A customer’s experience with restaurant employees can make or break their experience. During the busy holiday season, it may be easy to forget how much of an impact your employees can have on your customers. To help keep your customer service in shape, we’ve outlined some of our best tips from the past year that will get you through the holidays and bring the cheer into the New Year!
It’s really important to remember that going out for a meal is more than the food itself, it’s an experience. Everything from the ambience to what’s on the plate plays a part in a customer’s dining experience. One of the best ways to make an impact on that experience is to personalize it. This is why it’s so important for servers to have conversations with their customers, asking why they are dining out tonight. If they tell you it is for a special occasion, then you have the perfect opportunity to help them celebrate. A complimentary glass of champagne or dessert can go a long way, but it’s more about having a conversation with the diners and asking about themselves that will really make them feel special.
Show Your Personality
While we encourage each restaurant to use their own set of customer service standards, it’s also important for you employees to sprinkle in a bit of their own personality to really make the experience memorable. Servers relaying specials in a robotic memorization won’t encourage diners to try the dishes, and they can give their own recommendations when prompted. Your employees should also feel comfortable having small talk with the customers outside of the menu. It’s not only great for their overall dining experience, but it’s likely that they will return when they felt welcomed in that way.
Respond to Customer Feedback
No matter how you are getting customer feedback, it’s crucial that you respond to it. Even the positive feedback deserves a response. A simple “thank you” to an already satisfied customer can go a long way in encouraging return visits. When responding, you should always remember that we are all human, so make sure that you are being personable and genuine. Especially if your responses are public, it’s important to show that you took the time to individualize your message in some way. If there was a problem described in the feedback, you should ask for additional details. Many times feedback can be vague, and there is nothing wrong with asking for those details that will help you solve the problem. This also shows you care and are taking the initiative to follow up on the issue. Lastly, it’s important to take responsibility for a customer’s dissatisfaction. No matter what the truth is, a customer’s perception trumps all. When dealing with an unsatisfied customer, sometimes the solution is as easy as two words: I’m sorry.
Look for more articles in 2015 about how you can improve customer service in your restaurant!