    feels. When the guest has a problem and wants it
    corrected quickly, finding someone who
    understands is important.
   A: What’s your room number?
   G: 209
   A: Miss Tailor?
   G: That’s right.
   Ask questions and be prepared to take notes, in case
    the problem is a complicated one.
   A: Maintenance can be in your room in the next 20
    minutes. Or if you like, you can have another room
    right now, just down the hall.
   Offer solutions, tell the guest what you can do and if
    possible, offer several options. Don’t make promise
    you can’t fulfill or which exceeds your authority. But
    if it’s possible, involve the guest in the satisfied with
    the solution. Then act on the problem. Follow your
    property’s procedures and do exactly what you told
    the guest you would do. Here is one more little thing
    you can do to make the guest feel better. Monitor the
    progress being made toward solving the problem
    and make sure it’s taken care of.
   Situation 1
   M: Hi, this is Randian, maintenance. I’ve thought you
    want to know the air-conditioning was on in 209.
    Everything’s all set.
   A: Great. Really thank you.
   A: You’re welcome.
   Situation 2
   G: Hello.
   A: Yes, the air-conditioning was working just five
    now.
   G: Oh, thank you for checking up on it. I appreciate
    it.
   A: You’re welcome, Miss Tailor, have a pleasant
    evening.
   G: Good night.
   A: Good night.
   Once the problem has been corrected, follow up. If
    you feel sure you won’t be disturbing the guest,
    check back to make sure everything is ok. You
    guests will appreciate this extra care and attention,
    and because of your efforts, they will probably forget
    any negative feelings they bad earlier.
   All concern expressed by your guest are important
    and almost all complaints are concerned with real
    problems, problems you should know about, so they
    can be corrected, Most of the time, you will be able
    to idengtify the problems and quickly act on it. But
    on rare occasions, the guest’s reason for complaining
    is not readily apparent. It may have nothing to do
    with the hotel or it may involve the sensitive issue of
    money. In these situations, cutting through to the
    heart of the matter can help you pinpoint the
    problem and respond accordingly.
   Hotels and motels are part of the travel and tourism
    industry. Travel sometimes means a long tiring day
    for your guests and can often lead to frustration.
    Irritated guests tend to overreact to small
    disturbances and may even erupt when no hotel
    problems exists. When this happens, guests may take
    out the frustration on the first person who will
    listen.
   G: I had a rotten day and now I am going to unload it
    all on you.
   If you think the guest is taking out a bit frustration
    on you, do some of the things we’ve talked about
    earlier, show understanding and some empathy.
   Front office people made good targets for guests
    who are frustrated by problems either inside or
    outside the hotel. With a frustrated guest, be
    empathetic, reassure that their worries are over and
    most important, and show them that you care.
   A: Mr. Douglass, your reservation signed and if you
    fill out the registered card, you’ll be all set.
    C: I want you to know that we are important clients
    of this hotel and I have spent six months planning
    this convention and I don’t want any kinds of
    problems. I just want to stand for it.
   Sometimes no matter what you do, how smoothly
    thing is going, someone will give you a hard time.
    They may be trying to make impression either on
    you or someone else.
   G: I’m in a perfect situation here, to show my boss
    just how aggressive I can be.
   When the guest complains to make impression, if
    possible, go ahead and help them feel important.
   A: I understand, Mr. Douglass. Everything would be
    just as you specified. Please let me know if there
    anything more we can do to help your meetings go
    smoothly.
   G: That would be fine. Thank you.
   By helping guests, you make feel good about
    themselves and the hotel and they should walk away
    satisfied.
   Although the guest may try to focus on a particular
    problem, the real issue here is compensation.
    Indeed, the problem may not be so important to the
    guest if he or she can get a refund or reduced rate.
   This brings us to one more point in handling
    complaints, when to involve your supervisor.
