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Lesson Transcript

Braden:Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Ann here. Dealing With Turnaways By the Guest. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about guest turnaways. This conversation takes place on the phone before the guest has come to the hotel.
Braden:The conversation is between the guest and the front desk.
Ann:The speakers have a staff-customer relationship, so they will be speaking professionally.
Ann:Let’s listen to the conversation.
Ann:American culture puts a lot of emphasis on time. The best and often easiest way to show respect to most guests is to respect their time.
Braden:That’s right. Most guests want check-in to be quick and easy. They may become irritated if it isn’t. For example, when the guest arrives, their room, room key, and paperwork should be ready for them to sign. Good hotels can perform typical check-ins in less than two minutes.
Ann:Another way of respecting the guest’s time is to give them an estimate. For example, if a guest calls the front desk with a complaint or a request for a particular service, you should do it as soon as possible.
Braden:If completing the customer's request will take longer than 30 seconds, give them an estimate for completion time. This respects the guest’s time because they will know when their request will be completed and can do other things in the meantime. They're not just sitting around waiting for it to happen.
Braden:Let’s take a look at the vocabulary now.
Ann:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Braden:The first phrase we're going to look at is “entire first week vs. first full week of.”
Ann:The phrase “entire first week” means every day of the first week. However, there can often be confusion in English identifying which week is the first week.
Braden:To help with this, there is another phrase which is “first full week.” The phrase “first full week” of a month means the first week where all the days are in the same month.
Ann:This is important, because most months begin mid-week. For example, let’s say that May 1st is on a Wednesday. Part of the week is in April and part in May. This is a partial week. The “first full week” of May would start on Sunday, the 5th.
Braden:Often, when guests say “entire first week” you need to specify if they mean the week where the first day of the month is located, or if they mean the first full week.
Ann:That’s right. You can do that by saying, “Is that the first full week, sir?”
Braden:Many hotels avoid this confusion by asking the question, “What dates do you plan on staying with us?” This specifies the use of dates and not days of the week.
Ann:Our second phrase is “may I suggest.”
Braden:The phrase “may I suggest” is used to ask permission to give a suggestion. This is a polite phrase and one you will probably use many times per day. There are two important points about this phrase.
Ann:Yes. First, always use the word “may” instead of “can.” “May” expresses the idea of permission while “can” expresses the idea of “to be able to.” As a hotelier, it is important to be as polite as possible to your guests and to do that, you must use “may.”
Braden:Second, the pronunciation is also important. The first two words, “may” and “I,” connect to make a sound like one word, “mayai”
Ann:The “I” should always be pronounced distinctly, however, “mayAI”
Braden:That’s right. The emphasis of the word “suggest” is also important and should be on the “-gest.” So, the rhythm of the phrase would be “MayAI sugGEST.”
Ann:Now let's take a look at the grammar.
Braden:In this lesson, you’ll learn how to turn away a guest.
Ann:In the dialog we hear the phrase “We apologize for any inconvenience, sir, and hope you’ll consider us for future reservations.”
Braden:Hotels frequently turn away guests. Depending on the size of the hotel, more than 100 guests may be turned away a single day. However, a hotel will never refuse to offer their services to an individual or a company without a reason.
Ann:Most “turn aways” are actually done by the guest. For example, a guest inquires about the prices for reserving a room at a particular hotel by saying,
Braden:“How much does it cost to reserve a deluxe room?”
Ann:To which the hotelier would respond by saying,
Braden:“A reservation for a deluxe room is $199 per night.”
Ann:The guest may reply with something like,
Braden:“That’s a bit out of my price range. Do you have anything cheaper?”
Ann:To which the hotelier may respond by saying,
Braden:“No, sir, the deluxe room is our least expensive option.”
Ann:Typically, the guest would then thank the front desk agent and hang up. From the hotel’s perspective, this would be considered a “turn away.” There are many other reasons why a guest would be turned away.
Braden:Yes there are. For example, the requested room type is not available, the guest is only calling to inquire about rooms and does not make a reservation, or that certain amenities are not offered.
Ann:Whatever the reason, the front desk agent or whoever took the call will write down the reason for the turn away. This kind of documentation helps the hotel improve.
Braden:Exactly. For example, if many guests are turned away because a competitor is offering lower rates, it may be discussed at a staff meeting about offering a discount, or maybe even permanently lowering the rates at that hotel.
Ann:Turning away a reservation begins much like taking any reservation. First, you smile when you answer the phone and then say something like,
Braden:“Hi, this is Alex at Hotel Innovative. How may I help you?”
Ann:The guest would then reply with something similar to what is found in the dialogue, such as, “I would like to make a room reservation please.”
Braden:Your first question would then be “Of course, ma’am. May I have your name and phone number, please?”
Ann:After the guest responds with their name and phone number you can ask, “Are you with a particular company Sir?”
Braden:Next, ask the guest for their arrival and departure dates. You can do this by saying,
Ann:“When do you plan on arriving, sir?” and then, “And the date of departure, please?”
Braden:At this point, the guest may begin asking their own questions. For example, “I just want to know how much a deluxe room would cost.”
Ann:Or they may say, “Does Hotel Innovative offer a gluten-free menu in their restaurant?” or maybe “Do you have a presidential suite at your hotel?”
Braden:Respond to any question with courtesy and kindness. If the guest expresses interest in any of the options you’ve mentioned, suggest they reserve the service that interested them.
Ann:If the guest does not reserve any services, remain courteous and kind and thank them for their interest. You could say...
Braden:“Thank you for calling Hotel Innovative. We hope to serve you soon! Goodbye.”
Ann:Wait for the guest to hang up the phone first and then record the reason for the turnaway in the hotel data tracking system.


Braden:That’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone!
Ann:And we’ll see you next time!