One of the most effective ways to gain a loyal customer base is to provide exceptional service.
In fact, 7 out of 10 customers report spending more and having increased loyalty for businesses that provide stellar customer service.
If you’ve been wondering how to improve customer service in your restaurant then look no further.
We’ve got the latest restaurant hacks for improving your customer experience and bring your business to a whole new level of success.
Why Worry About Customer Service?
You can’t provide good customer service if you don’t really know what it is. We’ve all heard the saying “the customer is always right”, but that’s not the only thing you have to remember.
Consumers want friendly, quick, quality service where they feel like a priority to your staff. Bad service or subpar products may lead to more bad publicity than you ever imagined.
In the world of Yelp, Reddit, food bloggers and Instagram, the opinions of customers can have more impact on business than ever before.
People post reviews, pictures of their meals, tweet customer experience comments and rate your service before they even get the bill.
Pictures are posted before a bite is taken and if there is a complaint it is quickly turned into a post that the disgruntled customer hopes will go viral.
What Makes Good Customer Service?
Every customer is different but the essentials of providing great service are universal:
S- Smiles and Salutations
Customers like to be acknowledged and to feel like they’re appreciated. Many companies have realized the value of a simple ‘Hello’.
The last thing anyone wants to deal with is grumpy staff at an establishment they go to relax. A smile can make all the difference in how consumers react to the good and the bad.
E- Explain and Engage
It’s always better if consumers know what to expect. Make sure you provide any information they need to better enjoy their experience.
People who come to your establishment don’t want to feel like an afterthought or annoyance to the staff. The ability to politely and professionally engage with clientele can not only enhance visit satisfaction for the customer but increase sales, create repeat business, generate word of mouth advertising and improve tipping percentages.
R- Respect and Responsibility
Everybody wants and deserves respect. The fastest way to lose a customer for life is to make them feel like they were disrespected in some way. Treating every person who walks through the door with the same professional and attentive manner is crucial to your success.
It doesn’t matter whether a person is a CEO or the janitor of a company they deserve to be treated with the same respect as a consumer. Part of showing respect is taking responsibility for your actions and rectifying any mistakes.
Mistakes happen no matter how good you are at what you do. No one is perfect, and consumers can forgive almost anything if a business takes responsibility for their mistake, demonstrates respect for the consumer, and takes steps to right the wrong.
V- Value Their Patronage
People are willing to pay more when they feel like they are valued and are able to enjoy themselves.
Like the theme song and premise from the old television show Cheers,
“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.”
If your customers feel like you value their business, that you care about them as a person and you remember who they are, you can win them over for life.
Many restaurants build weekly clientele by employing staff members that take an interest in who they are as a person rather than just seeing a dollar amount and table number.
I- Integrity Is Important
Integrity is probably the most crucial aspect of business leadership because once your honesty and integrity as a company is questioned it can be impossible to come back from. When consumers lose trust in a company they find one they do trust.
It’s not just important for your dealings with consumers though. For your business to be successful and your customers to be satisfied you need to have integrity in every aspect of the business from dealing with vendors to advertising to employee relations.
C- Convenient and Comfortable
If your customers are late for work because their lunch took too long, or they are made uncomfortable by the staff’s rude comments chances are they won’t be back anytime soon.
Consumers don’t want to have to wait for hours to get their meal unless they’re in Hell’s Kitchen watching Gordon Ramsey yell at chefs trying to win a contest.
They want to feel comfortable while in your restaurant and this goes far beyond how cozy the chairs are. The atmosphere needs to be professional and inviting whether you’re running a fast food chain restaurant or a 5 Star restaurant booking months in advance.
Your staff will be a huge determining factor in how comfortable your guests are. Even in situations where there’s a long wait, the right staff can put customers at ease and make it an enjoyable evening out rather than a night of frustrating delays.
Even when there are a few hiccups in the service consumers will still give an A for effort in their reviews. Consumers want a hassle-free experience.
It isn’t about being perfect is about doing your best and if your entire staff puts the effort into making a customer feel valued whether they are two or a hundred and two, consumers remember and appreciate the effort you make.
How to Improve Customer Service Through Employee Satisfaction
The best thing you can do for customer service to improve is to make sure your employees are happy. When your team works well together, when they feel valued as a part of the team, and when they like their job, they provide better service and perform better.
You can help them perform better by giving them the right tools and making sure they feel supported. Connect with us today to see how we can help.