What makes great restaurant customer service?
The New Year is always the perfect opportunity to start fresh. Whether it’s time to clean out your freezers or order new small wares, make sure to include building solid relationships with your customers on your to-do list.
Below are ten tips to help remind your staff what makes great restaurant customer service — and maybe a few New Year’s resolutions as well!
1. Be responsive.
You should always respond to a customer, whether it’s a complaint or a compliment. Letting them know that they have been heard can go a long way in building a relationship and through Rewards Network’s comment management system, it is easy to respond to customer reviews.
Working in a restaurant can be hectic, but slow down for a moment and make sure that you have a smile on your face. It will make the day better and remember: a smile is contagious.
You might hear what customers are saying, but you need to remind yourself that hearing and listening are two different things. When you listen, you take in what the person is saying and think about how to appropriately respond.
4. Find common ground.
The psychological concept, implicit egotism, means that people gravitate towards other people that are like themselves. When speaking with your customer, if you can find a common ground, you will create this connection. It can be something as simple as a mutual love of food or menu item (see tip #7).
5. Don’t be defensive.
It’s never a good idea to argue, there will always be difficult customers, but how you handle them is where you can shine. I understand that it is hard to not take a complaint to heart, but it’s important to know how to respond to negative feedback. It can make your business better!
6. Watch your body language.
What your body says is just as important as what your voice says. Having good posture sends a positive message! Crossing your arms or rolling your eyes does not. Be aware of how you are presenting yourself.
7. Make recommendations.
I always want to know what the people who work at a restaurant recommend trying. Chances are that you have either tasted each menu item or know what customers really respond to. As a customer, I usually end up trying (and loving) something that I never would have picked for myself based on my server’s recommendation.
8. Anticipate needs.
Offer customers things you know they will need. Before sitting a family with small children offer booster seats, crayons or cups with lids. If they ordered a dish to be eaten with their hands, bring out extra napkins and maybe even a hand wipe. The goal is to never make the customer have to ask for something.
9. Don’t hover.
Customers should certainly be checked in on from time to time, but be sure that you know when to back off. If the table is in a serious discussion or in the middle of a funny story, check back after they’re done.
10. Y’all come back now!
The South is known for its hospitality and even though you might not choose to use those exact words, it’s still important to invite customers to come back. You want loyal customers that will choose to return again and again.
I hope you all have a wonderful start to the year. Cheers to next year being the best year for customer service!
Want a leg up on guaranteeing that return visit with better restaurant customer service in 2018? Download our free eBook on “The Key to Successful Restaurant Marketing” today!