Posts Tagged ‘customer service’
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
There’s a general consensus that customer service makes or breaks a restaurant. Industry professionals, insiders and outside consultants agree that exceptional customer service can result in the following:
- trust, confidence and a solid reputation – all can lead to long-term customer loyalty
- happy customers who spend more with less consideration of cost – and they keep coming back
- happy employees who enjoy their jobs and have positive things to say about their place of employment. They tend to stick around longer which means you can decrease the costs associated with hiring and training
- an advantage over your competitors who may not provide the same level of service in the same way
- a better bottom line – it’s less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. In addition, excellent customer service creates buzz and nothing costs less and means more than word-of-mouth marketing. And, most companies that offer exceptional service are often more profitable overall
We provide our restaurant customers with all of the tools they need to provide incomparable customer service – with the exception of good employees and the drive to stand above the rest. That’s up to them.
Do you have the drive and the staff to take your service to the next level? What about the right dining reservation and table management software?
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Part of my job is educating customers about ways to improve operations so that they can see an immediate impact on their bottom line. Our customers need to run leaner, manage operations successfully and build business consistently. Without the right tools, these tasks are challenging to say the least.
Take, for example, dining reservations for restaurants. Restaurant staff needs a way to manage reservations so that they can take advantage of their entire table inventory. They need the assurance that when their guests go online to make a reservation, they find accurate information and can book a reservation easily. They also need a way to keep guests in their restaurant when they find their requested dining time to be unavailable.
When I’m speaking to prospective customers about reservation management, I ask the following: “Can you rely on the reservation software you are currently using?” The answer is usually “That depends.” For a variety of reasons, customers are unsure. They are spending quite a bit of money on some of the systems out there. There is some benefit to the marketing tools these systems provide, but it’s hard to gauge how much business is lost because guests have been redirected to other area restaurants that may have availability. In some case, there is no benefit at all; rather the restaurant feels it’s something that they need to do because they’ve been told it is good business sense to have some sort of system in place.
We end up discussing things like functionality, integration, marketing, and estimated ROI. Ultimately, I end up walking through the features of our software. What’s exciting is that we’ll soon be able to offer more dining reservation tools for restaurateurs. We will launch ReServe Q, a platform that will allow restaurant guests to make dining reservations or add themselves to a wait list using a restaurant’s website or a mobile device such as an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. As part of the ReServe Q offering, we’re forging strategic partnerships with mobile application aggregators and online dining guides to expand marketing reach for restaurants.
Most importantly, we’ve created a tool that will benefit our customers to the fullest with increased business and a better bottom line.
Will you Q?
Category customer service, Dining Reservations & Table Management, General, Product Development, ReServe Q | Tags: Tags: customer service, customers, dining, Dining Reservation, Dining Reservation & Table Management, dining reservation software, dining reservations, online dining reservations, online reservations, reservation, reservations, ReServe Interactive, software,
Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
We have several contract management companies as customers that manage food and beverage functions at stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural institutions and academic facilities. And the dynamics between some of these organizations is unique.
For example, when the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest fresh and marine water aquarium located in Atlanta, Georgia, opened its doors to the public in November of 2005, event staff was prepared to execute approximately 200 events through the end of 2006. But demand for the venue was high and more than 750 events took place. Before the aquarium opened, management’s goal was to streamline the booking process in order to maximize the facility’s expansive event space, which includes a configurable 16,000 square foot ballroom, pre-function space and building-wide accommodations, in order to execute as many events as possible while still remaining efficient and profitable.
To achieve this goal, Will Ramsey, director of group sales for the Georgia Aquarium, together with Wolfgang Puck Catering, a subsidiary of Compass Group North America, provider of the facility’s special event catering services, implemented ReServe Interactive’s Catering and Event Management software.
Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck’s catering director worked directly with ReServe to tailor the software to the aquarium’s unique event management needs. The software is shared between Georgia Aquarium staff, which handles back-of-house event operations, and Wolfgang Puck Catering event staff, which manages front-of-house activities, to ensure real-time event information is accessible to everyone from first customer contact through event follow up.
For more information, click here.
Our software has allowed contract management companies to partner with their customers to efficiently manage hospitality operations, as well as reap the benefits of a flexible solution that allows them to share data, manage labor, and provide superior customer service.
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Our software is designed to help our customers provide the highest levels of service by giving them the tools to collect valuable guest preferences and dining histories. Our customers can greet their guests by name, seat them at their preferred table, present them with their favorite bottle of wine and wish them heartfelt congratulations on their wedding anniversary. Why? Those details are captured in the software and made accessible to the host and wait staff.
