A good friend of mine, Mike, was the General Manager of a large hotel and it never ceased to amaze me how he always managed to “win people over”.
He was one of those guys who, no matter what, managed to turn “lemons into lemonade”.
He put a simple process in place – if any guest bought ANYTHING to any staff members attention – be it an electricity problem in a room, not completely happy with the service, food or even entertainment – all the staff member had to do was advise him.
Now you may be thinking “There’s no way I am going to get my colleagues or worse yet myself into trouble over a GUEST” but here’s the thing, Mike never took it out on the staff – all he wanted was to get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible.
As soon as he got the info he would personally go and FIND the guest and start off with the problem and then give them a solution. “I believe there was a problem with the taps in your room? I will be getting my maintenance team onto it immediately.” Knowing that THAT moment may not be convenient he would MAKE it convenient by adding “I can have them there in 10 minutes – may I suggest you take a walk up to the bar area – order a drink and our platter of the day, on us of course, whilst we fix it.”
Not only did he acknowledge the problem RIGHT away, but he came up with a solution and made them feel absolutely OK with leaving their room so the problem could be sorted.
And I guess it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what MAGIC MIKE did – he would personally check the problem was sorted, touch base again with the guests to fill them in, and invite them to bring any other problems they came across to him or any of his staff.
By being approachable by both his staff and his guests, they all felt valued and heard.
Never be afraid to “tackle” a potential unhappy guest right away – the long term result is you are able to fix it straight away and THEY get to enjoy the rest of their experience feeling like VIPS.