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 9 - Handling a Customer Complaint in English, Part 4
Brandon: In this lesson you will learn more about how to handle an unhappy customer. This is the last of four lessons on the topic, and it deals with responding appropriately to an angry guest.
Becky: This conversation takes place at the front desk in the early afternoon.
Brandon: It’s between a guest and a staff member.
Becky: The speakers are in a professional relationship, so they’ll be using formal English. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Customer: Hello, I would like to register a complaint. I reserved an ocean view, but I am staring at the street.
Staff: I apologize for the inconvenience, unfortunately all of our ocean view rooms are taken.
Customer: I'm sorry, that is not good enough. I reserved that room for a reason. Can you upgrade me to a better room with a window view?
Staff: I'm sorry sir, unfortunately there is not much we can do in this situation, our corporate office has outlined specific actions to take in this situation, and I am afraid they are not very flexible on this point. Here is the corporate customer service number, please feel free to give them a call and share your complaint.
Customer: Are you serious?! This is outrageous?! Is this how you treat all your customers?!
Staff: I am very sorry about the mixup. Let me check the neighboring hotels to see if they have any ocean view rooms open. The cost is about the same and we would be more than happy to make the reservation and help you get all of your baggage moved.
Customer: Oh... That’s okay. Thank you for the offer though.
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Customer: Hello, I would like to register a complaint. I reserved an ocean view, but I am staring at the street.
Staff: I apologize for the inconvenience, unfortunately all of our ocean view rooms are taken.
Customer: I'm sorry, that is not good enough. I reserved that room for a reason. Can you upgrade me to a better room with a window view?
Staff: I'm sorry sir, unfortunately there is not much we can do in this situation, our corporate office has outlined specific actions to take in this situation, and I am afraid they are not very flexible on this point. Here is the corporate customer service number, please feel free to give them a call and share your complaint.
Customer: Are you serious?! This is outrageous?! Is this how you treat all your customers?!
Staff: I am very sorry about the mixup. Let me check the neighboring hotels to see if they have any ocean view rooms open. The cost is about the same and we would be more than happy to make the reservation and help you get all of your baggage moved.
Customer: Oh... That’s okay. Thank you for the offer though.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brandon: Hotels have many different types of guests and many different kinds of staff. And with so many different personalities and points of view, what do you think is going to happen?
Becky: (laughs)There are occasionally disagreements, misunderstandings, and even frustration.
Brandon: Now, sometimes, from your perspective, the guest’s complaint may seem insignificant or even childish. But be very careful and never say that, or act like you think that.
Becky: That’s right. Remember that you do not know the guests personally and you do not know what things are important to them nor why.
Brandon: This is especially true when dealing with food. Sometimes guests will be extremely picky about the types of food, whether it’s organic or not, what brand it is, and so on.
Becky: To you, this may seem picky. But to them it’s important. So you should respect what they think and what they want.
Brandon: At times like these the common saying, "The customer is always right." becomes very important.
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: ocean view [natural native speed]
Becky: able to see the ocean
Brandon: ocean view [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: ocean view [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: stare [natural native speed]
Becky: look at intensely
Brandon: stare [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: stare [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: corporate office [natural native speed]
Becky: central administration of a corporation
Brandon: corporate office [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: corporate office [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: outline [natural native speed]
Becky: give directions for
Brandon: outline [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: outline [natural native speed]
: Next:
Brandon: flexible [natural native speed]
Becky: changeable, bendable
Brandon: flexible [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: flexible [natural native speed]
: And Last:
Brandon: Are you serious? [natural native speed]
Becky: Are you telling the truth?, Really?
Brandon: Are you serious? [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Brandon: Are you serious? [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. The first phrase we’re going to look at is "corporate office."
Brandon: Many hotels are part of a hotel chain or some kind of larger corporation. So, this phrase refers to the main office of that corporation.
Becky: That’s right. Usually, that office is the highest authority in your hotel chain. However, not every hotel has a corporate office.
Brandon: In these situations, you can refer to the highest authority in your hotel.
Becky: For example, instead of saying, "I’m sorry sir but I’m going to refer you to our corporate office." You could say, "I'm sorry sir but I'm going to refer you to the hotel owner."
Brandon: The next phase we’re going to look at is "Are you serious?" This is a very flexible phrase.
Becky: Definitely. It can be used playfully, angrily, or when you’re curiously excited. So, in the dialogue the guest uses this in an angry way. They were questioning what the staff member had said.
Brandon: That’s right. Two other phrases that are equally flexible are "Are you kidding?" and "Are you joking?" Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to react appropriately to angry guests.
Becky: In the dialogue we had the phrase, "can you upgrade me to a better room with a window view?"
Brandon: Now, complaints are a common part of most days at a hotel. Most staff members have specific responsibilities and things that they can do to resolve conflicts and complaints.
Becky: Angry guests, in particular, are difficult to work with. Not because their problem is complex, but because of the way they handle things.
Brandon: In this lesson, we look at three tips for reacting appropriately to angry guests.
Becky: Tip number one is don’t become angry. Getting angry is one of the worst things a staff member can do when confronted by an angry guest.
Brandon: That’s right. In general, anger tends to make situations worse. So don’t get angry. Also, don’t try to blame the guest with statements like "well sir, you should’ve paid more attention."
Becky: Even if this is true. You should not say it. Phrases like these will make the guest even more angry.
Brandon: This leads us to tip number two: you should remain calm and be very patient with the guest.
Becky: So this is particularly important with your tone of voice. For example, if you say "I apologize sir. What can we do to correct this issue?" With a calm and understanding tone of voice, the customer will probably calm down.
Brandon: However, if you speak with an indifferent tone of voice, the guest will probably become even more frustrated or angry because they feel like their complaint is not important.
Becky: Our third tip is to apologize. Angry customers are usually very frustrated and apologizing for the inconvenience will go a long way in calming the customer down.
Brandon: And, don’t just apologize once or twice. Apologize repeatedly, throughout the whole conversation.
Becky: So, if the guest yells at you and says something like "this is outrageous!" then you should respond with something like “Please accept my apologies sir. What would be the best way to resolve this in your eyes?"
MARKETING PIECE 9
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Outro

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

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Saturday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have any tips to react appropriately to angry guests?