But, it’s up to the staff to continue on past those details and carry customer service throughout the entire dining experience so that guests keep coming back for more.
Consider some of the following tips to carry out your high levels of customer service:
Customer Service Training – from the hostess stand to the kitchen, make sure everyone has been trained on your company’s customer service guidelines. If you don’t have set guidelines, consider putting some in place and then conduct orientation meetings to get everyone on the same page. Just one unsavory interaction with any member of your staff can impact a guest’s experience and send them straight for the door.
The Customer is Always Right – when a guest complains, take it seriously. It’s an opportunity to make improvements and show your guests you care. If refunding the cost of a meal results in a satisfied, and more importantly, a return guest, then it’s worth it. Better to have a guest share how you positively dealt with his complaint rather than have him share a failure on your part. Negative word-of-mouth advertising is very hard to repair.
Do More Than Just Your Job – find ways to go above and beyond in servicing your guests. Pull out a chair, comp an appetizer, top off their wine. Doing that little something extra can change a guest’s perspective and turn them into one of your biggest cheerleaders.
Be Enthusiastic – nothing puts a damper on a guest experience than service with a scowl. Whether you’ve been on your feet all day or you’ve been dealing with a long line of crabby clientele, giving your guests a genuine smile shows them that you care about them and their dining experience. And, we all know, smiles are contagious so you’re sure to get a smile in return.
Thursday, August 19th, 2010
After a technical support call is received and resolved by our Product and Technical Support Services Team, we send a survey to the customers requesting they rate the quality of the service they received on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being Excellent. This is done with every support call logged so that we can continually enhance our internal processes and offer the highest levels of customer service.
We’re happy to share that this past July, 98 percent of customers surveyed gave our support technicians a ranking of 5 when asked about their technical knowledge and helpfulness.
You see, here’s where we do things differently. Our Product and Technical Support Services Team is comprised of technical staff, trainers and data customization specialists. That means many of our customers have the added value of working with the same ReServe team members from the time of initial installation. Certain staff members specialize in specific software modules, and the entire Product and Technical Support Services Team has a keen understanding of the hospitality industry. In addition, through close interaction and ongoing partnership, team members become knowledgeable of the specific operational requirements of each individual customer. What results is a level of service that exceeds industry standards and provides our customers with a unique support experience that keeps them productive, efficient and profitable.
And our customers agree. Here are a couple of quotes from those surveyed in July.
“Always a pleasure working with representatives from Reserve. EXTREMELY helpful and kind (patient!). Thank you for the on-the -spot assistance to my impromptu phone call. You made my day easier.”
“ReServe Representatives have consistently been helpful EVERY time that I have called. I have always received an immediate response as well as a solution.”
Thank you to everyone who participates in our support surveys! As always, it’s a pleasure serving you!
Friday, March 19th, 2010
This month, we’re excited to launch ReServe University. We’ve been working on this feature for awhile and it’s finally ready to share with our customers. ReServe University is a new tool for support subscribers that gives them access to all of the training and support services we offer, including a Training Library, Classroom, Help Desk and Support Resources area.
From day one, we’ve wanted our customers to get the most out of their software. Now, with ReServe University, our customers can easily take advantage of our comprehensive training offering. Everyone from hosts to catering sales managers, users in all areas of operations, can get advanced training for each of our software modules, including specific product features.
From downloadable documents and presentations to recorded webinars and interactive training sessions, our users will haveeverything they need; in addition to the one-on-one training and support we’ve always provided, to unlock the full potential of their ReServe Interactive experience.
Category Corporate News, customer service, General, Product Support and Training | Tags: Tags: customer service, Help Desk, product support, ReServe Interactive, ReServe University, support, support services, Training Library,
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
We challenge ourselves continually to improve our internal processes so that we can enhance our customer service and support offering. One of our processes includes tracking our response time for support cases that are submitted to our Product and Technical Support Services Team. In January and February of this year, we opened approximately 1,000 support cases and more than 99 percent of those calls were for product configuration and implementation questions, new feature requests, and training and product upgrade queries. From the time the case was submitted, whether by voicemail, e-mail or via the web, the customer was contacted within 3 hours and most cases were resolved or closed within an hour. In addition, we’ve received 1,184 direct calls to our live Call Center. We think it’s important that our customers be able to talk with an actual person, rather than an automated system. Our 2010 statistics show those Call Center calls were answered, on average, in just under a minute, with 83 percent answered within 30 seconds.
