5 Ways to Handle Guest Complaints in Hotels

5 Ways to Handle Guest Complaints in Hotels

Working in the hospitality industry offers several perks and challenges. As a hospitality member, you receive free meals, discounted travel, and tips from guests. Simultaneously, you come across hurried guests dealing with tight schedules, jet lag, and tired children. Whether your hotel guest is on a business trip or vacation, some are bound to complain. The following are five ways to handle guest complaints in hotels.

1. Don’t Argue with the Guests

Upset guests make the effort to complain to the front desk instead of over the phone. Actively listen and don’t interrupt them. More importantly, don’t argue with the guests.

Some clients expect to receive exactly what they saw in an advertisement. If they’re traveling on a tight budget, maximizing every cent is their goal. A guest who feels cheated out of amenities experiences despair.

Some guests complain for the sake of complaining. They want their services rendered according to their specifications. Regardless of your position in the hospitality industry, your job is customer service-centric. Without guests, hotel rooms don’t get booked. If you actively listen and don’t argue, you avoid escalating the situation. Your manager will appreciate your ability to handle irate visitors with ease.

2. Showcase Your Problem Solving Skills

As you listen to your hotel guests’ complaints, make mental notes. What are they truly complaining about?

Once you understand the crux of the complaint, showcase your problem-solving skills. The most common hotel guest complaint is room temperature. It’s either too hot or too cold. Maybe the guest doesn’t know how to operate the heating and cooling unit. If they need help, send a staff member to fix it.

The second most common hotel guest complaint is noise. Rowdy hotel guest neighbors or noise coming from outside the property aren’t pleasant for most people traveling for business or pleasure.

If you’re aware that some rooms receive more outdoor noise than others, move the guest to a quieter quadrant, especially if the room is available. Rowdy guests staying overnight present an issue that requires attention before it gets further out of hand.

3. Understand the Guest

Some people travel and expect the hospitality industry to pamper them. When they stay at a hotel, they expect pristine accommodations and service. Keep in mind that a client’s complaint doesn’t always stem from the accommodations or service.

Maybe the guest had a rough flight and they’re still jet-lagged. If they’re traveling with their children, maybe their kids aren’t cooperating.

If you actively listen to the hotel guest’s complaint and understand what’s really happening, you’ll be able to show off your problem-solving skills and diffuse the situation. A comped meal goes a long distance with an upset guest, for example.

4. Take Responsibility

Everyone answers to someone. An employee answers to a manager and parents answer to their kids. Hospitality members answer to their guests.

When a guest complains and you take responsibility, you’re not admitting that you did anything wrong. You are taking responsibility for being the person who heard the complaint.

As you listen, decide if you can solve the issue, or if you need to refer it to someone else. If you prefer it to another member, remember to follow up. This ensures that the issue does resolve. If you can handle the complaint, see it through to the end. Taking responsibility means ensuring the complaint resolves.

5. Be Aware of Triggers

Hotels see their share of disruptive guests. Some visitors stay at hotels for the sole purpose of letting loose. If you notice that your hotel guests complaining are drunk, high on drugs, or demonstrating other erratic signs, be aware of triggers.

It’s important to remain calm and showcase your problem skills. Your goal is to diffuse the situation and protect the rest of your guests. If the situation cannot remain contained, consider having security services on standby, such as those offered by Special Security Services. Professional security service professionals receive training in diffusing situations that could become physical.


One hotel guest might complain daily. When your establishment remains booked because there’s a convention in town, expect more chaos. If there’s a music festival, concert, or sporting event in town, you might receive more rowdy guests. To handle complaints, remember that it’s not personal. The calmer you remain, the more likely the guest is to calm down too.

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