Help me! I have an angry customer!

Like all customer service jobs, you will often experience angry customers if you are working on the hotel desk, but it tends to be more frequent in this sub-sector, due to customers having certain expectations of a place they would want to spend the night. You may want to fix the issue, but this may not be enough, so follow this step-by-step guide to ensure you end up getting the frustrated individual on side.

Be calm

This is probably the most important tip of all. If you remain calm and composed, others will follow. It will also give you enough time to listen to everything that the guest has to say, and if you tell them that you will do what you can to find a resolution, in a calm way, they will lower their accusatory tones. Do remember, however, not to sound too calm and relaxed as the customer may think that you simply don't care.

Be sympathetic

Once the guest has told you what the issue is, sympathise with them so that they know that you have acknowledged how angry they are. At the end of the day, some people just want to feel heard, so once this has been achieved, both parties can then move on to fix the problem. You may need to use certain stock phrases, such as 'you have every right to be upset over this problem' and 'I see that you are upset, let me try to help', but don't make it sound like you are just reading off a script. Ultimately, being emotional and personal is what to strive for.

Be eager

You want to show the customer that you are there to solve any query they have. If the problem will take a bit of while to fix, offer them something complimentary, such as a drink at the bar, and if it will be resolved over a period of more than 24 hours, be sure to keep them updated of what is going on. You will want to chase them around, not the other way round.

Be humble

If you genuinely do not know what to do, don't pretend to. Be diplomatic and let them know that the issue must be taken to management. This is especially the case if the customer is starting to become a bit hostile. You will get all sorts of characters in hotels and just because they treat you one way, it does not mean you should accept it. Ask a manager for assistance or, in extreme circumstances, call hotel security.

Be impassive

Once the customer has gone, you should never take anything to heart, whatever has been said. It is often believed that you need a thick skin to work in hospitality jobs, and this could not be truer. Always remember that you never did anything on purpose to anger someone, and some people just like to have a good old rant to blow off life's other stresses. Feel for the customer but do not become too attached, or you could end up developing a series of issues with your confidence.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.