Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Brandon: Hi everybody! Brandon here!
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to EnglishClass101.com. This is Hospitality English for Hotels Season 2 Lesson 6 - Handling a Customer Complaint in English, Part 1
Brandon: In this lesson you will learn how to handle an unhappy customer. This is the first lesson of four on this topic, and it deals with getting a manager.
Becky: This conversation takes place at the front desk in the evening.
Brandon: It’s between a hotel staff member, an unhappy guest, and the manager.
Becky: The speakers are in a professional relationship, so they’ll be using formal English. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Customer: This is unacceptable, I reserved a room with a king size bed or better, but now you don’t have any? Are you able to upgrade me to a suite?
Staff: I'm sorry sir, I don't have the authority to make that type of upgrade. Could you please hold on for a few minutes? I will run and get my manager and they will be able to work with you to resolve this issue.
Customer: Fine. (exasperated)
(gets manager and comes back)
Staff: Thank you for your help with this matter, sir. Mr. Smith here had reserved a king sized bed, but we only reserved a room with a full sized bed for him. When I was talking with him earlier, he asked what we could do to resolve this issue.
Manager: I understand, thank you. Hello sir, I apologize for the inconvenience. Let's see what we can do for you.
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Customer: This is unacceptable, I reserved a room with a king size bed or better, but now you don’t have any? Are you able to upgrade me to a suite?
Staff: I'm sorry sir, I don't have the authority to make that type of upgrade. Could you please hold on for a few minutes? I will run and get my manager and they will be able to work with you to resolve this issue.
Customer: Fine. (exasperated)
(gets manager and comes back)
Staff: Thank you for your help with this matter, sir. Mr. Smith here had reserved a king sized bed, but we only reserved a room with a full sized bed for him. When I was talking with him earlier, he asked what we could do to resolve this issue.
Manager: I understand, Thank you. Hello sir, I apologize for the inconvenience. Let's see what we can do for you.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brandon: If you work at a hotel, you’re going to get guests who complain.
Becky: That’s right. And, a good tip when dealing with more serious complaints like the one in the dialogue where you have to go and get the manager, is to tell the manager the problem in front of the guest.
Brandon: Exactly. This way the customer knows what you have said to the manager. And, since they are watching, they can correct you if they want to.
Becky: It also lets the customer see that you want to work with them and are not just wasting their time.
Brandon: So, remember to speak loudly enough that both the manager and the customer can hear, but quietly enough that other staff members or other guests won’t be able to hear.
Becky: Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Brandon: unacceptable [natural native speed]
Becky: not accepted, not good enough
Brandon: unacceptable [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: unacceptable [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: upgrade [natural native speed]
Becky: an increase in quality
Brandon: upgrade [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: upgrade [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: authority [natural native speed]
Becky: permission and power to do something
Brandon: authority [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: authority [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: to resolve [natural native speed]
Becky: to solve, to correct, to make better
Brandon: to resolve [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: to resolve [natural native speed]
: And Last:
Brandon: full sized bed [natural native speed]
Becky: smallest size bed that fits two people
Brandon: full sized bed [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: full sized bed [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First up, we’ll talk about the difference between "double size beds vs full beds."
Brandon: Now, these two phrases seem like they’re referring to two different bed sizes, but in fact they are not.
Becky: That’s right. A "double bed" or a "full sized bed" are really the exact same size. However, in most hotels, the term "full sized bed" is preferred.
Brandon: But, guests can say whatever they want. So sometimes your guest will say "full sized bed" and other times they will say "double bed."
Becky: Now, our tip here is to pay attention to what term the guest is using and use that term when you speak with that guest.
Brandon: So, if a guest says "I would like to reserve a double bed please", you should respond with something like, "Certainly sir. We have several rooms with double beds available."
Becky: But if they say, "I would like to reserve a full sized bed please", you should respond with something like, "Certainly sir. We have several rooms with full sized beds available."
Brandon: Now, the next two phrases we are going to look at are interesting because some people have very strong feelings about one versus the other.
Becky: That’s right. The next phrase we’ll look at is "king size bed vs. king sized bed."
Brandon: Now, if you look in most dictionaries, whether to say "king-size bed" or "king-sized bed" is a matter of choice. Both are correct but because of this, be sure to ask and check about what your hotel prefers you to say.
Becky: That’s right. Some hotels have specific rules about which terms you should use. But, in general, you follow what the guest says.
Brandon: Exactly. So, if the guest says, "I requested a king size bed." You should also use the term "king-size."
Becky: The reason for this is that if you use a different term from your guest, they may think you are trying to correct them, which is usually not a good way to start a relationship.
Brandon: No, it isn’t. (laughs)
Becky: Okay, (laughs) now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to handle unhappy guests by getting a manager.
Becky: In the dialogue we had the phrase "I will run and get my manager, and they will be able to work with you to resolve this issue."
Brandon: You know, sometimes, things just go wrong. It may not even be your fault. And especially when things get really difficult, you probably just have to go get your manager.
Becky: There are a lot of things that you can do on your own. However, when a guest is requesting you do something that you don’t have the authority to do, you need to get the manager.
Brandon: To do this, you first need to ask the customer to wait. You can do this by saying something like "could you please hold on for a few minutes?"
Becky: Just remember not be too specific. In other words, don’t give exact time frames like “for three minutes” or “in seven minutes” or “in 10 minutes”.
Brandon: That’s right. Grammatically there’s nothing wrong with this, but, if you give the guest a specific timeframe and then something happens, you won’t be able to fulfill what you’ve promised the guest and they may become very frustrated.
Becky: Exactly. So the other thing you need to do, after asking them to wait, is to try and put them at ease. You can do this in a few different ways.
Brandon: That’s right. In the dialogue, the staff member does this by using the phrase "I will run and get my manager"
Becky: Here, the staff member uses the term "run" to show that guest that their complaint is important.
Brandon: Now, you may not actually run, but if you use the word “run”, it’s probably a good idea to at least walk quickly.
Becky: The last thing you need to do is remind the guest that they will need to work with the manager. It’s the "with" that’s important.
Brandon: That’s right. And that’s why the staff member emphasized this word in the dialogue. Not very much, just enough to remind the guest of what they need to do.
Becky: Your manager will appreciate this very much and you may even get a bit of a reward, depending on how well you handle the situation.
MARKETING PIECE
Becky: Listeners, ever have any English language or lesson-related questions?
Brandon: Or maybe you have some feedback for us...
Becky: Leave us a comment or ask a question on the lessons page!
Brandon: It's super simple. Go to EnglishClass101.com...
Becky: ...click on comments,
Brandon: ...enter your comment and name,
Becky: ...and that's it!
Brandon: Commenting is a great way to practice writing and reading in English.
Becky: It helps you learn faster.
Brandon: And it helps us get better through your feedback.
Becky: No excuses.
Brandon: Go to EnglishClass101.com, and comment now.
Becky: NOW!

Outro

Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening!
Becky: And we’ll see you next time!

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