Nov 30, 2015

How Bad Translations Creates Confusion and Dissatisfaction to Guests

Phrases to Avoid in Customer ServiceGlobalization has been a blessing for the hotel and hospitality industry. Today, people are traveling the length and breadth of the world either for business or pleasure, as it has never been this easy to enjoy international travel. Hotels are competing with one another to grab a larger share of the pie. While you can communicate with guests from your own country without any hassle, it is the foreign guests that pose a challenge. You can make your foreign guests feel at home by offering something your competition does not.

Translating for Foreign Hotel Guests

One of the best ways to communicate effortlessly with foreign guests and make them comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings is by offering them a few things in their own language. Things like check-in forms, directions in the hotel, recreational activity brochures and restaurant and room service menus can be translated in the guests’ language for easy understanding.

Remember, you are looking to offer guests value added service through translation and hence, anything you translate should be done perfectly or not at all. Poor translation will do your hotel more harm than good.

Avoiding Confusion

Poorly translated hotel documents lead to confusion among your guests because the meaning goes awry. While some translations can be downright funny, others can be insulting. When guests get confused, it results in dissatisfaction with the service. With so many hotels to choose from, you can be certain your hotel will never make it to the confused and dissatisfied guest’s list.

Losing Revenue

A hotel provides many more services than just accommodation. More often than not guests are charged to use these services. So, things like printing, spa, room service, laundry service, conference rooms and transfers from and to the hotel are paid for separately and have the potential to generate a lot of revenue for the hotel. If your hotel documents are poorly translated, your foreign guests will not understand and will hesitate to spend their money. Also, the bad translation shows your hotel in poor light; they will assume you are unprofessional and hence, cannot provide efficient service.

Losing Your Reputation

In the world there are two types of guests. Type one is the budget guest who looks for the cheapest hotel to save money; while type two is one who is willing is spend money to enjoy a stay filled with comfort. The type two is the guest you want in your hotel. To attract such guests constantly, you require hotel documents that are seamlessly translated or guests will assume you are a cheap hotel. This will affect your reputation and you will not be able to attract the guests who like spending.

Staying Away from Conflicts

One of the worst things that can happen at checkout is guests fighting with the staff and that is a scenario hotels want to avoid under all circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of these conflicts occur due to misunderstandings that poor translations can cause. An argument will upset your guest, who will never want to return to your hotel, and it will demotivate staff. Your hotel loses both ways, as conflicts affect your occupancy rate and you could also end up with a high turnover of staff that leaves because they are unhappy with their workplace due to incidents like these.

If these reasons don’t convince you to choose your translation service carefully, maybe this will spur you. When you offer your foreign guests poorly translated hotel documents, you are showing your guests you are inefficient and unprofessional. This will drive them away to your competition. So, bad translation helps, but only your competition. It makes you lose face, revenue and reputation, but your competition mints money at your expense.

So, the next time you decide to translate hotel documents for foreign guests, think about the effect poor and bad translations will have on your hotel and competition. The hotel industry is very competitive. Why give your competition something to be happy about?

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This entry was posted in Customer Service, Hospitality Industry, Hotel Manager

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