Handling Guest Complaints: How to Solve Problems and Make Guests Happy


Handling Guest Complaints

Regardless of which department you work on, as a hotelier it is inevitable that you will encounter guest complaints from time to time. While it can be disheartening to receive negative feedback or any sort of complain, it is important of handling guest complaints with grace and professionalism. By effectively addressing guest complaints, you have the opportunity to not only resolve the issue at hand but also turn dissatisfied guest into a loyal guest of your establishment. In this article, we have written some tips on handling guest complaints and how to make them happy in the same time:

1. Listen attentively

As a hospitality professional, one of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to listen attentively to guest complaints. While no one likes to hear negative feedback, it is crucial to handle complaints with care and attention When a guest approaches you with a complaint, give them your full attention. Listen carefully to their concerns without interrupting or becoming defensive. Let them express their frustrations and ensure that they feel heard and understood. Once the guest has finished speaking, repeat their concerns back to them to ensure you have understood correctly. This not only shows that you were listening but also gives the guest the opportunity to clarify any points they may have missed. It also gives you a chance to demonstrate your understanding of the issue.

2. Apologize sincerely and empathize

In the hotel industry it’s inevitable that you may encounter guest complaints from time to time. When responding to a guest complaint, it’s essential to acknowledge their concerns and empathize with their experience. Begin by expressing your sincerest apologies for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction they may have experienced. Let them know that their feedback is valuable to you and that you genuinely care about their experience.  Apologize sincerely for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction the guest may have experienced and show empathy to make the guest understand that you feel their “pain”. Even if you believe the complaint is unfounded, it is important to acknowledge the guest’s feelings and apologize for any negative experience they had.

3. Investigate the issue

Once you have listened to the guest’s complaint, take the time to investigate the issue. Talk to the staff involved, review any relevant records or CCTV footage, and gather all the necessary information to get a clear understanding of what happened. During the investigation, it is important to keep the guest informed about the progress being made. This helps maintain transparency and demonstrates the hotel’s commitment to resolving the issue promptly. Additionally, it is crucial to treat the guest’s privacy with utmost respect and handle all information with strict confidentiality.

4. Offer a solution

Based on your investigation, come up with a solution that will address the guest’s concerns. This could range from different offering depending on the area of the complain but if it’s in a restaurant, a replacement dish, providing a refund, or offering a complimentary meal on their next visit will make them happy. The key is to find a resolution that will not only satisfy the guest but also prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.

5. Follow up

After resolving the complaint, follow up with the guest to ensure that they are satisfied with the solution provided. This shows that you genuinely care about their experience and are committed to making things right. It also provides an opportunity to thank them for bringing the issue to your attention and to further build a positive relationship.

6. Learn from the feedback

Every guest complaint is an opportunity for improvement. Take the time to reflect on the feedback received and identify any trends or patterns that may indicate larger issues within your restaurant. Use this feedback to implement changes and prevent similar complaints in the future.

By handling guest complaints effectively

You can not only resolve immediate issues but also improve the overall guest experience and build a positive reputation for your hotel or establishment. Remember, a happy guest is more likely to become a loyal customer and recommend your establishment to others.

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The founder and owner of Hotels & Hoteliers. A hotelier with over 15 years of experience working in different international branded Hotels. My Expertise is mainly in Food & Beverages and Front Office.


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