All Guest Services Staff Should Love Guests’ “Buts”
May 14, 2018 8:56am
By Doug Kennedy
Each month I get to travel the world and present 6 – 8 training workshops, many of which are for frontline staff. It is a career I have been blessed to have for nearly 30 years. We talk about a lot of important subjects these days, such as the fact that in the era of social media and online guest reviews, every guest contact colleague is in the public relations and marketing field. We also talk a lot about loving guests’ buts.
The reason I train everyone to love guests’ “buts” is because when we can manage to get a good “but” out of a guest, that means that we have shown the guest we are asking because we truly care and want to know. Let me explain…
These days, too many frontline colleagues engage guests in a transactional way. For example, too many waitstaff say “How’s that meal tasting, good?” A usually asked right when I have taken a large bite and can only nod in response. Too many bellstaff and housekeeping supervisors who take long elevator rides with me in high rise hotels ask “So how’s your stay going so far sir, good?” When I call room service to have my meal tray removed, too many operators ask “How was everything, good?” When I pick my wife up at the resort spa after her massage, I hear spa desk staff asking her “How was your massage, good?” Reactions like these make me wonder if a) they are too impatient to wait for a response b) they really don’t want to know c) they are just asking because their supervisor told them to or d) all of the above.
On the other hand, if guests know that we care about their opinions and truly want to hear their feedback, chances are very high that we can get a “but” out of a guest, or even better, two “buts!” Like I always say, “Two buts are even better than one but!” Here is an example of a “two-but” guest response:
Here are examples of how to get two good buts out of each and every guest:
On a final note, I suspect that some guest services staff hesitate to truly solicit guests’ opinions because they are afraid they will get a negative response. However, as I always remind them in our KTN training workshops, if something did go wrong it is much better if they let us know while still in-house. For one, we might still have an opportunity to fix it. Yet even if they tell us on the way out the door, they will be impressed that we care enough to ask. They will have a chance to vent any frustrations on us instead of doing a bad review or social media rant.
See Doug’s previous article on a related subject: “Checking out? Please Give Me Your “But.”
Tags: doug kennedy,
Doug Kennedy is President of the Kennedy Training Network, Inc. a leading provider of hotel sales, guest service, reservations, and front desk training programs and telephone mystery shopping services for the lodging and hospitality industry. Doug continues to be a fixture on the industry’s conference circuit for hotel companies, brands and associations, as he been for over two decades. Since 1996, Doug’s monthly training articles have been published worldwide, making him one of the most widely read hospitality industry authorities. Visit KTN at www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com or email him directly email@example.com.
Doug is the author of “So You REALLY Like Working With People? - Five Principles for Hospitality Excellence.”
Contact: Doug Kennedy
Why You Should Be Listening to What Your Voice Agents Are Saying Right Now to Potential Guests
What Four Things Impact First Impressions?
Train Your Front Desk Team on the "5 Pillars of Hospitality Excellence"
The Profession of Hospitality: Enough With Elites, Welcome Entrepreneurs!
THE SALES PROCESS: Step One THE OPENING
Ongoing Training Is the New Normal
What's Wrong With Your Hotel Website? Ask Your Call Center Team
KTN Announces an Innovative New Front Desk Hospitality Certification Program
Loyalty Begins With a Smile
5 Customer Service & Sales Steps to Success
Don’t Blame Me. I Just Work Here
Round 4: Your Customer Service Questions Answered
Five Important Considerations When Selecting a Learning Environment
The More You Give the More You Get
Train Your Front Desk Colleagues to Be “Memory Makers”
Staying Aware of New Housekeeping Legislation
Are You Really Customer Centric?
Round 3: Your Customer Service Questions Answered
Update Your 800 Message on Hold to Encourage Direct Bookings and Cross-Sell
Learn How to Upgrade Guest Satisfaction and Operational Excellence With ALICE at HITEC 2018
Please login or register to post a comment.