Goals

1. To demonstrate your awareness of six important elements of business writing: purpose, audience, context, medium, scope, and tone.

2. To practice concise writing.

3. To respond to a customer’s complaint thoughtfully, professionally, and courteously.

4. To consider and manage your company’s online reputation.

Preparation

Watch the video and read the information under the five tabs found at http://www.bizcominthenews.com/colonnade.

Assignment

Each group will write one email to Mr. Ward, in response to his email complaint. In your message, you will want to acknowledge and apologize for the incident and invite Mr. Ward and his family to return to the hotel. You cannot offer Mr. Ward any benefits outside of those specified in the hotel’s Walking Procedures.

Your email response should be single-spaced and no longer than three paragraphs. You are writing as Pat Fielding, the manager of the hotel.

Background Information

About The Colonnade Hotel and Resort

The Colonnade is a 250-room, 4-star hotel that caters to business and leisure travelers. The hotel has been open for ten years and recently went through a complete renovation. It is centrally located, close to both the major office centers and the well-known city parks and museums. The hotel has received fairly good reviews on TripAdvisor and other travel sites and has a high rate of repeat guests. In addition to the 250 rooms, the hotel has approximately 50,000 square feet of meeting space and three restaurants.

Overbooking Policies

Like most hotels, the Colonnade overbooks to protect itself against no-shows. The number of rooms the hotel overbooks depends on how many no-shows are expected each night. Management tries to predict this number with 100% accuracy, but they are not always successful, which is what happened the night Mr. Ward arrived with his family.

The hotel asks guests to guarantee their reservation with a credit card. If guests with a credit card guarantee do not show up, their credit card is charged for the room. Customers are informed of this policy when they make their reservation, and it is reinforced in an email confirmation.

Colonnade Hotel and Resort’s Walking Procedures

The following information is communicated to employees in the Colonnade handbook:

As you know, even though we take credit card guarantees, we still have some no-shows. Because of this, we will sometimes overbook the hotel. This is usually not a problem, but there are times when you may need to relocate guests to other hotels. When this happens, be sure to follow the Colonnade Hotel and Resort Walking Procedures:

· Negotiate walk rates with referral hotels before walking guests.

· Obtain the selling status of comparable area hotels.

· Avoid walking Colonnade Prestige Club level members whenever possible.

· Inform the guests that the hotel cannot honor their reservation because of unexpected stayovers, but that we will pay for their room at a comparable hotel.

· Offer to forward all messages or calls to the guests at the other hotel.

· Provide relocated guests with a “walk letter” from the shift leader so that charges can be directly billed to the Colonnade.

· Enter the walked guests’ name and the referral hotel’s phone number in the property management system under the VIP guest section. This ensures that we provide the guests with exceptional service and do not walk them on a future stay.

· If the guests return the following day, provide an upgraded room, if possible. Also, a personal note of apology from the general manager should be placed in the guests’ room.

· Send a VIP gift from the front office manager or general manager upon the guests’ return.

· If the guests do not return to the hotel, send a personal note to their home address.

Evaluation Criteria

1. The writing demonstrates an awareness of purpose, audience, context, medium, scope, and tone appropriate to the situation.

2. The email encourages a positive response from the customer while also following the hotel’s policies and not blaming the customer.

3. The writing is concise, well organized, and polished.

4. The response follows the format expectations described in the assignment.