Devote readers of my garden will know I ski bum instead of a proper job. In my training, I learned about LAST de escalation/conflict resolution, and thought it was actually notable enough to write down, unlike the rest of my training.
Actively listen to guest concerns by giving them your full attention so that you understand the issue & their feelings.
- If you look distracted, the guest may feel ignored or become more upset
- If you are actually distracted, you won’t understand what their complaint or issue is really about
- Don’t interrupt or debate; listen to understand & empathize, not to plan your reply or a rebuttal
- Paraphrase their comments to show you’ve heard what they’re saying
Offer a genuine apology without excuses to show you understand their concern.
- Saying sorry shows the guest that we take ownership of the issue
- It’s an opportunity to tell the guest “We can do better”
- Simple apologies can validate their feelings (but don’t condone bad behavior)
- Explain the rule/policy, but don’t defend it; you’re unlikely to change their mind
Engage the guest in solving the problem in a way that satisfies them and is appropriate for the company.
- Take (or commit to taking) action
- Be collaborative & offer options
- Resist the urge to say no; turn no into yes & be creative with solutions (that are proportionate to the issue)
- Leave the guest happy and wanting to return
Sincerely thank the guest for letting us know about their concern and reiterate your commitment to the resolution.
- Thanking someone for complaining may seem strange, but it’s an essential step
- A guest telling us about an issue is an opportunity to improve and prevent the issue for future guests
- They could say nothing & simply take their business elsewhere
- Thanking a guest for complying with a rule or policy can calmly end the situation