The drunk guest

The reception staff notices that the guest in room 101 is quite drunk when he enters. The staff knows that the rooms on the floor where the guest is staying on are currently being cleaned. They call the hotel manager, who is a strong man, and let him know. The hotel manager talks to the head of housekeeping and asks her to send a message to the staff that he will be inside the drunken guest's room while the staff are cleaning. No employee should enter the room before the hotel manager is in the room. The hotel manager knocks on the guest's door and asks him if it is okay for the housekeeping staff to clean the room. The hotel manager engages the guest in a lively conversation while the room is being cleaned. Once the room is clean the hotel manager thanks the guest for a pleasant conversation and says goodbye with a handshake.

The questions

  • What problems could have arisen?
  • What aspects of the example can be considered the key to successful workplace communication and safety?
  • What could have been done if the hotel manager had not been there?
  • Discuss the safety rules that apply in your job in similar situations.

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Do not disturb

A situational case from a guest's perspective: "It was 9 o'clock in the morning when I heard a knock on the door and someone said: "Housekeeping". I couldn't believe it and just said "no, no". There was another knock, but louder now, and then I heard the door being opened. I was scantily dressed and said again, "no, no". The employee apologized and left quietly. I did not sleep well after this interruption. When I checked out, I told the receptionist about this incident. He listened to me and said that he understood it was very uncomfortable and apologized profusely. He explained that the employee's training could probably have been improved. I was satisfied with the apology, but I would also have liked a little compensation."

The questions

  • What can explain this incident other than lack of training?
  • Why is an apology important?
  • What do you think about the receptionist's response to the complaint?
  • How would you advise the receptionist to respond to a complaint next time?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Exceeding expectations

This review was posted on Tripadvisor: “I would like to thank Eva in the housekeeping at Hotel Stardust for completely exceeding my wildest expectations. I stayed at the hotel for a weekend because I was going to a wedding nearby. I had one dress with me but saw at the last minute that the dress needed to be altered. I asked Eva for help and she solved my problem and saved the day. It was wonderful to stay at this place because of how attentive Eva and her colleagues were. I will never forget her thoughtfulness. It's hard to find staff like her. I hope that those who run the hotel appreciate her work."

The questions

  • What effect does such a compliment, which specifies the name of the employee, have on the employee in question?
  • What effect does a compliment have on co-workers?
  • What are some good ways to communicate compliments within your workplace?
  • What effect can compliments have on workplace communication?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Understaffed situation

Many of housekeeping employees were ill, so the housekeeping team was understaffed. In addition, the number of guests at the hotel had not decreased and many new ones were arriving. Everything had to be clean and ready by 15 p.m. because then the new guests could check in. At XNUMX o'clock a receptionist calls the head of housekeeping and says that there is a couple in the reception with a crying child who is throwing up. The receptionist asks carefully if one of the rooms is ready or if the housekeeping staff could quickly finish cleaning a room for them. The staff found it easy to put themselves in the shoes of the guests, but this meant that they had to reorganize themselves and work even faster. The head of housekeeping told the staff later that day that the guests with the crying child had thanked them over and over when she met them later that day in the hallway.

The questions

  • What effect would it have had on the other guests walking through the reception if the couple had had to wait there for four hours?
  • What are the pros and cons of such an extra service?
  • What effect can such a strain have on teamwork in the long run?
  • What could the head of housekeeping have said more or done for the staff?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Towel-toys

An employee working in housekeeping at an established hotel began to wonder what he could do to make the guests happy. He noticed that families with children who came to the hotel did not always have toys with them. The employee looked online for instructions on how to make toys out of towels and got a variety of ideas. He started playing around, making different animals every time guests with children stayed. He wasn't good at English, but he could see from the parents' and children's reaction that this was a pleasant surprise for them. One day, some time later, the owner came to him with a smile and says: "You were featured on Tripadvisor today and we got a five-star review. The people said that what made their stay unforgettable were the little animals from you that were waiting for them every time they arrived at the hotel. How do you have time for this sort of thing?", he asked.

The questions

  • What are the pros and cons of such an extra service?
  • How far should you go in providing extra service to please guests?
  • Is the owner completely satisfied with the employee's work?
  • Give some examples of service that exceeds expectations.

