If you are wondering how to avoid complaints and make dissatisfied guests happy, this article is for you.
Guide to turn unhappy guests into your best customers
In the hospitality business, it’s almost impossible to manage and be on top of everything. There is always going to be unexpected events or issues with guests when you’re a management company and you manage many apartments at the same time.
It can be for many reasons, some of which cannot be controlled (a piece of furniture that breaks, unhappy guests that wanted an early check-in when it’s not possible, guests that are unhappy because the corridor is too long (yes this happened to us). All these issues can lead to complaints from the guests and negative reviews which leaves a bad reputation of the company.
There are ways to avoid this and to learn from it and turn the situation to your advantage. In this article, we give you all the necessary advice on this subject.
How to prevent guests from becoming unhappy
In order to avoid these possible issues, you can prevent this from happening in the first place.
One thing you can do to prevent issues occurring is inspecting the apartments before the check-in and the welcoming of the guests. During this moment you should check everything. It starts from the Wifi, heaters or the oven to all the amenities of the kitchen, in order to to see if everything is working properly and if anything is missing for the convenience of the guest.
For a full list of checks that you can do before each new guest arrives, download our Check-out List.
Also, you should anticipate the problems. For example, you can change the batteries of the remote control for the television or air conditioning, always provide other spares in the flat in case they discharged. It is annoying for the guest to arrive in an apartment after a long journey and discover that something they wanted to use is not working.
Have preventive maintenance
Have preventive maintenance can also be very useful to avoid issues with the guests. Moreover, it is a real time-saver, to have a team that does not wait for something to be worn or broken before acting and changing it. It prevents them from coming back to the apartment to fix something if they anticipate potential problems by checking the whole apartment. And obviously, it’s better to tighten the screws of the chair once a month, instead of having a guest falling to the floor because it broke.
Get real feedback from the past and current guests
The communication with the guests is very important, to have feedback from them in order to prevent problems but also to provide an overview of your service and how to improve it.
Instead of waiting for complaints to improve the experience of your guests, you can take the lead and send them a message after their first night in your flat to rate your service.
Having feedback from your guests after their first night is useful, to make sure that everything went well and that they are enjoying their stay with you. Moreover, in the case of any complaints or issues, you will be able to intervene quickly and turn a bad moment into a great experience for them. The attention you pay to the customer will be appreciated. Even if they were upset, showing them that you care about any concerns they may have and that you are doing your best to fix the problem will give them a good image of your company and reassure them for the rest of their stay.
Once they leave, you can ask them for additional feedback. This will give an overview of what guests think about their entire stay. You can also see the difference in ratings between the first night and the whole stay, which can be interesting to know if you changed their opinion of your service. Enabling you to identify if anything is going wrong and make improvements.
How to react when something bad happens
Even if something bad happens and your guests are unsatisfied, you can make them happy again with the way you react.
First, you should intervene quickly, which involves being available at any time. For that, it is crucial to give your guests a phone number for emergencies with someone available during the night. The sooner the complaint is dealt with, the more satisfied and secure they will feel for the rest of their stay. By acting quickly, they can be impressed, and it shows that you are doing your best to make them happy and that you care about them and their satisfaction.
If a problem occurs, you can figure it out by offering compensation to your guests. It can vary depending on the dimension of the problem. For example, you can offer them a gift, such as a bottle of wine if the issue is not too important. On the contrary, if it has a strong impact on the customer experience in your apartment, it should be a bigger compensation, such as giving them a discount on their booking. This attention will inevitably make them happy and may make them forget the inconveniences they encountered during their stay. Moreover, it is more advantageous for you in the long term to grant a discount or give a gift to guests rather than damage your reputation because of their bad comments on the internet. You can, therefore, avoid losing your current and potential customers.
‘High priority guests’
One last thing which can change the deal with your dissatisfied customers is to consider them as ‘high priority guests’ and give them all your attention. You should make sure the rest of their stay is to be perfect and being available for them in case they need anything. They will feel considered and it can change a bad experience to a very good one!
You should always put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself how you can avoid dissatisfaction or how you can make guests happy and make them come back as well as leave a positive comment despite the problems they have encountered.