Don't you just hate it when things go wrong? You have an angry guest to deal with who's been let down by some aspect of your facilities or service. It may even be an internal customer, a colleague or even one of your team who's unhappy with your service to them.
Don't panic! This is a fantastic opportunity to show just how good your customer service really is.
The sixth secret of customer service is Recovery. If you recover well from a difficult situation, then guests are very likely to forgive your mistake and even praise the quality of your service.
When things go wrong, guests want you to solve their problems quickly.
They don't want to hear excuses, who's to blame or why it happened; they just want it fixed fast.
I booked into a hotel recently for three nights while I conducted some training seminars for clients. I booked a hotel with a swimming pool as I wanted a bit of exercise and relaxation in the spa after a hard day.
So, on the first night, I was disappointed to discover that the swimming pool and spa were closed for several weeks for reconstruction. I had booked the hotel online and there was no mention on the website or in any emails, that the facilities would be closed for two months.
At the front desk I expressed my disappointment and initially was met with a - ‘Sorry about that sir' response. I persisted (nicely, but firmly) and eventually the duty manager came to speak with me.
Nice guy, warm and friendly, used my name, listened, agreed, empathised and offered a solution. He offered to have me taken by shuttle bus, to a sister hotel close by, where I could use their facilities free of charge. He also offered free dinner for the two nights I'd be there.
I wasn't exactly thrilled by the fact that I couldn't use the pool, but the manager "recovered" well and I "forgave" him.
Would I go back to that hotel - yes! Would I recommend it to other people - yes!
Say, for example a meal was served in your restaurant that wasn't cooked properly or wasn't hot enough, (is that possible?) You would need to apologise, assure the guest it will be fixed and then do it quickly. Then tell the guest that they won't be charged for the main course, or give them some wine or a free dessert.
Then, when that guest talks about your hotel, they'll tell people - ‘There was a small problem initially but when I pointed it out, they really moved themselves and they couldn't have been more apologetic.'
So don't be afraid when something does go wrong; you canrecover from this situation and make a really positive impression on your guest.
Overall, guests just want to feel good. They want to feel better after they've dealt with anyone in your hotel, than they did before. If you can create that feeling, then you're well on the way to creating a successful business.
About the author
Article by Alan Fairweather, International Speaker and the author of, 'How to be a Motivational Manager, ‘How to Manage Difficult People' and ‘How to Make Sales When You Don't like Selling'. Visit: www.themotivationdoctor.com, for more information.