Can you tell your pax about complaints before they travel?
Over the years I have had a lot of good things to say about Hilton Hotels. No, they are not paying me and no, it’s not very often I actually get a freebie upgrade (hint hint). But on many occasions I have spoken about how hotels such as Hilton Sydney nail the traveling experience. There is a reason why they are one of the most respected brands.
Sometimes it’s the bed, the quality of the food, the check-in process, the checkout process, the gymnasium, the politeness and professionalism of the staff. One thing for sure, it’s certainly not how cheap the experience is!
But on this trip I noticed something new. It was one little piece of card next to a complimentary Lindt chocolate and it says a lot.
So what was the message
It was pretty straightforward but very, very powerful.
It is a luxury that hotels have the travel agent does not. But can travel agents embrace this type of message?
The problem with the return home complaint
Especially where a customer is looking for a refund or a discount, post check-in issues can take up to 30 days longer to resolve than an issue which is underway. Someone complaining to you after they get back from the holiday, as opposed to whilst they are on the holiday, can drag a drama out for weeks. But if you speak to the manager while the pax is in their room it is a very different conversation.
Secondly, it can potentially ruin a holiday. Once one small thing goes wrong, the traveler starts taking notice of the bad. What started with rat poo under the table leads to a complaints about how the colour of the pillow on the couch made the room impossible to sleep in.
(Yes we have had that complaint).
Can you teach your customers to be proactive?
A very hard message to positively sell to customers is that on occasion, something may go wrong. We don’t want to know about it. So how do you teach your customers how to complain?
Put simply, a little bit of information, a printed insert into their travel documents, might just be the answer
5 ways to teach your pax how to complain
Think about composing your own “we will make it right” card which takes into account these messages and helps ensure your customers are satisfied with you
- Set the expectations – Hilton is quality. Anything with “budget” in the name is asking for trouble!
- Make sure your customers know that you are responsible for making their trip as good as it can be , but here are some tips…
- Tell them they should also always notify management “whilst the issue is happening” – if it can be fixed, the problem is resolved and only the good memories remain
- Always take photographs – a picture tells thousand words
- Don’t leave the complaint until they get home – tell them that you value their holiday experience and fix things before they become a real problem