    Occasionally, you may feel you’ve done everything
    you can to resolve a complaint, or you may find
    yourself in a situation that calls for more authority,
    such as compensation. If you think you should
    involve your supervisor, move the guest away from
    other front office activity. Excuse yourself to explain
    the situation to your supervisor. Return and
    introduce the guest, once again briefly explain the
    situation and your supervisor can take over.
   The techniques for handling guest complaints that
    we presented coupled with your own property’s
    procedures, should be enough to handle most
    dissatisfied guest you’ll encounter at the front office.
    But occasionally, you’ll be confronted with more
    serious situation, one involving the irate guests.
   “In order for you to deal with an irate guest, first
    thing you have to do is being in a calm rational state
    yourself and work towards getting the guest in a
    similar calm rational state. And only when you have
    two calm rational people together, can you get the
    complaint resolved in a positive way.”
   Most irate guests who exhibit the anger are looking
    to venture displeasure and dominate the encounter.
    There are basically three ways the employee could
    react to an irate guest: responding submissively,
    becoming angered in return and diffusing the
    situation by staying calm and rational. Therefore,
    we will focus on the way an angry guest response to
    a front office employee who reacts each of these
    three ways.
   A: Yes, Sir. May I help you?
   G: My name is Davis. Room202. I’m supposed to
    check in the room202.
   A: I’m sorry, sir. Housekeeping hasn’t made up your
    room yet. It should be ready in just… (Interrupted)
   G: What in the world is the matter with your people?
    I have been told three times that would just be a few
    minutes more. Look, I’m sick and tired of waiting.
   A: I apologize, sir. I really am very sorry.
   G: Look, I’ve got dinner engaged in an hour and I
    want to check in my room right now.
   A: Well, I really am very sorry, sir. I just don’t know
    what to say.
   G: Say all you can do is to apologize. Look, forget. I
    want bellman to bring me my luggage. I’m going to
    go to another hotel.
   A: Oh, I’m really sorry to hear that, sir.
   In this scene, the guest is able to dominate the
    encounter and lashes out the submissive front office
    employee. The more the guest lashes out, the more
    the employee keeps taking it. Most importantly,
    nothing is solved and the guest ends up totally
    frustrated and walks out, never to return again. But
    what if the employee becomes angered in return?
   A: Yes, sir. May I help you?
   G: My name is Davis. Room202. I’m supposed to
    check in room202.
   A: I’m sorry, sir. Housekeeping hasn’t made up your
    room yet. But it should be ready in just …
    (Interrupted)
   G: What in the world is the matter with your people?
    I have been told three times that it would just be a
    few minutes more. Look, I’m sick and tired of it.
   A: Well, I don’t know anything about that. I just come
    on duty.
   G: Well, you’d better find out and I’m tired of waiting
    and I won’t wait any more.
   A: Hey, don’t yell at me. I’m not responsible for
    cleaning your room.
   G: What! You can’t talk to me like that.
   A: Well, you can’t talk to me that way either.
   G: This is an outrage. I want to speak with your
    manager.
   A: You want to talk with my manager. I’ll forget it.
   G: Forget it? I want the bellman to bring my luggage.
    I’m going go another hotel.
   Responding with anger to an irate guest is like
    fighting fire with fire. Both the front office employee
    and the guest will try to dominate and the winner is
    whoever can yell the loudest. But there is no real
    winner here. The guest just had a very negative
    experience, so is our front office person, and the
    hotel has lost the guest. With an irate guest, you
    should remain calm and rational, which will
    encourage guest to do likewise. Asking clear and
    simple questions will compel the guest to respond in
    a rational way and will diffuse a potentially serious
    situation.
   A: Yes, sir. May I help you?
   G: My name is Davis. Room202. Suppose to check in
    room202.
   A: I’m sorry, sir. Housekeeping hasn’t made up your
    room yet. It should be ready in just … (Interrupted)
   G: What in the world is the matter with your people?
    I have been told three times that would just be a few
    more minutes. I’m sick and tired of it.
   A: I’m very sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Davis.
    What time did you arrive?
   G: Ah, half past 3.
   A: And how long were you told it would be?
