The hotel business is where hoteliers possibly encounter the most myriad varieties of people. Yes, any sort of customer service job involves dealing with people of various temperaments. But, these temperaments shine through more vividly when these people are supposed to make the hotel their temporary home for the time being. 

Yes, it can be frustrating to deal with unhappy and angry customers. Especially when 8 out of 10 times the problem has nothing to do with the hotel. There’s not much that can be done about not being able to live up to a customer’s extremely unrealistic expectations. 

But regardless of whose fault it is, as a hotelier, it’s important to know how to make peaceful conflict resolutions. This is because when a customer uploads a nasty review about the hotel onto an OTA platform, there is no way to make the other potential guests believe instead of the customer. 

Sometimes, the customer is always right. And even one irate customer can cost thousands of dollars to a hotel if you’re not careful. 

This article has been written for the exclusive purpose to help other hoteliers how deal with an angry customer. Follow these tips and you won’t be losing out on a fortune every time the hotel gets criticism. 


8 Foolproof Ways to Handle an Irate Customer:


Apologize 

First, apologize. No, it doesn’t matter if the hotel didn’t do anything wrong. When dealing with an angry customer, it’s important to always apologize first. It might not be right, but it works. And that’s what’s important in conflict resolution. 

What the hoteliers say and also what their body language says matter a lot. Don’t unconsciously give off signals that the hotel does not care about the customer’s problem or that it is not being taken seriously. 

No matter what the problem is, it is impossible to behave like it’s a top priority. 

The worst word to start a conflict resolution with is “but.” Make it seem as earnest and concerned as possible and start with “I’m extremely sorry for the inconvenience you’re faced. I’ll look into it immediately.”


Automate the Process

Once the conflict resolution attitude is right, it’s now time to focus on the practicalities. 

Whenever there’s manual labor involved, there’s room for mistakes. After all, to err is human. 

No, as a hotelier, you cannot rule out all forms of manual labor at the hotel but there are a lot of mundane, repetitive processes that can be automated. 

A Property Management System like Stayflexi allows doing exactly this. Scared of angry customers rushing up to the front desk because of double bookings? No need to worry. With StayFlexi’s automated inventory management system, there’s no way you can mistakenly double book a room, even if the same room is listed across 100+ OTA channels. StayFlexi’s seamless two-way sync makes sure the inventory is always updated. 

Not just this, every single process including housekeeping, payment, booking extensions, etc. can be automated through StayFlexi. This reduces the room for human error as much as possible. 


Maintain Accountability 

Automating the processes of managing a hotel also increases accountability. Take StayFlexi’s Smart Housekeeping feature, for example. 

Previously guests had a hard time conveying their grievances to the housekeeping department because the front desk receptionist acted as the middleman. And even when the message was conveyed, often the problem found no resolution because no one knew whose job it was to deal with the issue. 

With the Smart Housekeeping feature, guests can directly lodge their complaints through the Stayflexi mobile app. This notification immediately reaches the cleaning staff who is in charge of the room. The task can be only marked as completed once the staff member actually solves the problem that the guest had been facing. 

In the rare case that the problem is not resolved, it can be directly pinpointed whom to hold accountable for the issue. 


Provide Conflict Resolution Training

Even in staff-less hotels all across the US, the housekeeping staff still has to be present on-site. And no matter how great the hotel is at dealing with angry customers, it is important to provide the same training to every staff. 

There cannot be a staff member rolling their eyes in the background as the hotel is trying its best to resolve the issue. As mentioned before, individual words and body language can be triggering. 

Staff members need regular training on these triggers that they need to avoid while dealing with irate customers. 


Don’t Pass the Parcel 

One of the most annoying things that happens every time a customer brings up an issue is that the department that is being currently addressed tries to pass the parcel to another department. 

It doesn’t matter if a customer is approaching the housekeeping department for an issue with the internet connection, the problem needs to be solved then and there. 

You might be wondering “How?” First, almost all hotels now have a host of versatile staff members who travel between various departments according to the requirement. So, they might know how to deal with issues that don’t revolve around the department they are currently stationed in. 

Second, the staff members must always know whom to contact in case a problem arises. Instead of asking the guest to contact another department, it should technically be the job of the hotel employee who is being currently addressed. 

