10 Ways to Cope with Rude or Angry Hotel Guests
Dealing with a rude or angry hotel guests is one of the hardest things employees face in the hospitality industry. You don’t want the situation to escalate to a bad review online which may negatively affect future business when others read your reviews.
If someone is upset enough to bring their complaint to you, it gives you an opportunity to make it right. So, it’s important you deal with the issue quickly for a positive outcome.
Here are 10 tips to help you find a solution in a way that diffuses the situation:
- First of all, there’s no point in arguing. The customer is angry or upset and is emotional at the moment. Trying to take a rational approach is unlikely to work. The thing to do in this moment is to let the guest vent and wait for him/her to calm down a bit.
- You, of course, have to remain calm throughout the entire interaction. Your job is to help the customer and ensure he has a good experience at your hotel. Express sympathy and empathize with him regarding the problem. Remain polite and keep your cool.
- Remember, it’s not personal. It may feel like the guest is attacking you, but learning not to take it personally is essential in a service business. Practice detachment and view the problem as an interested observer who is committed to finding a solution.
- If things become truly heated or even physical, it’s time to call in a manager or security. No matter what has happened, you do not have to subject yourself to any harm or abuse.
- Sympathize with the customer and acknowledge his anger. Once the guest feels you are truly committed to solving the problem and are “on his side,” the anger usually dissolves. Make sure he understands you’re here to help and are eager to fix the problem.
- Take your time and actively listen. Give her your complete attention, clarify and repeat what you’ve heard so the guest is certain you understand the situation. Thank her for bringing the problem to you and ask her what she wants you to do. Then take the proper action to solve it. Remember, the complaint is about the service, not about you.
- Speak in a calm, non-judgmental way. You’ll be dealing with guests from all over the world from different cultures and experiences. Get the facts, be impartial and stay involved until the very end. Your behavior must be respectful and all guests should be treated equally.
- Follow up and get feedback. Make sure you’re checking in with the guest regularly so she knows you haven’t forgotten her. Keep her informed about what you’re doing to solve the problem and when it is expected to be done. Ask if there’s anything else she requires.
- Be aware of triggers. Triggers are things people say or do that makes a guest angry. The more emotional the guest becomes, the harder it is to solve the problem. Be sure you’re not speaking in a rude tone of voice, raising your voice or rolling your eyes, clenching your jaw or robotically reciting company policy. All of these behaviors indicate a lack of concern and are basically conveying to the guest that he/she is wrong. Regardless if you’re on the phone or speaking to the customer in person, be aware of these triggers.
- Go the extra mile. If it’s going to take a while to assist this guest, offer a complimentary drink in the bar while she waits or if you can, upgrade the room or offer a free meal. Let her know you care about her comfort and want to ensure an exceptional experience at your hotel. Upset guests can turn into your best advocates when they tell others how wonderful you were and how quickly you resolved an issue. Invite her to stay with you again and offer to book her next trip directly through you so all her requirements will be taken care of personally.