The dining industry is more competitive than ever. This has made it necessary for restaurants to boost customer experience to stay ahead of the competition. In addition to increasing the customer retention rate, better customer service increases revenues and customer base.
In fact, research shows that 7 out of 10 consumers are willing to spend more money on a business that delivers excellent services. What’s more, it has been proved that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s rating grows its revenue by 5-9%.
With that in mind, a good customer experience for your restaurant should be a no-brainer. So, how do you boost customer experience in your restaurant? Let’s explore 5 of the best tips to boost customer service at your restaurant.
How can I boost my restaurant experience for customers?
Great customer experience has innumerable benefits, ranging from creating loyal guests to increasing revenues and clientele base. Have a look at these 5 points to enhance your customer service strategy today!
1. Personalise your guest experiences
In customer experience, personalisation involves producing or designing products or services to meet each customer’s requirements. A personalised touch goes a long way in making a dining experience fun and memorable for a guest.
Personalisation enhances the customers’ experience, increases customer loyalty, and helps drive sales. Every customer would like to be recognised as an individual with unique traits, needs, desires, and experiences.
We all appreciate it when an individual addresses us by our name, choices, and accomplishments. A small step like greeting customers by their first name can go a long way into making them feel appreciated and accommodated.
Teach your workers the “service with a smile” concept and treat customers with friendliness and warmth. Train them to use friendly body language while addressing customers.
If the guests have a great, personalised experience under your restaurant, the chances are that they’ll return and possible bring their friends along. Also, don’t forget that personalised marketing can go beyond your restaurant and into such things as emails and newsletters.
2. Create a great atmosphere
What is the first thought that crosses your guests’ minds when they see your restaurant sign? Is it “great meals, customer service, cleanliness!?” Or do they say to themselves that your restaurant needs an upgrade or cleaning?
The first impression plays a crucial role when creating a good atmosphere for customer satisfaction, so work on it! Cleanliness, especially, says a lot about your restaurant. 75% of customers will not patronise or visit a restaurant with negative reviews about its cleanliness. So, clean the front of your restaurant, including the doors, signs, and windows. It will help your restaurant stand out among close competitors.
After setting your business up for a great first impression from the outside, it’s vital to keep it going inside. Think about your restaurant’s smell. Does the dining area smell enticing, even from the guests’ first step inside? How about the guest rooms? Is the fragrance inviting?
A wonderful atmosphere works wonders in attracting and retaining customers. Some experts will tell you to add some sweet, slow music in the dining area to spice things up! – and well, who says no to sweet music?
3. Encourage customers to give feedback
Did you know that 70% of customers’ journey is dictated by how they feel they’re being treated? Yes, that’s right! When customers feel appreciated and accommodated, they are likely to return and possibly bring a friend along. But how do you know how your guests feel they are being treated? One of the best methods of evaluating the customer experience is through direct feedback.
Set up a customer survey at the front of your restaurant and encourage guests to give feedback. You can provide them with paper comment cards or use digital surveys. Ask the guests to rate the guest rooms, dining area, meals, and bathrooms in the surveys.
Also, you may decide to make brief stops at the customer’s table when they’re close to finishing their meals or after their entrées are served. Request them to rate the services they have received, the aspects of their experience with your restaurant they can recommend to friends, and what they feel should be changed.
Consider giving an incentive for an adopted suggestion. This could be a simple incentive like a free dessert, appetiser, or drinks or a great offer as a free meal next time they visit. Making your guests feel they’re being valued and appreciated will encourage them to return to your restaurant.
4. Respond to concerns and critics
Let’s face it: no restaurant is immune to customers’ complaints and critics. But the good thing is, most unhappy guests are willing to do business with you again if you handle their complaints appropriately. So, how should you approach a concern or critic from a customer?
Although the complaints vary from one restaurant to another, the way claims are handled should be similar. Here is an action plan to handle claims in your restaurant.
- Focus on the customer – “The customer is always right” is especially true in the restaurant industry. Listen to your customers’ complaints and empathise with them. Don’t interrupt them as they speak.
- Clarify the problem – Thank your guests for letting you know about the problem and ensuring you fully understand it before seeking the next step.
- Apologise – Say you’re sorry to the customers for the problem encountered. Don’t add explanations, as it will seem like you’re making excuses.
- Resolve the issue: After apologising, do whatever is necessary to handle the problem. If the customers decide to leave and “never come back”, leave the figurative door open
- Report the incident: Gather your team and report to report the problem. Brainstorm the various ways you can handle customers to avoid a repeat of the incident.
Customers’ feedback can also be a great source of complaints from guests. Make sure to address any concerns or critic from the surveys collected.
5. Implement a loyalty program
Finally, another best way to enhance your restaurant’s experience is by investing in customer engagement solutions like a loyalty program.
In addition to increasing the number of your loyal customers, a loyalty program will bring insight into your guests’ preferences and needs, which will help in personalising your services. Ultimately, it’ll encourage customers to return to your restaurant again and tag along with a friend or a family member.
The bottom line
Wining in today’s very competitive restaurant industry starts with the implementation of a solid customer experience strategy. Lucky for you, we have researched and gathered five of the best tips to boost customer experience in your restaurant. Good luck as you purpose to put these ideas into practice.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your customer experience, implementing these five methods will help. If you’re looking for any more advice, don’t be scared to message us to see what we can offer you to boost your customer experience. Find out more by contacting us here.