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  • The Storyteller

Guests are like kids - please don't show favouritism (whether intended or otherwise)

First situation:

Two couple friends went for a long weekend trip at a five-star property.

Couple A has stayed there on several occasions and it was the first time for Couple B. The front desk employee led the way towards the elevator in order to escort them to the rooms. She also made small talk, mostly with the repeat guests who were walking right besides her while Couple B was few steps behind.

At one point, Couple A said they would head up on their own and the employee extended a positive closing and bade them farewell. It was likely that the employee's body language indicated as if she was ready to take leave, because at that moment, the missus of Couple B remarked that the receptionist could still show them to their room. It was likely that Couple B felt that they were not given the same level of attention and consideration as compared to Couple A.

Second situation:

The Executive Assistant Manager was seen greeting several tables of guests during breakfast, as part of the usual round of "courtesy calls". In all fairness, perhaps the EAM was going to continue with the other sections of the restaurant when he probably remembered there was somewhere else he needed to be or something of greater urgency he had to tend to.

Regardless, some guests at the other "ungreeted" tables felt as if they were not of importance, or worse, as if they were being discriminated. (Yes, I have always said that guests are like kids - ignore them and risk getting them upset. If we do not pacify them when they are grumpy, they may end up screaming and pulling their hair - and that of the hotel employees - out.)

Later that morning, the couple who was settling their bill payment at the reception made a pointed remark about how the resort manager was not being fair in his treatment to all the guests. They said truthfully, with some hint of sarcasm, "While it is not that we needed for the resort manager to come over, we were wondering if he has certain set of criteria before deciding which guests to say hello to?"

Reflective thoughts: In both cases, the guests were left with a less-than-satisfactory feeling after perceiving that the attention they had received was lesser than the others. What could have been done to ensure a more desirable outcome?

Think of other examples in your daily interaction with the guests or clientele. What should we watch out and be mindful about? What can help and what not?

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