   G: Well, he said something about the delay. But I
    didn’t think it would be this long.
   A: Occasionally, we do running into delay like this
    check-in. But I know how frustrated it can be to
    wait.
   G: Oh, that’s fine. But when can I get my room?
   A: Well, we can do a couple of different things. I’ll
    call housekeeping and we can get you into room
    within the next 20 minutes. Oh, if you like, I can put
    you in our governor’s room on the third floor right
    now. It’s the deluxe room, but we won’t charge any
    more than we would for room202.
   G: Sounds nice. But the rest of my group is on the
    second floor. If you’re sure it’s only 20 minutes, I’d
    rather be near them.
   A: I’ll see to it personally, sir. Again I’m sorry about
    the delay, but I appreciate your patience.
   G: It’s ok. I’ll be in the lounge.
   A: Very good, we’ll come to get you just as soon as it’s
    ready.
   G: All right. Thank you.
   A: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
   “Once you calm them down and they’re answering
    your questions rationally, that’s when you can get
    something productively done in terms of getting
    their complaints resolved in a positive way for the
    guest and a positive way for the hotel.”
   In addition to remaining rational, notice how our
    front office professional used the positive techniques
    we talk about earlier. She remained calm and
    listened carefully to the guest. She apologizes and
    shows empathy. And she offers the solutions,
    thereby involving the guest in the decision. Now she
    is acting on the problems and a little later on she
    will monitor the progress and follow up. Consider
    using the same techniques when you work at the
    front desk.
   In addition, be careful not to take the complaints
    personally, talk down to the guest, argue back or blame
    the guest or another department for the problem. Ask
    questions and in more complicated situations, be prepared
    to take notes. If necessary, move the guest away from
    other guests and employees of the front desk and call in
    your supervisor. Be aware that occasionally the guest’s
    reason for complaining may not be readily apparent. In
    these situations you’ll need to cut through to the heart of
    the matter and quickly resolve the problem. And when
    dealing with an irate guest, stay calm and rational to help
    defuse the situation and correct the problem to the guest’s
    satisfaction.
   As we’ve said before, no matter how well your property is
    run, at some point a guest is going to complain about
    someone or something. Effectively handling the
    complaints will help the front office run much smoother
    and make your job more satisfied. Handling guest
    complaints is a challenge, but it’s important to your
    success as a front office professional and it’s critical to an
    efficient quality lodging operation.
2.5 SKILLS FOR ROOM SELLING
   In this presentation on the front office we will show
    you the importance of effective selling to your guest,
    to your property and to you. You will learn the
    importance of knowing the product and the guest, so
    that you can best match your guest’s needs with
    your finer accommodations. We’ll explore some
    assumptions that may hinder your ability to be an
    effective member of your sales team. And we’ll show
    you techniques to control encounters and ask for the
    sale. Finally, we’ll demonstrate three methods for
    up-selling rooms and explain how you can promote
    all the facilities of your property through suggestive
    selling.
   The main function of front office is to sell rooms
    because the guest rooms are the biggest products in
    hotel, which is the important source of revenue.
   According to the arrangement, the guest rooms can be
    divided into the following types: single room, double
    room, twin room, triple room, suite (junior suite,
    duplex suite, deluxe suite, and presidential suit).
    According to the location, the rooms can be classified
    into the following kinds: inside room, outside room,
    corner room, adjoining room and connecting room.
   The task of selling rooms includes: accept the
    reservation, receive guests without reservation, make
    check-in procedure, arrange the guest room and
    confirm room rate. The business income from guest
    rooms depends on the price and the numbers of the
    rooms on sale. It’s one of the most important criteria to
    evaluate the management ability and operation
    situation in front office, as well as the achievements of
    a receptionist. So the selling techniques are the
    fundamental skills for a successful receptionist to
    grasp. We can sell guest rooms by the following 5 steps:
    grasp charac-teristics, introduce rooms, negotiate
    price, show guest room, make a deal.
   In order to make guests live more happily and
    comfortably,

								
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