Let’s face it, traveling can be a stressful experience. Things outside of anyone’s control can occur that negatively impact a guest’s experience. That is why training our team members on how to appropriately handle a potentially uncomfortable situation ahead of time can do wonders for everyone involved. Our Executive Vice President of Operations, Bob Moore, puts it best:
“When I train managers or GMs, one of the things I always push forward is that you can’t live in fear. It’s all about getting in front of it. Someone from the front desk runs back and says, ‘There’s a guest and they’re mad!’ Do you respond, ‘What’s the matter? What happened? How did this happen?’ No. The minute you hear this you go around the desk, stick your hand out to the guest, introduce yourself, and say, ‘Hi, my name is Bob Moore. How are you today?’ [Do that] and you’ve already won.”
The goal is to humanize any situation. When you teach your team to empathize with a guest during a difficult situation and handle it immediately rather than letting it percolate, you can create some of your most loyal guests. Listen to what they have to say, acknowledge and relate to it, and then provide an appropriate solution. Most of the time people just want to be heard. This can be hard for a team member to do during a heated exchange unless they are given the right tools and autonomy ahead of time.
Training is an essential component to success. Our industry is full of challenging situations and preparing our team members to not only anticipate these occurrences, but to handle them with grace, is how we grow team members, their careers, and in turn, operational performance resulting in increased asset value.