Talk to your guests

Simply relying on questionnaires or a visitor’s book when your guests leave is not only impersonal, but is  leaving it a bit too late to get feedback if things weren’t perfect.  You need to talk to your guests throughout their stay.

Face-to-face feedback will always be the most effective and ideally we need to get feedback before it’s too late to do something about it. If what you have provided fails to meet expectations you’d rather know about it before the guest leaves so you can resolve it, rather than waiting for them to put their comments on TripAdvisor.

As well is asking at the end of each course, the meal or their stay, be observant and look out for signs that things aren’t right or that someone wants to get your attention. For example if a diner has hardly touched their steak but eaten everything else that might suggest there was a problem with the steak. Or you hear a guest complaining about the temperature of their room to others in their party; this probably suggests something that needs investigating.

Being visible in your hotel or restaurant, and making contact with your guests builds rapport and trust. Once you’ve gained this you’re in a far better position to gain valuable feedback first hand.  The same goes for your staff too, so encourage them to talk to your guests. Give them the appropriate training to ask for feedback in the knowledge that they are confidence to deal with feedback – good or bad – in a positive way.

Bare in mind your guests will tell you things that they wouldn’t feedback to your staff, and vice versa.  So ask your staff what feedback they have received, and listen to their ideas on how to make improvements and how to capitalise on positive feedback and your strengths.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss how to ask for feedback. Or download the full article here (log in or sign up required)

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