3 Ways to Navigate a Tricky Guest
Managing properties is stressful. Everyday it seems as if there are a million things to do though you accomplished a million the day before. As you run around making sure that housekeeping has cleaned a room, following up with maintenance on the status of a repair, and making sure you don't get a double booking from the seven channels you list on, chances are high the last thing on your mind is an angry guest. With everything else you have going on, here are three easy ways to make sure you don't pull your hair out over a guest complaint.
It may seem obvious, but when you begin feeling frustration or incredulity bubble up, just take a deep breath. Take the five seconds you need to gather your thoughts, and only then begin to address the guest. Making sure you're in a good space yourself before you take on another person's concerns will help you remain calm, despite how frustrating the situation may be. At the end of the day this person paid to stay at your listing. Making sure they have a good experience will encourage them to tell their friends, leave a good review, and return to your property. You provide value to your business by making sure you don't lose your cool.
2) Validation + Consideration
Though the guest may be being less than tactful, their issue could be worth bringing up. One of our employees shared the experience where she stayed in a hotel but the water in her room was ice cold. She kept being told to let it run, and it would eventually heat up. After thirty minutes the water was still cold, so she called the front desk and insisted she be switched to another room. After the pushback she had received up until that point, she was fully prepared to be told that wasn't an option...and then never stay at the hotel again. Switching the point of view- guaranteed the person at the front desk had many other things going on, and having the same room call over and over was undoubtedly annoying. Instead of letting that annoyance show, the front desk validated her experience and agreed that of course she needed hot water. She was then quickly moved to a new room and given a complimentary breakfast the next morning. Even though all experiences may not be as cut and dry as this one, validating the guest and considering their point of view can make a world of difference. Versus be upset and never visit your properties again, handling a complaint well could convert them to a lifelong visitor.
Guests are known to make outlandish claims. Things like "the towels aren't fluffy enough", "I've found five crumbs in the carpet", and so on. Though it can be tempting to point out how illogical the claims might be, it's important to view the issue with full perspective. What is your desired outcome? Chances are it's to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible so you can get back to the ten other things you need to do. If the issue is small, the most efficient way to accomplish that is to send up new towels, or quickly have someone vacuum the rug. It's also worth noting that some people are simply difficult. No amount of bending over backwards will please them. The only thing you can do is your best to make them comfortable, and then when they leave, they're gone, and that's that.
Even though you have many different tasks to accomplish throughout the day, by employing these simple tactics you'll be able to remain collected. This will help satisfy the majority of guests' concerns quickly, while simultaneously providing value to your business.