Ksenia Hanlon, Sales Manager, Otesaga Resort Hotel, HSMAI Rising Sales Leader Council Member
We all know that managing expectations is an important part of any job, but it becomes even more critical in the hospitality industry. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we’ve had to adapt when it comes to meetings, events, and even leisure travel. The Rising Sales Leader Council met to discuss the challenges we’ve faced successfully managing client expectations and share some strategies we use to manage these situations.
Many shared situations that seemed small, but quickly escalated when a guest’s expectations were not met or they would not back down from their request, even if it went against policy (or reason!).
The top two strategies the RLC shared were:
1. Communicate clearly and often with our guests. It’s important to let them know what to expect in terms of service, and to be transparent about any changes that have been made in response to the pandemic. This way, they can be prepared for anything and know that we’re doing our best to keep them safe.
2. Understand guests’ high expectations. They may be taking their first trip in a while, paying more for their room, and expect service to match. Also need to be understanding that our guests’ expectations are high and that they may need to change their plans at the last minute. Finally, remember that your guests are under pressure as well. They may be worried about the changes that have been made to the way their usual holiday or business trip is being conducted.
Ultimately, the key to managing challenging situations is to be flexible, transparent, and communicative. By following these simple guidelines, we can try to ensure that our guests have a positive experience despite the current challenges.