No matter how great your staff is, and how high you set your service standards, mistakes are bound to be made. The good news is that it is not the mistake that leaves a lasting impression for your guest, it’s how you fix it that matters.
- Apologize. I think this is obvious, but I’ve noticed that there seems to be a new trend of service staff refusing to offer an apology. Whether the mistake was made by you or a team member, or even if your guest is upset over nothing, a simple “I’m sorry” goes a long way.
- Fix the problem as quickly as possible. If you can’t empower your staff to offer resolutions, then a member of the management team should be readily available to deal with the situation right away.
- If a guest is complaining about a particular staff member, do not, under any circumstance, send that staff member to remedy the situation. Aside from making both parties feel completely awkward, you should understand that trust has been lost there, and will not be regained by a forced interaction.
- If you cannot resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the guest, apologize again. There is no pleasing some people, and why it may be tempting to mouth off to someone who is certainly a lost cause, remember that the chronic complainers are also the loudest – everything you say will be used against you – on the Internet.
- The best resolution goes just beyond what the guest expects of you. If they are upset about noisy neighbors and asking to change rooms, they may expect a discount for their trouble. Go one step further and have a hand written note with a fruit basket waiting in the new room.
If you can handle conflict with grace and poise, your guests will remember that long after the mistake is forgiven.