s a hotel manager, it’s a safe bet you will be faced with stressful situations concerning your guests from time to time. Effectively handling those situations is critical to keeping your guests coming back for future stays as well as receiving positive feedback. Here are a few tips to help you turn stressful situations into positive outcomes.
- Covid 19 Related Stress: Travelers want to be assured that their hotel stay will be as risk-free as possible. To keep guest stress at a minimum, make sure Covid 19 safety protocols are in place and well documented for your guests. In addition, make sure all staff are well informed and compliant in all protocols and are able to clearly communicate those protocols with guests to assure them they are in place and are being upheld.
- Covid 19 Related Service Interruptions: If you have changes or a discontinuation of services that your guests have come to expect, be prepared to deal with potentially angry guests. While the majority of your guests will be understanding, you may encounter occasional guests who do not take the service interruptions well. We’ll cover a few tips to handle guest complaints below. For now, it’s important to remember to do everything you can to inform your guests upfront about policy changes or temporary service suspensions. This means outlining these changes clearly on the bookings page of your website and any related confirmation emails. In some cases, Covid 19 service interruptions may warrant prominent signage in the lobby and common areas. By informing your guests beforehand, you will minimize the fallout that comes from disappointed visitors that may have been caught off-guard.
- Anticipate Needs: One of the best ways to thwart stressful situations for your guests before they even begin is to anticipate potential needs. Be observant as your guests are approaching at check in. What do you see? Do you see a family with small children that are beginning to get fidgety? Is someone with a disability struggling with their luggage? It pays to observe and anticipate so that your staff can proactively offer assistance and hospitality.
- Handling Complaints: Here are a few essential principles for handling complaints once they are presented.
o Listen: It sounds simple, but this is critical. It’s amazing how quickly an upset guest will calm down when they know you are genuinely listening to them.
o Go to a quiet place: Find a quiet place away from other guests to discuss the issue.
o Keep your cool: Your calmness and positive attitude will go a long way in keeping your guest calm.
o Take notes and identify a satisfactory solution: Make sure you know exactly what your guest’s concern is and ask them to describe what they believe would be a satisfactory solution. You may not be able to perfectly meet their needs, but you can’t solve a problem without knowing what outcome your guest is expecting.
o Follow up: Once a solution is identified, make sure that it is carried out and that you follow up with your guest to confirm that it has been addressed to their satisfaction.
We hope you will find these tips helpful when addressing stressful situations with your guests. While not every guest concern can be resolved to their complete satisfaction, following the suggestions above will help to ensure that you have done everything possible to work through their concerns in a positive and empathetic manner.