We follow up on each closed support case with a survey sent directly to the customer, asking each customer to rank us on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being Excellent. Since the beginning of the year, 97 percent of our customers have given us a rating of 5 in regards to our response time. Ninety-seven percent of respondents gave our support technicians a ranking of 5 when it comes to technical knowledge and helpfulness.
In addition to ranking our service, many of our customers leave us messages or supporting comments that help us in evaluating our processes. Some of our customers just like to share how they feel about us. Holly Young, Event Sales Manager at Butte Creek Country Club, said, “Thank you! It’s especially nice to call the help desk and get a live person without having to wait or press a bunch of buttons on the phone!”
Thank you, Holly! It’s a pleasure serving you and all of our customers.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
I Googled the word ‘partnership’ and found this definition: ‘a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, as for the achievement of a specified goal’.
I love this definition. It says what we feel about our customers and our technology associates.
We’ve been committed, from day one, to being more than a vendor/supplier to a group of nameless, faceless individuals. We work hand-in-hand with our customers to make sure they have the right solutions they need and get the results they expect. We are intimately aware of our customers’ daily operations, ensuring that the product we provide is more than just a disk they install on their hard drive.
The key to this commitment is partnership. We need to work together with our customers to further develop our software in such a way that it continues to meet their changing needs. Partnership helps us to achieve this goal.
Two-way communication is an important part of the partnership. Not only do we need to hear from our customers, but we need to listen to their input. We need to share with our customers and keep them aware of our plans as we move forward. This mutual sharing of information makes all the difference.
When we choose to work with a technology partner, like Meeting Matrix or Club Soft, we keep the same ideas in mind – communication, openness to share and a willingness to listen. We want our technology associates to share similar philosophies and business practices so that the products and services we provide are consistent on all levels.
We believe in partnership. It impacts how we conduct business and how our long-term relationships are established.
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
The headlines are as diverse as snowflakes – “restaurants are struggling”, “restaurant business is on the upswing”, “private dining business at all time low”, “private dining offers new opportunities this season”. Regardless of the range of reports, one thing is true – people look forward to the fun and festivities of the holidays.
Across the country, events have been planned and private dining and banquet rooms have been booked. Are you ready? From holiday parties to corporate luncheons to celebratory dinners, holiday events present a wonderful opportunity to let your business offering shine. With a focus on guest accommodation and superior customer service, holiday-goers can easily become long-term, loyal customers.
Begin with a plan to impress. Use the tools at your disposal to ensure the seamless execution of your customers’ events. From the technology you use to manage those events to the selection of table linens your guests can choose from, go above and beyond to cross every ‘I’ and dot every ‘T’. Shower your guests with extra attention by dedicating staff who will focus on managing your holiday event schedule. Plan carefully and you won’t run the risk of over- or under-staffing your event space or dining room.
Now is a great time to flex your consulting muscles by assisting your customers in executing a memorable holiday event that won’t break the bank. Many venues are offering reservations before and after peak hours to accommodate customers working with tighter budgets. Some have broadened or revised their party menus to include a range of items at various price points. Think outside the box to generate ideas that will impress your customers without taking away from your bottom line.
If you’re booked through the season and everything is set to go, enjoy this time of celebration and may all of your wishes for a profitable holiday season come true.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
In any business, a good first impression is critical to growth. You want to keep customers coming back so you can build a repeat customer base and generate recurring revenue. But what about second, third and fourth impressions? What about building a long-term relationship with loyalty built into the equation?
Does your restaurant offer a meal or an experience? Are your customers treated as if their mere presence is an event worth celebrating? What do you really know about your customers, besides their name? After their first visit, have you gathered enough information to make their next visit something special?
Have you asked yourselves these questions?
- Does my customer request the same table for every visit?
- Does my customer request the same reservation time on the same day of every week?
- Do they always order a specific entrée or bottle of wine?
- Does my customer routinely request the same server?
- Does my customer celebrate special events like birthdays and anniversaries at my establishment? What special requests are made for those events?
We know that excellent customer service is the cornerstone for the success of many of our customers. In addition to the standards they have set for themselves, they utilize the features of our software to gather the right guest information at each visit. Then they use that data to provide the level of service that only they can – the service they’re customers have come to expect.
Each guest visit is an opportunity to make another good impression, and while it may be the second, third or tenth impression, it’s just as important and can have just as much, if not more, impact as the first.