Hotel industry has come a long way from most bookings being driven through walk-ins and travel agents to most bookings now being done online. Guests now have expectations set according to the hotel reputation and reviews posted at online sites. Guest satisfaction has become the most crucial component of the hospitality industry.
Managing guest conflicts is one of the most important challenges that a hotel must be prepared to take on. If poorly handled, an on-property complain can very easily escalate to a negative online review about the hotel, ensuring a permanent scar on the hotel’s reputation and cause eventual revenue loss. As a hotelier, it is imperative to keep in mind that negative reviews or outright social media scandals can cause a lot of damage to your business such as losing bookings and trust of existing clients.
It is necessary to approach such issues with utmost care. When guests take their time to bring an issue to your attention, it is crucial to pay heed to it. In almost all the cases, how you well you respond will have a decisive impact on the outcome.
Below, there are some dont’s every hotel should be wary of while serving guests. These are crucial when it comes to increase guest satisfaction and to keep guest conflicts at bay.
Don’t oversell your brand
Managing expectations is an important task while serving guests. They arrive at your hotel with certain expectations of the quality, value, and service your business will provide. The primary reason behind guest conflicts is expectations not being met by the hotel.
It is necessary not to oversell your brand. In order to maintain high levels of guest satisfaction, you should keep in mind to set realistic expectations of the service you provide. Make sure the bar of expectations that you set about your hotel on your website or your marketing campaigns, must accurately reflect the quality of service you can actually deliver.
Hotels often get called out in reviews for overselling their features and quality of services, earning themselves a bad reputation in the due process. Instead, it is significantly better to under-promise and over-deliver.
Providing the staff with adequate support and training
One of the primary reasons for guest conflicts is poor or inadequate staff training. The management must provide employees with guidelines, protocols and adequate training they need to resolve guest issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
By setting up regular evaluations, staff performance indicators, workshops, and training modules, it is possible to put a check to issue recurrence and increase guest satisfaction to a significant level.
Paying attention to the guests’ needs and wants
Most people are reasonable with their complaints. They don’t expect perfection, and they understand that mistakes can happen. Their needs are simple. They only expect you to pay attention to their complaints and make sure the issue is resolved within a reasonable time.
One of the most crucial aspects of avoiding guest conflicts is to pay attention to what the guests want. An impatient and audacious workforce can cause irreparable damage to the hotel’s reputation.
A methodical approach to any issue can stop it from recurring and showcase your hotel’s goodwill and commitment towards complaints resolution. Record details in the guest’s profile, inform colleagues of the situation and take the necessary steps to ensure the problem won’t recur. A follow-up call from management or a note and a freebie to the guest’s room will reinforce your care and concern.
Avoid angering guests to maximize guest satisfaction
Complaints are usually less about the problems and more about how the staff handled them once it was brought to their attention. Triggers are psychological cues that staff members intentionally or unintentionally exhibit which renders the guest angry. It is important to keep in mind while dealing with guests is that the angrier and more emotional guests become, the harder it will be to reason with them.
To avoid triggers, show guests that you care by establishing eye contact, using open body language and ensuring that your surroundings are tidy and professional.
In face-to-face interactions, visual and vocal cues play the major role. Over the telephone, you must rely on verbal and vocal cues to convey meaning in a calming manner. In social media and email, you are limited to verbal cues, so be careful with your choice of words.
Bottom line being, you have to anticipate what might drive your guests angry and work accordingly to avoid triggering the guests to increase guest satisfaction to an optimal level.