Today at work, I had a guest who is disabled. He has been in a wheelchair since he was discharged from the army. It is very hard for me to determine how to treat disabled customers. Some want to be waited on and be given help through their whole stay while other disabled guests want to be independent and do things on their own. I think a portion of disabled guests feel that we are only helping because it is our job and we pity them. How do we handle these guests and make them feel equal to every other person that walks through the door?
This is not an easy task and it takes some experience in the customer service field. What I have learned is that listening carefully to what they want helps. My job tests my listening skills every day. We must also pay attention to the nonverbal signs we receive from them and judge the mood that they are in. Today, he came to the front desk in a bad mood because the room he was in did not accommodate him and his wheelchair. He could not fit in and out of the bathroom. At the hotel we do have handicap accessible rooms for this exact reason. It is my job to make sure the guest does not leave dissatisfied and I wanted to help him. It was not fair he was unable to use his whole room but pay the same rate as a person that could.
After housekeeping had finished cleaning a handicap accessible room a previous guest had checked out of, I moved him in to the room. I realized all that took for him to be satisfied was an employee who would listen and not treat him like a situation out of our handbook. It is important to be genuine in every thing we do. I realize that we as people have bad days, we are only human. But, if we can be genuine in every act, it will show to each customer and create true guest satisfaction.