When running a lodging business, receiving and handling guest complaints is commonplace. Complaints from guests can sometimes occur because their expected expectations do not match reality.
Receiving guest complaints is indeed a frightening event for the owners and staff. This will greatly impact the reputation of your lodging business. If guests are dissatisfied with the services or facilities provided, there is a possibility that they will also give your property a bad rating.
But you don’t need to worry, guest complaints can also be your strength in maintaining the reputation of your lodging business. With proper handling and not hurting guests’ feelings, it is guaranteed that your lodging business will still exist and bring in guests. No need to worry though, we have summarized the right ways that you can use to handle your guest’s complaints during their stay.
1. Stay calm and practice active listening
The first thing you should do when handling guest complaints is to stay calm and listen to your guests completely.
Although sometimes guests will come to you with emotions, you should stay calm. Do not enter the conversation with arrogance or make assumptions about the cause of problems when handling guest complaints. Guests come to you because they want to be listened to, so listen closely so that the problem can be identified and resolved well.
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2. Identify the guest's character
Various types of guests have different characters based on their professions and personality. Whether it’s guests who make complaints related to serious things to small things. Or a guest complains so persistently that he refuses to pay the full rent.
When handling guest complaints, you have to think about the character of the guests you are dealing with and choose the right problem-solving strategy for each case.
3. Show empathy
When hearing complaints from guests, these guests will express their disappointment. In handling guest complaints, you can use a strategy to show empathy for guests.
If you know your guests come from afar and have been traveling for hours, show your empathy with your words. After that, you also need to follow up with action.
The following example gives a sense of empathy and follow-up action in English:
“You must be feeling tired sir/ma’am. I understand how you feel right now. We will try our best to find you the best solution. In the meantime, may I get you a cup of coffee or tea? “
By giving empathy and remedy when handling guests’ complaints, guests will feel we have shown empathy and concern for what they feel. Previously, we genuinely demonstrated empathy to guests in various ways, often by providing compensation. This is frequently observed through actions such as offering a free shuttle service to and from the airport or offering a small gift.
4. Show your apology
After you’ve expressed how you understand the problem and are working on the best solution, offer a sincere apology as well. When handling guest complaints, it is best not to blame anyone for the problem. Furthermore, an evaluation should be carried out after the problem has been resolved.
Stay calm and keep the situation conducive. Use polite language, tone, and body language when apologizing for your guest’s complaints.
5. Find the root of the problem and provide the best solution
Sometimes, guests will make complaints that are not a big deal. When dealing with guest complaints, listen to them and find out more about why the problem bothers them so much. To find out more, you can ask guests a few questions, such as “Why is this problem bothering you so much?” or “Can you explain more?”. This way, you will find it more efficient to find the best solution for your guests.
6. Follow-up and make sure the problem is solved
After finding the right solution for your guests, both for improving facilities, services, and other needs. Make sure to follow up to see if the problem has been resolved. You can do a follow-up a few minutes after the issue is conveyed to the person in charge.
Turning Guest Complaints Into Positive Reviews
Guest complaints at your property can be a positive force in your property review column. This is because when handling guest complaints, it can be an opportunity for you to turn things around, or even build strong relationships with new loyal guests. This phenomenon is called the “Service Recovery Paradox”
The service recovery paradox is an idea that refers to the way a customer reacts after a perceived problem is fixed extraordinarily or satisfactorily. In this situation, customers will feel more satisfied with the business if a problem can be solved with its service than without a problem at all.
Guests who experience this paradoxical situation will feel more satisfied after an unpleasant but satisfyingly resolved experience than before.
Building a service recovery paradox certainly requires sufficient ability and good service to win the hearts of your guests as loyal customers. But you don’t need to worry, Bukit Vista always helps partners to provide air support for guest relations and build satisfactory reviews for partner properties.
With the Bukit Vista team, your work in serving guests, checking on guests regularly, and meeting the needs of other guests will be much easier and more satisfying. Learn more about our villa management services and become a Bukit Vista partner now.