When the Sh*t Hit the Fan, I Always Knew What To Do


When the Sh*t Hit the Fan, I Always Knew What To Do — Photo by Steve DiGioia

I was never rattled by an upset customer. Never hesitated to speak with them, never cowered in fear, and never pushed them off to a coworker. I looked forward to the opportunity to “make things right”. When the sh*t hit the fan, I always knew what to do.

How can that be?

Am I crazy and want to get into an argument with an angry customer? Of course not. Am I a glutton for punishment and need confrontation? Heck no. Am I just plain stupid? I hope not…

What I am is prepared.

I’m prepared for the unfortunate customer who felt that our service was less than stellar and wanted to vent their frustrations.

How to Be Prepared for an Upset Customer

Early on in my hospitality career, I made it a point to find out what my options were to satisfy an upset customer. I needed to know what I had the authority to do without getting further approval from my supervisor.

  • Could I “comp” it?
  • Could I offer a free replacement?
  • Could I give a discount coupon to use on a future visit?
  • Could I provide a free upgrade?

What answers could I give? I didn’t want to rely on anyone else, not even my boss. I’m in front of the upset customer so it’s MY job to fix it, no one else!

I knew that any delay in finding a solution would only prolong their angst and make my mission more difficult.

I Knew What to Do

I made lists. I confirmed with others. And I tested my “service recovery” options on a small scale. They worked. And I knew I was ready. I felt prepared. I was confident that I could make it right when I needed to. And, sadly, working in many busy hotels, I had plenty of opportunities to use my newly found skill set.

When the sh*t hit the fan, I always knew what to do because I was prepared.

Are you?

Steve DiGioia
+1 973 997 9003
Steve DiGioia

Guest Experience



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