You found yourself caught in the net of an angry guest. You’re short of words, not sure what to say to calm the person down.
Here’s how to handle an irritated guest and ease tension.
1. Stay calm
When an angry customer pours their frustrations on you, you might take it personally. Your instincts may tell you to get defensive, especially when you know the customer is wrong. But remember, you’re there to support them with their issues and diffuse tensions.
Before reacting, take a moment and try to understand the reason for the guest’s anger. They’re probably frustrated with the product or service of the hotel. Keep calm and speak with a composed voice, this can help tame even the angriest of customers and increase the chances of calming the situation.
Do not forget to involve your manager for extra support, especially if the customer is being abrasive, aggressive, or rude.
Thoroughly apologise for the problem they’re having. Acknowledging the mistake and letting them know you are sorry will go a long way with difficult customers. For example, instead of merely saying, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience,” you can show greater concern by saying: “I’m sorry, this isn’t the customer experience we’re aiming for, and I understand how frustrating this can be.”
A thorough apology shows the customer you care and you understand their frustration. Offer a brief explanation, but don’t drag this out too much. Keep the explanation short and move forward.
3. Use the guest’s name
A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Using the guest’s name can have force. It will help instill a strong level of personalisation in the interaction. This will be very effective when trying to handle angry customers.
Using the customer’s name shows you care, and it also him/her that you are also a real person. Addressing the customer by name also shows them that you respect them.
4. Find a solution
Once you understand why the guest is unhappy and have apologised, it is time to find a solution. Ask him what he feels should be done to solve the problem or put forward your own fair and realistic answer to the problem. In most cases, that’s all the guest is looking for.
5. Share the experience with team members
Irate guests can offer many learnings – it’s genuinely a teachable moment. Therefore, share what you learn from your encounter with the guest with team members. The entire team can collaborate on long-term solutions to keep guests happy.
Note: While talking to angry guests can be unpleasant, avoiding or ignoring them is a surefire way to drive them into the arms of your competition. Some of your guests will get mad about something—it’s inevitable. But now that you know how to deal with upset customers, you can stop dreading the interaction and look at them as opportunities.
Putting your guest at the center of your business is the best way to create guest loyalty and help your hotel thrive.