Third, to get rid of this entire “pass the parcel” issue by opting for StayFlexi. Through StayFlexi, the exact department that can solve your problem is alerted immediately when you raise an issue. No human intervention is needed at all to carry the message forward.  


Settle Payments Immediately 

One of the easiest ways to get prevent angry customers and chargebacks is by not settling payments immediately. 

Hotels have this habit of piling up all payments till the very end when the customer is provided with an elongated list of charges during the checkout. This is when they have no time to go through the list properly and they only start noticing the discrepancies when it’s too late for the hotelier to explain the matter. 

Stayflexi allows hoteliers to set up POS shops for all the e-commerce ventures inside the hotel. It also allows settling payments immediately so that the customer can easily keep track of what he is being charged for. Otherwise, it would be justifiably difficult to keep track of all the little charges that pile up during the stay. 

This ensures that the customer has enough time to notice any discrepancies while they are still within the hotel premises. Even if there are any issues, the problem can be solved there immediately instead of getting the bank involved in it.  


Believe the Guest 

Hoteliers should never have the predisposition to disbelieve the guests. If the guest has a complaint regarding the room’s lighting, that problem might actually exist. 

As a hotelier, you do not regularly stay in the rooms of the hotels. The customers do. So, they are way more likely to notice problems that you haven’t noticed yet. 

Hoteliers should always thank them for making them aware of an issue that was previously not known. It might save you from losing out on thousands of future customers. 


Always Take Feedback

Whether or not the guest had a great stay, make sure their feedback is always collected. Even if there are some harsh criticisms, this might help to understand the behavior and expectations of customers better. 

Also, always follow up on the customers who have previously faced a problem. They should know that the hotel is dedicated to making this stay as pleasant for them as possible. 

Following these tips can get the hotels out of some really messy arguments with the guests. How have you handled conflict resolution with irate customers in the past? Let us know in the comments below!

It is an everyday thing to purchase things using a credit card at a hotel.  One thing we have been hearing more and more about, which escalated during the pandemic was “contactless” payments.

To go fully contactless you must ensure that your guests can pay through their mobile phones. Stayflexi allows you to do just that through a payment link!

Here are a few things that make Stayflexi’s Payment System unique: 

No Money Lost on Cancellations

Post-paid OTA portals are most likely necessary to deal with since they are popular ways guests book. That doesn’t change the fact that you stand to lose an enormous amount of money because of post-paid bookings. 

50% of the cancellations that hoteliers face are because of post-paid bookings through OTA’s. Since the customers make no down payment while booking the rooms, it’s extremely convenient for them to cancel whenever they want to, without any consequences. With last-minute cancellations, you are losing money every minute those rooms are open. 

The solution here is simple- you need to ensure that you are paid before the booking is confirmed, especially on OTA’s

Stayflexi’s Flex Collect identifies post-paid bookings and puts them on hold. A payment link is created which you can then send to your customer. The customer is then informed that unless the payment is completed, the booking will not be confirmed.

This ensures that OTA’s cannot put a dent in your revenues with last-minute cancellations. Also, even if card payments fail on-site or the customer raises various issues during their stay, you can still be certain that you are not going to miss out on revenue. 

Complete Transparency, No Chargebacks 

Chargebacks are a problem and everyone has to deal with them. 

Stayflexi’s Payment System makes sure every transaction is settled with your bank right away. This ensures that whatever grievances the guest has, the issue of refunds or disputed payments do not leave the hotel. 

During checkout, the process of paying any additional costs is extremely transparent. Since the guest is provided with a detailed list of their expenses and a payment link, they have the time and freedom to go through the bill thoroughly.  

Immediate POS Payments

Stayflexi allows you to keep your POS collections separate from your booking revenues. If a guest buys anything from a POS outlet like a restaurant or retail space, the accounts are settled right there. 

This has two benefits. First, it leaves no confusion in the minds of the guests as to what they are spending on. You don’t need to add these expenses to the final checkout bill. Second, you get a separate analytics report for how well your POS shops are doing because you have separate data on them. 

50+ Global Currencies Accepted 

Stayflexi’s Payment System also accepts 50+ currencies from all over the world. This makes booking your hotel extremely easy for anyone in the world. They do not have to go through the hassle of exchanging a lump sum of their currency just to pay for the expenses at your hotel. 

Stayflexi also allows you to create loyalty programs based on the customer behavior tracked by the PMS. As far as security goes, our servers are PCI DSS compliant and our payment getaways are carefully chosen based on their high-security standards. 

