You can invest in ambiance, a fabulous menu and all of the bells and whistles that make your business stand out, but if your customer service is lacking, you might as well kiss all of that investment goodbye. According to The Multibillion Cost of Poor Customer Service by NewVoiceMedia, after a positive experience, 69% of people would recommend the company to others while 50% would use the business more frequently. According to the same research, businesses lose $41 billion every year due to poor customer service.
Consider some of the following tips to improve your customer service:
Customer Service Training – from the front of the house to the back, 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 experience. And, we all know, smiles are contagious so you’re sure to get a smile in return.