Complaint management
at the reception desk

How professional complaint and claims management keeps your back free, strengthens your employees and ensures better ratings

„Your reception staff now defuse every complaint situation so easily – even hardship cases“

Suddenly, a guest storms towards reception gesticulating wildly and rumbles off with his complaint.

Normally a nightmare. Especially when there are other guests around. Suddenly they also find something that was apparently not right and possibly demand compensation.

Oh dear, the downward spiral takes its course.

No sooner has the shift started than your employees‘ enthusiasm is gone.

But it doesn’t have to come to this.

Imagine your staff welcoming the hen party guest with open arms. The situation is charmingly and confidently defused and turned around for the better. Because even as your guest approaches the reception desk, they are unconsciously communicating important information to your staff through their body language.

The innovative „Complaint management at reception“ training enables every receptionist to …

  • gently intercept the guest.
  • remain firm and confident in crucial situations.
  • turn the situation around and turn it into a positive one.

Your employees will consciously use facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice during and immediately after the seminar. They use special tricks to reach the guest’s subconscious directly. [This is important because logic and expertise are usually switched off at such moments.] Then they offer him THE solution he would never have expected.

In the blink of an eye, the initially critical encounter becomes a positive one at eye level.Learning these „special methods“ leads directly to significant successes in complaint management.

The skills are taught interactively and practically. This includes tangible skills that can be applied in day-to-day work. I deliberately avoid PowerPoint presentations or frontal teaching in a high-pressure boiler with dry-as-dust content – nothing sticks.

This is about the joy of learning. It’s about creating content in a humorous and lively way – yet seriously and with passion. The focus is on the benefits. Those who already know me know that.

Learn & refresh -> train and internalize -> apply

In groups with a focus on appearance and body language, each participant gathers effective practical knowledge. „Complaint management at reception“ also means: „Active learning with heart and mind and not just killing time.“

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you’re running into the same obstacles over and over again? Many of my conflicts have the same feel to them, like “Hey, I think I’ve been here before“

John Doe

Company name

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you’re running into the same obstacles over and over again? Many of my conflicts have the same feel to them, like “Hey, I think I’ve been here before“

John Doe

Company name

The FBI’s most successful negotiation methods in complaint management.

One thing is already certain: after the „Complaint management at reception“ training, your employees will turn every dissatisfied guest into an enthusiastic referrer. Yes, even hardship cases.

This is possible because „Complaint Management at Reception“ uses the FBI’s most successful negotiation methods.

What does that mean in plain language?

The FBI’s rhetoric experts penetrate the subconscious of hostage-takers, kidnappers and terrorists in a targeted and lightning-fast manner. They influence their interlocutors within a few seconds in such a skillful way that they deviate from their demands, settle for far less than was originally requested or even cave in completely.

These ingenious methods also work with guests. Especially with the whiners and complainers who are after it: no window seat in the restaurant, no air conditioning, room doesn’t fit because there’s a tree in front of the window, it’s cheap on Booking, … – with the ulterior motive of making a profit on the bill.

It’s a good thing that such hardcore cases are not the order of the day. Even if times are getting tougher and guests have become more demanding. But one thing is clear: if your team is equipped to deal with the more challenging cases, your employees will find the simpler guests and more harmless situations particularly easy to handle.

I recently received feedback from one of my customers. During the seminar, we decided to set up a joint WhatsApp group so that we could stay on top of it in the weeks afterwards, deepen our knowledge and improve as a group.

Resounding results
with Accelerated Learning Techniques

The use of video analysis allows participants to recognize their strengths and areas for improvement. This enables specific, detailed and helpful feedback.

In each training unit, they receive materials, handouts and cheat sheets that they can use to support them in practice.

These useful tools in particular are very well received. The seminar participants are always very enthusiastic. Because here they find exactly the tips in a condensed form that make their working day much easier. They often pin the „Rainer Lagemann cheat sheets“ in their back office or next to their PC and can access them directly at any time. This helps them to consolidate what they have learned and gives them additional confidence in their work.

Learning to read body language

Your employees develop an awareness of their own appearance and body language. They reflect …

 - how do I come across to the guest?

 - What signals am I sending?

 - what else resonates?

 - how does the guest unconsciously perceive me?

You will study how to read and interpret the guest’s body language:

The result: more attentiveness to the other person’s signals. You will recognize nuances that the guest does not explicitly address or express. But they can be decisive and often determine the outcome of the situation.

For example, if the body language expresses something different than the spoken word. Then they know that something is wrong.

At the same time, your employees will recognize from the guest’s body language signals which solution they are leaning towards or what will bring them back down. This is a real treasure, a miracle weapon in those moments when it really matters.

You steer the dialog with the customer in a positive direction, with facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice.

They show genuine understanding. Because people want one thing above all else: to be seen, heard and, above all, perceived and understood. That is completely normal. You and I feel the same way.

Meaning: Even if the hotel has not made a mistake and is not at fault, the employee may be sorry that the guest is disappointed. Because they arrived with different expectations. They know it themselves: Not every guest is a perfect match for you. Some have simply lost their way.

