A negative experience by a guest, such as uncovering bed bugs, can quickly go one of two ways: it can be a non-event if handled correctly or it can turn into a public relations nightmare resulting in your appearance on the local news, bedbugregistry.com and tripadvisor.com. Bed bugs are unquestionably one of the worst complaints any hotelier wants to experience!
The thought of a guest uncovering a bed bug infestation before an employee may keep you awake at night. But preparing your staff to handle such a situation is one of the most important proactive steps you can take. Establish a written action plan so your employees are prepared to handle a bed bug complaint and reduce your chances of it turning into a public relations nightmare. Make certain that once established, this action plan is followed precisely as deviations/omissions can result in significant legal consequences. However, nothing is worse than the absence of a clear action plan addressing a bed bug issue.
The following tips can help you create your own unique bed bug complaint action plan to ensure that as the hotelier, you are empowering your employees to properly handle the situation and the affected guest when a bed bug incident arises:
• Seriously consider compensating (‘comping’) the room for their entire stay.
• Always apologize profusely for the inconvenience. Gently remind the guest that bed bugs do not discriminate and while you have a best management practices pest control protocol in place (mandatory requirement) they may have been introduced by the guest immediately before them and missed by housekeeping. Assure them that you are taking every precaution you can to protect them and their belongings from bed bugs.
• If evidence of bed bugs is confirmed in the room, immediately take the room out of service and contact your licensed pest control professional to service the room and the surrounding rooms for bed bugs.
• Follow the advice of your pest management professional to determine how long each room (target and surrounding) should be taken out of service and when it is safe to rent the room back out.
• If bed bug infestations are of high concern, costing you money in lost revenues and high pest control costs, and you fear loss of brand reputation, consider how a proactive preventive measure such as an active mattress liner might positively impact your bottom line. A hotel savings calculator can help determine your best installation solution.
While some of the above precautions may seem extreme and expensive for a hotel to adopt, just imagine how news about the hotel having bed bugs could impact the bottom line. Internet sites such as bedbugregistry.com and tripadvisor.com make it extremely easy for guests to speak to the masses about a negative experience, truth notwithstanding. Having trained personnel ready to handle a potential bed bug incident/infestation will pay enormous dividends and support hotel profitability.
About Allergy Technologies
ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after a short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.
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