Ask TrueGuest: How to I Improve Our Handling of Housekeeping and Engineering Requests?

Dear TrueGuest,

Our comment card scores have shown that we are really lacking in follow-through on guest requests.  Do you have any tips to help us get back on top?

You have come to the right place for this question.  We actually have not really address guest requests in quite a long time, not since this post.  The handling of guest requests can be a simple procedure, but things can go horribly wrong if the proper procedures are not in place.  Here are our keys:

Tips for taking a guest request:

  1. Have a log system in place.  It doesn’t matter if you have an old-fashioned paper log or are using a complicated computer tracking system.  Both can be very effective.  About 30 percent of guest requests are not handled due to a lack of follow-up.  GSAs take a request over the phone.  Next thing you know 3 guests arrive to check-in before he writes the request down and the request is forgotten.  Get a good log!
  2. Find out exactly what the guest expects during the request.  The guest may be reporting that the shower in their room is not working properly.  Maybe they need the shower fixed right now so they can get ready for a meeting.  Maybe they already showered and would like it fixed after they check out so they are not disturbed.  Be sure to ask the right questions to find out exactly what is expected.
  3. Quote a time for handling the request.  A simple guest request should be no longer than 10 minutes.  If a guest is calling because their TV is not working or they are out of towels, they probably need assistance right away.  Make the guest feel at ease by saying ‘I will have someone up to your room to help within the next 10 minutes.’
  4. Repeat the request back to the guest before ending the call.  This one is often overlooked.  If the guest is requesting towels, let them know that you are sending 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels.  They can then correct you if you misunderstood their request.

Tips for handling the guest request:  

  1. Make it your goal to handle all requests within 10 minutes.  If you are a bellman, a housekeeping associate, or an engineer, make sure that guest requests come before anything else.
  2. Use proper door-knocking standards when arriving at the guest room.  Here are some tips on door-knocking.
  3. Be prepared when you arrive at the room.  There is nothing worse than calling because your television remote is not working and then having the engineer arrive unprepared.  The engineer then has to disturb the guest a second time when he returns with a new set of batteries.  Be sure to arrive with extra batteries and a brand new remote in case it needs to be replaced.  If the guest calls and says the alarm clock, coffee maker, or hairdryer is not working, arrive with a replacement before you try and diagnose the problem.  The same rule applies to housekeeping.  If a guest is requesting a roll-away bed, they will probably need an extra pillow and blanket.  Be prepared.
  4. Let the front desk know by radio or cell phone as soon as you have completed the request.  We encourage guest services to follow up on all requests so housekeeping and engineering should let them know the request has been handled.

Tips for follow up of guest requests:

  1. Conduct a guest request call back to make sure the guest is satisfied.  Almost no one conducts guest request follow-up calls these days.  As soon as housekeeping or engineering reports back and says the request has been handled, call the guest.  Also, have a good phone script ready for callbacks.  Do not say ‘I just wanted to make sure that our housekeeper actually did what I told them to do.’  Have a positive dialog and offer an additional service such as a wake-up call or extended checkout.
  2. Review your guest request logs every month during a departmental meeting.  If you see the same guest request over and over, come up with a plan to eliminate reduce those requests.  For instance, if you get 4 requests in a month complaining about the hot water on the fourth floor, have the problem looked into.

Remember, guest requests are a top priority.  Get a system in place today so you never miss another request!

Download our Guest Request Log HERE

One thought on “Ask TrueGuest: How to I Improve Our Handling of Housekeeping and Engineering Requests?

  1. i need a little letter or note for our hotel guest that are extended stay that may be day sleepers, because maybe they work all night? we want to be able to accommodate everyone’s needs and still give them excellent service?

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