When you work in the hospitality field, customer service becomes second nature. Everything you do is based on the guest experience and ensuring guest satisfaction. The well-know adage, ‘the customer is always right’ has been long-ingrained in the mindset of hospitality workers. However, just about everyone who works in a customer service position has experienced a situation where it felt like the customer was very wrong.

So how do you provide ‘the customer is always right’ service? “Right” means something different in every situation. It does not always mean ‘correct’ in factual terms. It is important to fully understand what the guest is looking for in your service. They could be looking for validation of their feelings. In that sense, “right” means recognizing and understanding what the guest is feeling and empathizing with them.

Making a conscious effort to put yourself in the guest’s shoes and feel what they feel will help you offer better service. For example, a simple response of “I am so sorry to hear about your difficult day of travel. I understand how frustrating it must be to learn your room is not available yet. I assure you we are doing our very best to prepare your room as efficiently as possible. Here is a voucher for an appetizer and beverage for you to enjoy while you wait.” can go a long way. In this situation, the customer is “right” in the way they feel and you should do your best to ease their frustration. Discover what the “right” is in your situation and you will be well on your way to quality service.

This adage is typically brought up when a guest is lodging a complaint. Something has happened causing the guest to be displeased. The best way to combat this is to make sure your guests do not have a reason to complain. Smile and be a pleasant person to interact with. Check the tone of your voice before you begin to speak. Do everything in your power to be accommodating and understanding for your guests. Think about the type of service you would want to receive, and provide even better service to your guests. When you go the extra mile for them, they will feel as though they are the most important guest to ever enter your establishment. Remember to decipher what “right” is in every situation, and provide the highest level of service to every guest.