Customer service most often focuses on your customers – those people who go to your restaurant, order a meal and pay. While this group is very important and should be an area of focus during employee training, that is not the only place where you should focus service. Employees, both those working in the front and back of house, can be a restaurant owner’s largest untapped resource. Like a loyal customer they can be your greatest brand advocates, and if they are not happy, they can be your worst.
You expect your employees to deliver a high level of customer service, but what if they’re not satisfied in their work environment? Remember this helpful saying: “Happy Crew, Happy You!” When your employees are satisfied in their work environment, they’re going to work harder and provide better service to their customers.
Keep in mind, this isn’t just about when your employees are on the clock. Employees can be your greatest brand advocates to their friends, family and even through their social networks. What your employees tell their friends and families or even write on the internet about their experience with your restaurant could affect decisions to dine at your restaurant. Whichever channel of communication they choose to use, it all comes back to having a satisfied staff.
Here are four tips on how to you can increase satisfaction among employees:
1. Make sure you recognize employees. Whether you have an employee of the month or just remember to thank them, a small compliment can go a long way.
2. As it is important to get to know your customers, it’s also important to get to know your employees. Keep it professional, but be able to ask them a question their life outside of work.
3. If a customer gives your restaurant a bad review, we suggest you always answer, and the same goes for negative feedback from employees. Be sure to genuinely recognize their complaint and, if possible, come up with a solution. Or better yet, ask them for a solution; you may be surprised at the great ideas they have or it might also help them to understand that the solution isn’t always so easy.
4. Communication is key for satisfaction among employees. Pre-shift meetings are a great way to keep the lines of communication open and are a great forum for recognizing employees.
Remember, your employees are interacting face to face with your customers each and every day. You want them to be happy because, let’s face it, a smile is contagious.