Three worst words to say to a customer

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 Three worst words to say to a customer

 

 

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As I read this blog I could hear a potential guest with the Why????  There is NO answer that will satisfy the reason, all of them have a comeback.  We have our policies for a reason - what ever that reason may be and if someone wants to argue about it, there is no way I will back down if it is one of those policies to which I am fexible. 

The fastest way to end that is to simply state that we are sorry we are unable to accommodate you with ????, but you may want to try XYZ Inn.  As soon as you do this they KNOW you are not bending. (well most anyway)  It will either get them off the phone OR they will back down and book agreeing your terms. 

Joey Camb's picture
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Partly though the article isn't about having policies its about not going (and I am sure we have all experienced this) Its a Policy its the policy when you try and do or ask something.

Its more about saying - our policy is you don't park on the grass as it makes deep ruts which are very difficult, time consuming and expensive to fix - please dont. rather than just saying - its our policy don't park on the grass.

I am not denying that we all should have policies and look at and change and update them where necessary (which in some ways is the most important thing - keep them relevant to you) but there should be a little budging room in the explanation. Also I do agree there will always be one that wants to bring a group,dog etc So i always have a list of suitable places which seems to cut them off

Sorry no we can't help you but I know XYZ can here are the numbers - goodbye.

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Morticia's picture
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Also thinking about how the writer of the article thought her way was workable for everyone. Not taking into consideration that perhaps there are other issues involved that the business in question doesn't want to get into.

There isn't anyone who can help her by meeting her at the secured entry, letting her in, guiding her around, making sure she doesn't go where she doesn't belong.

No one knows who she is. Or if she is even who she says she is.

The business she wants to enter is not open to the public. Would she let someone into her home just because they said they're a blogger who has been following her and promoting her work for years?

She says if that's the case they business needs to explain to her why what she wants is not possible, in terms she will understand and agree with.

We all know where this leads- long conversations with guests who have an answer for everything. Those of the 'very best kids, dogs' ilk.

Last week I explained to a caller that her dog could not remain in the room while she was gone all day to work. I did tell her it was because of the barking and anxiety for the dog of being in a strange place. Of course she told me her dog never barks, never has an accident (the dog is 14 years old) and can't jump on anything.

This is why explaining the policy does no good. Every guest has a reason why it will never apply to them. The workaround was to give her the name of a doggie daycare. Didn't get the reservation, but the guest got the info to book elsewhere and take the dog to the dogsitter while she was here for work.

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Morticia's picture
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Sitting here thinking how awful it is to be on the receiving end of this statement. Then thinking about being a very small business trying to 'work out a deal' with someone who wants to subvert the policies:

'We have a very small dog who doesn't even need to go outside, we'll take any room you have.'

'There are 5 of us and a golden retriever, we'd like one room.'

'We don't like to get up early, so we want breakfast at 10:30. Other places have accommodated us.'

'I don't have a credit card, we'll pay cash when we get there. You DO take CASH, don't you?'

'My baby is sick and I don't know if we can be there tomorrow. Hold the room and I'll call back in the morning and let you know.'

So, how do you handle these so everyone is happy?

Joey Camb's picture
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I work on the principle of frankly everyone doesn't need to be happy but I do. This may seem harsh but

(a) people with a dog should go to a dog friendly place its that simple and here they are XYZ

(b) people who arn't sure if they can make it should buy travel insurance

(c) 5 in a room is above health and safety and wouldn't fit and we don't take dogs for allergy reasons

(d) - sorry we can't do 10.30 breakfast but we could do room only with a small discount and send you to the cafe (its really nice) which does all day breakfast as an alternative.

(e) we take postal orders, cheques (at least 2 weeks in advance) and electronic transfer - no card? then you will be paying in advance and not on arrival.

 

Silverspoon's picture
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"I work on the principle of frankly everyone doesn't need to be happy but I do. "

 

I'm with you on this one....can't possibly please everyone.  If there are easy alternatives then of course, as kind and gentle innkeepers, we would always tell the caller about their choices.

(No we do not have accommodations for children but you can try the XYZ B+B who specialize in family accommodations)

I'd stick to our policy since it was put in place for a reason (that I may not want to share with the prospective guest... and why should I have to share it with them?)  I would prefer to turn someone away than to have a PITA.  

 

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Absolutely.

I ran into a similar situation at Ace Hardware the other day. I'm on their frequent shopper plan and I occasionally get a $5 gift card from them. I went in and bought some nuts and bolts and the bill came to $4.98. I handed the guy my $5 gift card and told him to keep the 2 pennies change.

He said the cash register won't let them use a gift card on a purchase under $5 and I'd have to buy something more to push the bill over $5. I told him to just increase my charge for the bolts to $5.01 and I'd give him a penny.

Still no. It's not policy.

Made me so mad I almost left without buying the bolts, but I really needed them so I gave him a $5 bill and took my 2 pennies with me!

So their gift card system, designed to keep me a happy customer, actually caused me to leave mad. But all policies were strictly observed so the world wouldn't stop spinning.

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Silverspoon's picture
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 Ark...over $500 you should get upset...over $5.00?   Not so much.  Maybe it's time for a short vacation.....does wonders for the occasional disappointment. I understand that it is the principle of the thing that angers you, but I bet you'll need to go to Ace another time and will get the opportunity to use that gift card then.

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