The Parrot Conundrum

This “Golden Nugget” goes something like this: “When guests are angry, validate their emotions by saying, ‘I can see/hear how angry this makes you.'”


When was the last time you were upset with a service interaction? Would the employee who was either responsible for the issue or it’s resolution be doing a better job if they parroted back this nonsense? Or would it be more appropriate to validate the guest’s emotions by not only alleviating the issue but making the experience better than it was anticipated originally?

Simply say:” I’m sorry this happened. I can fix this. Will you let me?”

Too many service ‘gurus’ miss the point when it comes to validation. It is not to wallow in the negativity with the guest but to reach in, get them out and then place them in a much better position than the one you found them in or the one you created.

Author: Jeffrey Summers
For four decades, my coaching, consulting, public speaking, workshops, management team retreats and articles have helped thousands of hospitality leaders worldwide, build successful businesses. The Summers Hospitality Group is a global full-service hospitality consulting firm best known for its unique results-driven, strengths-based system for developing extraordinary leaders and demonstrating the performance impact they have on their organizations.