All guests want to be served well. The main goal of any hotel or restaurant employee is to serve their guests well. The people that come through your doors are the only reason businesses succeed. We focus on giving them what they request, explaining any nuances, and thanking them for the patronage.
This is especially true when it comes to fielding complaints or grievances. Most organizations welcome this sort of feedback because it allows for improvement. We train our employees how to handle customers, engage management, and placate people’s negative emotions. We are quick to address the problem and begin offering solutions: complementary meals, drinks, or even discounts. All this to calm them down and clam them up.
Is some scenarios this can be quite effective in staving off further complaints, however, many times this will not be enough to reinstate the guests faith in our organization. To do this, we must look beyond serving and placating our clientele. Often, when the majority of people have a problem, they desire to have someone listen and acknowledge their problem more than receiving some sort of reparation.
Yes, we have all come in contact with those people that always look for something wrong, just to get a discount. They demand free this and free that. They threaten bad reviews and tell you they will never return. While common convention says to appease these types, ask yourself, “Do we really want people like this in our establishment?” These are the minority of the guests that complain, yet they have set the tone for how we handle issues. don’t let these people hijack your interaction procedures with guests!
The second group of people that bring complaints forward are the ones that are actually disappointed. These are usually the levelheaded types that do want the situation rectified, but don’t expect huge compensations. THESE are the types of people that you WANT patronizing your establishment. More often than not, these people want to bring things to your attention. They want to be HEARD, not just placated. Many of these people just want to know you have heard their problem.
When setting expectations for the handling of complaints, make sure that you focus on listening to the guest.
It is not enough for our guests to be served, they must be HEARD as well.
Stay passionate, stay enthusiastic! Serve well.