8 Common Hotel Problems & How to Resolve Guest Complaints
In this article you’re going to get 8 of the most complained about problems in a hotel as well as the easy solutions for pleasing your guests.
From preventing the issue, long term solutions and what to say to a customer when presented with a complaint, you’ll find plenty of expert tips in this guide.
First, let’s start with possibly the number one complaint hotel managers face…
“The room is filthy!”
Problem: Your guests arrive to see they are sharing the room with clumps of dust, unpleasant grime and dirty surroundings. Not the best first impression.
This is the number one way to create customer complaints, with many hotel goers saying they would prefer more basic facilities that are clean than high tech facilities that are dirty.
Solution: Of course, it is best to solve this problem before it occurs. Implement thorough cleaning checks and perhaps even have random inspections yourself to make sure the cleaning team are following the correct standards.
If a dirty room does slip through the cracks, you’ve got some making up to do.
To avoid leaving a terrible lasting impression on your guests, promptly transfer them to a new spotless room or go the extra mile and upgrade them to a much nicer room.
“We didn’t reserve a sauna…”
Problem: Your guest arrives to what looks like their hotel room, but it must be a sauna in disguise due to the fiery temperature.
You may crank up the heating to create a warm and cosy atmosphere, but a hot room is the last thing your guests want after a long, tiring and sweaty journey.
Solution: Try not to go over the standard room temperature (21°C). This is a simple way to please everyone and allows your guests to choose whether they want it slightly warmer or cooler.
If your room has air con facilities or adjustable heating, make them aware of this so they can adjust it as much as they like.
If your guests have arrived and complain the room is far too hot already, transfer them to a room that hasn’t had the heating on. Or, perhaps offer them a free drink in the bar whilst the air con is left on too cool the room down.
“Nothing. In. This. Room. Works.”
Problem: The Wi-Fi is so slow it’s not worth using, the TV doesn’t work and there’s no hope for the old battered air con unit that looks like it came straight from the 1800s.
You’ve sold the room based on the fantastic amenities it has to offer, but your guests arrive to half of them not working. Frustrated is an understatement.
Solution: Check everything works before your guests arrive to pre-empt any complaints. If faults are found by your guests when they arrive, find a solution as fast as possible, you don’t want to deprive them of Wi-Fi and air con for too long.
You could find a room that does have full functioning amenities, apologise and offer some compensation if it is a hotel wide issue or if the faulty amenities have been factored into the price, explain this to them (although this should have been established before booking).
“Is it 1975?”
Problem: Outdated décor that is more drab than fab.
Vintage style and retro chic is a trend at the moment, but there’s a fine line between antique and obsolete.
Many guests complain about the décor of their hotel, criticising the garish wallpaper or cheap looking furniture. This is definitely going to harm your chances of receiving a glowing review.
Solution: If you want to avoid keeping up with interior design trends and constantly re-decorating, opt for neutral tones and simple design options.
If you’re looking to please everyone on a budget, keep it clean, simple, stylish and functional. Warm neutral tones and chic dark wood furniture will never go out of style!
“We have noisy neighbours!”
Problem: Crying babies, stag dos, returning from a night of drinking at 2am and rowing couples are just some of the noise dangers your beloved guests might have to endure.
Loud noise is a common complaint from hotel goers, and is the last thing they want when coming to your establishment for a peaceful break.
Solution: Although it isn’t necessarily your fault, the responsibility still falls on your shoulders. You can help prevent loudness by setting a noise curfew which may deter noisy guests.
Another precaution you can take in your establishment is fitting soundproof underlay. This is a really simple way to reduce the sound your guests hear from above and below them.
If someone calls the front desk to make a noise complaint, act promptly by calling the room where the noise is coming from. Politely ask them to keep it down and take further steps if the noise continues, such as sending security to the room.
“The staff were so rude… 0 stars.”
Problem: A member of staff is caught on a bad day and snaps at one of your guests. Or, perhaps one of your team members has a consistently bad attitude that is raking up the bad reviews.
Your guests are at your establishment for a relaxing break, and certainly aren’t paying to be spoken down to or insulted.
Solution: Provide regular training for your staff to ensure they know the correct way to deal with customers, even the most difficult ones. You may have to enforce a disciplinary if displays of poor customer service skills continues by some members of staff.
“The horrible bed made me tired and cranky!”
Problem: Your guests have paid for a terrible night’s sleep on a lumpy mattress with poor quality scratchy bed sheets… a.k.a a one way to ticket to 0/5 star review.
Solution: A comfortable bed is one of the top priorities for most hotel goers. Whether they’re on a business trip, a relaxing getaway or a short break, a good night’s sleep is essential. It is also what will keep them coming back for repeat visits.
“How the heck does this shower work? It must be broken…”
Problem: Your guest has had a long trying day and all they’re dreaming of is a relaxing blissful shower. Being presented with what looks like a master switchboard of shower operations is certainly not what they were hoping for.
Solution: If you want to keep it simple and make sure your guests can easily navigate the shower operating system, opt for a simple fixture that anyone can use. You could even add some simple instructions just to make it extra clear for your guests.