Does your B&B breathe a sigh of relief when you leave?

Posted by Glenda on Thu June 12, 2014 in Customer Service.

Making sure your clients stay happy and content during their stay, is sometimes a difficult task, but its seldom impossible. Does your B&B owner go that extra mile to make your stay more comfortable?

It's one of the real challenges of owning and managing a B&B... making sure that your customers are always happy. Some folks make it really easy for you to please, they arrive happy, stay happy and then rave about the venue.

Then you get clients that present more of a challenge. I guess there are a multitude of reasons that this could happen, but over the years of running a B&B, one develops a kind of sixth sense to identify the signs of a not so happy client. It's become my personal challenge to make sure that everyone ends up staying and leaving a happy camper. Sometimes it's something really simple to fix but other times it can be rather challenging and it takes diplomacy, patience, understanding, and a good sense of humour to making things right.

Do we sometimes breathe a sigh of relief when some guests leave? Well yes I guess we do, but that's not a bad thing. It's the things that go wrong, that remind you what's right and that different kinds of people find different kinds of things appealing in their accommoation. Without the negative, you tend to forget that a B&B is an ever evolving business that needs constant attention, upgrade and loving care. Let it slip for even just a short while and you may find that your clients are slipping through your fingers too.

But sometimes people may have simply booked in the wrong place and didn't realise it...and that's also ok...we learn not to take it personally. I recall during the amazing months of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, we had a family arrive from the USA, check in, sleep for a few hours and then check out (even though they had paid in full). Their Travel Agent, had omitted to tell them that Midrand was no-where near the hotspots of Sandton City and Melrose Arch, and that they couldn't just walk over the road to get to the action. As in the extremely funny Fawly Towers clip, we just could not get the sea any closer than it was, not even for them.

It's the folks that don't show any outward signs of being unhappy and then leave unhappy and never come back to whom we appeal the most. PLEASE don't do that! In all fairness, every business owner deserves the opportunity to make things right, please give us all that opportunity...and preferably before you post your comments on social media. I spent many years in the restaurant trade and the amazing man that I learned the business from, always had a very valid comment to people with complaints..." You can't eat the whole steak and then tell me it was overcooked...tell when when you've taken the first few bites and I will make you a new one". It's the same in this industry...don't stay and be unhappy and then leave and tell the world and your friends how unhappy you were.... we can't fix it then. Tell us while you are here, so we have a chance to make it all right.