Stayflexi is dedicated to protecting your revenue in every possible way. We are here to help with chargebacks, card declines, cancellations, or non-payments. 

Have any further questions about Flexi Collect? Do let me know in the comments below!

Think the COVID-19 pandemic is over for good? Think you can just waltz back from the “New Normal” to the old normal? Think again. You might land yourself AND your guests in serious danger. 

The “New Normal” cannot be discarded the moment we unmask. This is because the practices that we were following under the “New Normal” directive actually have some long-lasting merits. 

Think of how most hotels shifted to digital key cards and self-check-in during the pandemic, for example. Are you planning to do away with that and return to the system of a crowded lobby and check-in queues that never end? You might end up in real trouble. 

What you need to understand is that guest behavior and requirements have also changed over this period of lockdown. Guests are not desirous of waiting in long lines at the front desk anymore. And neither are they keen on too much human interaction. They want autonomy over their own space and time during their travel. 

This is exactly why you need to update your onboarding practices, not just for the sake of health but also to respect the customers’ wishes. To elevate the overall experience of your guests, opt for the Stayflexi Orchestra Mobile App. 

What does this Stayflexi mobile app allow you to do? Keep reading!


Self Check-In & Check-Out

How to avoid long queues at the front desk while allowing flexible check-in hours? The solution is simple. Stayflexi can provide you with a completely contactless self-check-in and check-out feature. 

Through this feature, guests no longer have to wait at the reception at all. They can check in through their Stayflexi Orchestra Mobile app the moment they board their planes or when they get a rental from the airport.

This ensures that your hotel lobby is never crowded with guests. This is an incredible safety measure during the pandemic. Moreover, you can do without a receptionist manning your desk 24×7. The benefits don’t end here. If the guests check in early, this gives the housekeeping staff more time to clean and organize their rooms as per their requests. 


Contactless Payments

The contactless payment system of Stayflexi is amazing for multiple reasons. Firstly, it allows you to create payment links that you can directly send to your guests’ mobile app. This eliminates the need for any cash/card. 

Secondly, it makes sure you don’t lose money on postpaid bookings (for example, through booking.com) in case the customer cancels their reservation. Through the Flex Collect System, you can send the guests a reminder that their booking will only be confirmed after the payment is made. It also helps you accepts 50+ currencies from all across the world.

That’s not all. Stayflexi helps you set up POS shops for your on-site commercial ventures. The payments are all managed from a centralized location so it is much easier to keep track of them. Moreover, it provides you with detailed audit and analytics reports so that you can make informed decisions regarding the e-commerce businesses in the future. 


Digitalized Menu

Who doesn’t love room service? Did you know that some hotels made up for their pandemic losses by offering in-room private dining for their guests? 

Through Stayflexi, you can digitalize your entire restaurant menu. This makes sure that the guests don’t have to interact with the hotel staff or even with other guests while dining. You can set up similar menus for other items that your property sells as well. For example, several breweries have online menus of their liquors and complementary cheeses. 

The best part is, you can even accept instant payments for these meals so that guests don’t have to scrutinize the final check-out bill. Instant settlements ensure that you don’t get plagued by chargebacks. 


Safe And Clean Travels 

“Social distancing” is something that is going to be with us for a significant period of time. And when you think about it, it definitely is healthier to practice social distancing in hotels where people from a variety of geographical locations are gathered together. 

This is exactly why Stayflexi attempts to reduce staff interactions with guests as much as possible. Complaints no longer have to be lodged after storming up to the front desk and waiting to be heard. Guests can simply lodge their complaints through their Orchestra Mobile App. The ones in charge of solving the said complaint will receive a notification and will immediately attend to the problem. This not only increases the efficiency of the staff but also prevents complaints from getting lost in a long game of Telephone. As a hotelier, it also becomes easier for you to hold people accountable for a task. 

The best example of this are the many hotels in the US that have completely done away with their staff. Only the housekeeping staff is present on the premises to clean the rooms after check-out. This not only decreases your labor cost but also increases the satisfaction of your guests who value their privacy greatly. 

The lower the number of staff and guest interactions, the lower is the possibility of the spread of COVID-19. 

So, what are you waiting for? Ready to ramp up your business operations after the lockdown? Give Stayflexi’s amazing features a try!