This is also trained and increases the self-confidence of your employees: how quickly it happens that a „We apologize for that too…“ slips out of routine. In the worst case, this only worsens the initial situation.

We can always be sorry that the guest is disappointed, but we don’t have to apologize for everything. More on this in my seminar „Complaint management at reception“.

You learn to amaze your counterpart by …

…. paying sincere tribute to the guest – at exactly the right moment.

… sharpening your eye for the positive aspects of the situation. Your staff will be amazed at the results: „Oh, that’s completely different from before.“ And when and when put into practice, your guests will be pleasantly surprised.

… positive side effect as the icing on the cake: Your employees will leave the situation mentally stronger.

You learn how to honestly appreciate the guest and turn them into a hero.

There is almost always something that you can value in your guest. Even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance.

For example, …

… that they arrived on time, where you can still do something on site.

… that he has chosen the direct route and not the convenient follow-up by e-mail or on a portal.

… or that he has an attentive eye (because other guests have probably missed it).

… or that he explicitly took his time, because time is our most valuable asset.

… that he places his trust in us.

… that he is able to convey his concerns objectively and,

… and, and …

Just imagine: An unpleasant situation is handled reasonably or even very well. Your employees conclude the conversation with a standard, hackneyed phrase that the guest has heard in 1000 other hotels: „And thank you again for your feedback. This helps us to continue to optimize our service and quality, blah, blah, blah.“ Creepy.

Hey, that’s not how it works. The guest is left with a bitter aftertaste, because they really don’t feel taken seriously by such hackneyed phrases.

Be careful: thanks is not appreciation. Details make the difference here. With thanks, the benefit lies with the host. He has an advantage and not the guest.

No, your employees are not using the decades-old standard phrase. You can do it better, much better. Namely with sincere, situationally appropriate recognition. Because with sincere recognition, you turn the guest into a hero. You fulfill their very own need to be noticed. It sinks in and sticks.

You see, it’s not just the first impression that counts, but also and above all the last impression.

How do you think your guest will behave after the conversation if they feel understood? And what will he tell others about it – including online in social media and on the relevant review portals?

You react appropriately …

… for insults and personal attacks: Can’t you even… / Did you even learn the job? / Are you too stupid to…?

… in the case of shouting guests.

… if you threaten to give your establishment a bad rating.

… in the event of excessive demands.

You use a positive, goal-oriented approach with the right questions.

Because those who ask, lead. By positively influencing the guests …

… creates more openness.

… puts unjustified criticism into perspective.

… the required compensation is minimized.

… the choleric guest calms down.

… threatening gestures are defused.

Concrete, goal-oriented exercises, such as „slipping into the guest’s situation“, help to internalize what has been learned. Interactive content with additional input and moderation by the trainer support the playful learning experience.

In the whole group and in groups of two, we simulate realistic everyday situations with corresponding dialog exercises. Video recordings facilitate the subsequent analysis, feedback and group discussions.

In individual work, the participants develop concrete content with authentic formulations.

Everyone gets a turn without exception. Perfect for the team structure and beneficial for greater understanding of the other areas.

The seminar is also ideal for non-native speakers, especially because body language, gestures, posture, tone of voice etc. are very important in complaints management at reception.

By now you will realize: „Complaint management at reception“ is different from standard seminars for everyone and therefore not comparable.

„Complaint management at reception“ goes deep and has a lasting effect. Your employees‘ motivation thermometer rises significantly.

Yes, I am convinced that my team will defuse any complaint situation professionally after the seminar.

But before you make your decision, here is a summary of the benefits you and your staff will gain from „complaints management at reception“.

More attentive employees with a sharper eye for detail. They keep a cool head in difficult situations and resolve them quickly, safely and efficiently and in the interests of the hotel.

Finally your back free – a reassuring feeling

Isn’t it good to know that you, as the boss, no longer have to deal with all the complaints or be called out for every little thing?

For this reason alone, „complaint management at reception“ is the best choice.

What’s more, as a smart employer, you prove that you value your employees. Because with „Complaints management at reception“ you send a clear signal: „You are worthy of my support. You will be given something to help you deal with the daily challenges better.“

Keeping your back free. This is exactly what you can do after the „Complaint management at reception“ seminar. Because your employees know the right emotional buttons and can operate them perfectly. And thus resolve situations independently, without any further consultation or safeguarding.

They show honest, sincere understanding for others. They have also internalized that it is always about results-oriented, constructive communication. This means resolving the situation and not asking who is right or who is to blame.

The strengthened host mindset brings further advantages:

 - effective appearance appropriate to the establishment

 - more feel-good atmosphere for guests

 - better reviews

 - avoidance of faux pas

 - less (time-consuming) complaint handling afterwards, because more is intercepted on site 

- fewer service cancellations / discounts / unnecessary goodies / loss of revenue, by communicating in an appreciative, professional and solution-oriented manner is communicated

    As a forward-looking entrepreneur, you will realize that you have more satisfied guests. At the same time, the number of new regular guests and turnover will increase. And handling on the review portals becomes better and easier.

    Yes, it is a reassuring feeling that the complaint management is now taken over by my staff and I no longer have to worry about every little thing. That’s why I now book „complaint management at reception“.