Handling Complaints in Five Stages for Our Partners, Customers for the Right Tourism Product.

18/08/2019

Treatment of complaints in five stages .

The importance of guest complaints about improving the quality of the business is unquestionable. But how should executives and coworkers respond to guest complaints? What means do they have? How do they find out about guest dissatisfaction? And what are the possible reactions of the guests when they are not satisfied with the services provided? These questions and some are still at the center of an active complaint management. The following are some of the ways in which complaints can be handled carefully.

Stage 1: Think of the possible reactions 

First, you should be aware of the various possible reactions of a guest who is dissatisfied with the services provided by the tourist business. 

Possible reactions of dissatisfied guests:

  • The guest changes business. 
  • The guest complains about the business. 
  • The guest addresses a complaint about an organization (eg media, citizen's advocate, consumer organizations). 
  • The guest does negative word-of-mouth advertising to potential customers. 
  • The guest permanently rejects the disputed service. 
  • The guest does not react despite his displeasure. 

Stage 2: Give guests the opportunity to express their grievance 

Often, the guest does not directly express his dissatisfaction. You must, therefore, enable him to express his grievance. This is the only way for the business to restore the satisfaction of the guest and maintain its relationship with the business. There are several ways to achieve this: 

  • Insert a complaint container. 
  • Present "Comment-Cards", for example on the bedside table (but not hidden in other forms of the hotel). 
  • Place a service stand (panels or containers) centrally for lodging complaints. 
  • Encourage the guest to express his suggestions, wishes or shortcomings he has noticed by discussing them openly. 
  • Use questionnaires to assess the level of guest satisfaction.


Stage 3: Accept complaints professionally 

When the guest expresses his or her complaint, the correct reaction of the partner is of primary importance. As soon as you receive the complaint, you should avoid further increasing the dissatisfaction of the guest. In order to achieve this, there must be several conditions: 

  • Organize training programs for affiliates who come into direct contact with guests to learn to graciously handle the events presented by an annoyed guest. 
  • Create a handbook for complaints-related conversations. 
  • Designate those responsible for managing complaints (eg complaints receiving partners or a central service). 
  • Define the skills needed to make decisions on the part of the partners who may encounter guest complaints. 
  • Write forms to record and report complaints. 
  • Set rules for this process once a complaint is made. 

Most importantly: the partner who treats a frustrated guest to maintain his temper, applying the principle "We remain calm, serious and insist on events". The following program, in ten points, presents a possible way to deal with complaints: 

  • Listen to the customer - don't say anything. 
  • Maintain eye contact. 
  • Stay serious.
  • Drive the customer to a quiet place. 
  • Take a long pause before answering. 
  • State that you are responsible for dealing with the complaint. 
  • Make statements to the first person: "Really, I'm sorry", "I'm really taking it seriously", "I'm surprised and worried". 
  • Make specific suggestions to your guest to please him or ask him how you can please him. 
  • Agree to follow up if you cannot react immediately. 
  • Do not make promises that you cannot keep. 
  • Thank the customer for his complaint. 

In this way, we can mitigate the negative feelings of the client, even turning them into positive ones. When the guest reduces his negative emotions, we can calmly discuss the measures to restore his satisfaction. 

Stage 4: Handle complaints

Anyone who accepts a guest's complaint should immediately consider it and make the corrections that are required. A guest's complaint should in no way be left unsatisfied. You must, together with those in charge, try to solve the problems that have occurred. Satisfying the guest, while using the service or during their stay, not only leads to faster and better resolution of the problem, but in most cases this solution is also the most economical. The tourist business has various means of dealing with complaints. 

Means of immediate reaction: 

  • Elimination / repair (eg repair of faulty toilets on board). 
  • Subsequent improvement (eg warming the frozen soup). 
  • Change of service (eg change of defective skis). 
  • Extra care (eg offering a sweet). 
  • Offer items (eg illustrated book or guide from the hotel's tourist information office, local specialties in a gift box). 
  • Offers to use the services of a tourist business (eg free ferry ticket, free overnight stay). 

Additional reaction media: 

  • Written confirmation of the handling of the complaint when it takes more time. 
  • Apology letter. 
  • Personal phone call to complained customer. 
  • Ex-post compensation with a certain amount of money.


Complaints expressed by loyal guests need special attention. Even if the media or a citizen's advocate or consumer organization has been alerted, we advise you to consider the complaints very carefully. 

Stage 5: Evaluate and analyze complaints 

In order to be able to use the information contained in complaints to improve quality, you must evaluate them systematically. To do this, you can record the number of registered complaints as well as the frequency of the various reasons for the guests' dissatisfaction. With the help of electronic data processing, you can easily and quickly quantify their characteristics. 

Complaints also allow you to know about any changes in guests' requirements and expectations. Ideas for improvement and the desire to change the products expressed by the guests offer the opportunity to customize the services to the specific and modern needs of the latter and thus improve the quality of services. 

In order to obtain Q-quality certification, the business must be able to prove that it attaches great importance to addressing the complaints of its guests as an important opportunity to improve it.

The goal of good quality management is to reduce incidents and, consequently, complaints: we need to ask ourselves in which area of ​​organization (department) and why most complaints occur. 

The business must set out a series of measures it wants to take in the coming years to respond to complaints in a specific and effective way. It should be borne in mind that all services can be improved by reducing the number of complaints. The most important measures will be mentioned in the Action Plan. 

The action plan 

The Action Plan aggregates data from the Service Chains, Quality Profile and Complaint Management. Priorities are evaluated and six to ten objectives are planned. For each objective, the person responsible for achieving it and the deadlines for implementation are specified. 

The results are checked each year and a new Action Plan is drawn up. 

Excerpt from The Swiss Quality Label for Tasos Anthoulia Tourism ,

from www.touristikiekpaideysi.gr

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