When you are working in a hotel in any position, it is important to know how to deal with hotel guest complaints. Complaints from a hotel guest can be dealt with and rectified but only if the hotel employee is prepared to react in a professional manner. Often a hotel guest will be agitated and loudly lodge their complaint in front of other guests. The most important thing in the beginning is to bring the guest into a private area away from the public area. Let the guest explain the problem without interrupting or commenting. Remember to remain calm and concerned and to establish a feeling that you are in control and can alleviate the problem. Here are some tips for dealing with hotel guest complaints.
- Give the guest your complete attention. If possible, sit down with your guest and make sure to give your undivided attention to what they are telling you.
- Ask your guest in what way you can rectify the problem, unless of course there is an obvious solution such repairing a room defect. Take notes and confirm the actions you will take when the conversation is complete.
- Never argue with a guest when they are giving you their complaint, keep a pleasant expression on your face and nod in agreement. The guest is upset and the worst thing you can do is to minimize their feelings by disagreeing.
- Determine the exact problem by asking pertinent questions in a polite and quiet manner. Again, taking notes and repeating the guests answers will indicate that you are taking this seriously with the intention of rectifying the problem.
- Indicate to the guest that you would feel the same if this had happened to you. If possible, relate an incident that happened to you that was similar and turned out well after some intervention.
- Deal with the hotel guest complaint immediately while they are with you. Find a solution and let them know of your concern for their satisfaction. Pick up the phone and make the call to the department that can solve the problem or let the guest know that you will be dealing with this yourself immediately.
- Make sure to check back with the guest after dealing with their complaint to make sure they are satisfied. This will leave a positive feeling for your guest about the management at your establishment. This will also spell "return guest" which is good for business.
According to the Cornell School of Hotel Hospitality the preferred method of a guest conveying a complaint is to speak directly to first, a manager of the hotel and second to an employee of the hotel. Writing a letter or using a comment card are the least preferred methods. Training should be given to all hotel employees on the proper way to deal with a hotel guest with a complaint. Caring and concerned employees can calm an irate guest just by being a good listener. Acting on the complaint can turn a complaining guest into someone who sing the hotels praises to their friends.