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

The guest with the towel

An employee is asked to go up to one of the hotel rooms with food which a guest had ordered. She knocks on the door three times and says: "Room service". A cheerful and strong man, wearing only a towel around his waist, opens the door. The employee feels as if the man is checking her out from head to toe. She says good evening, walks rather nervously through the door, puts the tray on the table, goes over the order and then asks the guest to sign the bill. As she is about to leave, the visitor grabs her shoulder and thanks her. The employee thanks the guest as well and then carefully closes the door. She is somewhat relieved when she was out in the hallway.

The questions

  • Why is the employee relieved once she has left the room?
  • What do you think of the employee's reaction?
  • How can managers respond to such situations? What are their responsibilities?
  • Do you think she told her boss and/or colleagues about the incident?
  • Name other examples of similar situations that can arise in service jobs.

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

The towel crisis

The receptionist receives a call from room 202. A guest is irritated due to a lack of a bath towels. Calm and composed, the employee tells the guest that he understands well that the guest finds this uncomfortable and sincerely apologizes. He says that the towels will be delivered to the guest within 15 minutes. Before the call is terminated, the guest overhears the receptionist scolding another employee because of this mistake. The guest regrets complaining and has a guilty conscience. Ten minutes later there is a knock on the guest's door and towels are brought. The employee sincerely apologizes but the guest is very embarrassed.

The questions

  • How would you describe the work ethic in this workplace?
  • What can be improved with regard to employee communication?
  • How could the employee see that the guest was embarrassed?
  • How does a guest feel after such an incident?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

The lost charger

Two travelers were going to charge their mobile phones but then discovered that they had left the charger in the room where they last stayed. They immediately called the reception there. The kind employee who answered had not heard about a charger being found but was going to investigate and call the two travelers back. There had only been one outlet available in the room so the travelers could tell the receptionist exactly where the charger had been. The receptionist went straight to the housekeeping staff and spoke to them in an authoritative tone. By the middle of the next day, the travelers had not heard back from the receptionist so they called again to inquire about the charger and were told that it had not been found. On the third day, they were still waiting for an update on the charger, but when they called it turned out that the charger had been found. The receptionist offered to send it by mail to an address in Reykjavík provided by the travelers. A week later, there was an announcement from the Post Office about a package delivery.

The questions

  • How can the staff set up a structure/process that ensures better service?
  • How can housekeeping and reception staff ensure that guests' forgotten belongings are returned quickly and safely?
  • What does the example say about the communication between reception and housekeeping staff?
  • What does this story say about the staff's diligence and the accuracy of their work?
  • How would you describe the work ethic in this workplace?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Everything afloat

After taking a shower, a hotel guest discovers that the floor is flooded and realizes that the drain is completely blocked. His travel companion helps him clean up the floor. They had no choice but to throw all the towels on the floor to mop up the water. They didn't want to waste their precious time complaining about this and decided to just take a very short shower the next day. The same thing happened again though, the drain was blocked instantly. Later that day, they went to the reception to get help ordering food from a restaurant. Everyone there was cheerful and kind but no one asked them if they enjoyed their stay. They didn't want to make a fuss about the drain. When they paid the bill the next morning, the receptionist finally asked if they had been satisfied with their stay. They sensed that he really wanted an answer to his question and therefore told him about the mess in the bathroom. The receptionist was sorry and offered a small discount on the bills. He then apologized sincerely for the inconvenience.

The questions

  • What should the housekeeping staff have done when they saw the state of the bathroom?
  • What is the responsibility of the guests when such an incident occurs?
  • Was it too late to do something for the guests when they were checking out of the hotel? Explain from the perspective of guests and employees.
  • How can guests be encouraged to let know if something goes wrong?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Communication without words

A guest at a hotel is about to have a coffee when he sees that there is only decaffeinated coffee (decaf) and tea available. He doesn't think it's worth drinking decaffeinated coffee. He remembers seeing a maid cleaning the hallway when he entered. The guest strolls down the hall, even though he's only wearing shorts and a warm top, and asks if the maid could help him. She does not speak Icelandic and almost no English. The visitor fails to make himself understood. The maid is as if hanging on a thread and walks towards the room door which is open. She asks with a wave of her hand if she can enter. She uses the cart, which has clean linen and products for the room, to hold the door open. As soon as the guest points to the tea and coffee set, she sees what is missing. The maid refills the coffee set, adds chocolate chips and apologizes while smiling. She closes the door gently behind her.

The questions

  • What do you think of the employee's attempt to respond to the guest's request in a professional manner?
  • Why do you think the tea / coffee set was not filled correctly?
  • Why does the employee leave the cart in the doorway?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

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