Show you listen to your guests

I’ve just been reading an email from an entrepreneur recounting her experiences of the lack or personalisation to a complaint she made following a recent visit to a restaurant.

Every bit of feedback you get from your guests is valuable to you, whether it’s positive or negative and whether you agree with it or not. So treat it as such.

Capture the good and the bad. If you don’t agree with the feedback, rather than getting defensive, find out (tactfully) what has led to their perception, as this may lead to the root of the problem. If you don’t know what disappoints guests, you can’t improve on it, so make sure you are prepared to listen to, and take on board any thoughts on what lets you down, so you can learn from this and address it.

Generally your aim is to retain that customer, but be realistic about the likelihood of a return visit. If they live hundreds, or even thousands of miles away this might be unlikely.  But think about referrals and whom else they might tell. Whether it’s TripAdvisor, on their blog or just word of mouth, the last thing you want is for a disgruntled customer to tell the world about their misfortunes and lack of response on your part.

So even if a return visit isn’t on the cards the very least you can do is to thank them for telling you, that you value their feedback, and demonstrate that you have taken their comments on board. Personalise your response, using their name, their language and show your concern. And finally reflect on the best outcome for this guest / customer for them to feel that their custom and feedback is valued, and leaving them feeling positive about your and your hotel or restaurant.

This is one of the topics covered in Caroline’s interview series How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge.

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One thought on “Show you listen to your guests

  1. Nick

    As one executive used to say, “You’re never as good as you think you are.”

    We all think we’re doing such a great job and that we’ve heard it all before. And, usually, we have heard it before… but as you’ve said above, this is not about us–it’s about making that guest feel welcomed and appreciated. Good reminder…Nick

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