How to handle angry guests

By Brian Bell July 2, 2014


How to handle angry guests

How to handle angry guests

Being a part of pool management isn’t just about optimizing swimmer safety – it’s also about ensuring that they arrive and leave happy. Customer-facing employees may have a hard time dealing with guests who are dissatisfied or upset, especially if they’ve never worked in a service role before.

Though important issues should certainly be raised to upper management, there are situations that other employees can handle. After all, if every little problem is brought to your attention, you may not have time to tend to the many other tasks that you have.

Provide the right training
Once everybody has learned the ins and outs of commercial pool operations, it’s time to address the service side. Many employees will deal with swimmers on a frequent basis, and this will inevitably lead to some difficulties. The pool is a high-energy environment that can reach capacity quickly. Additionally, there are many children running around, and if there are interactive fixtures such as water slides or diving boards, these areas can become crowded, which can be a concern for many parents. Regardless of what the issue may be, managers should train their staff members to deal with them.

1. Remain calm: If guests speak to employees about a problem, it’s essential for staff members to remain calm and collected, even if the patrons aren’t. This will convey professionalism and level-headedness, which is necessary to defuse the situation.

2. Empathize: Whatever the problem may be, employees should recognize the guests’ dissatisfaction. Acknowledging the problem goes a long way. For example, if people are unhappy that their children can’t enter the deep end, expressing empathy in their kids’ inability to join the rest of the family in the deep end shows guests that you understand their problems.

3. Explain calmly: For problems that cannot be fixed exactly how guests want, letting them know why can help. Young children who can’t swim well aren’t allowed in the deep end, and it’s for their safety. Expressing this calmly and phrasing it in a way that benefits the guests can make a huge difference.

4. Offer a solution: This may take practice and might even involve calling a manager in, but employees should be prepared to resolve problems. Families who are divided among the pool due to swimming ability can help teach younger kids to swim in the shallow end, or take turns going to the deep end while others spend time with the little ones. If staff members are unsure of a potential solution, let them know that they shouldn’t hesitate to speak to management.