Restaurant customer service is one of the major things that decide the success of your restaurant. There are many reasons why customers don’t return to a restaurant, and poor customer service is one of them. If you are unable to please your customers, and you fail to retain them and get them back after you have attracted them once, then you can be assured that no matter what you do, your restaurant will be unable to meet its targeted goals in term of profits.
Remember the Pareto Principle is a severe one in the restaurant space. It essentially implies that 80% of a restaurant’s business comes from 20% of its customers. These are the restaurant’s repeat customers. Thus you need to provide impeccable service at your restaurant. To do so, you may often wonder “How to make guests happy at your restaurant?” Fret not! Here we have 5 restaurant customer service tips that will surely keep your customers hooked.
Restaurant Customer Service Tips That Will Keep Your Guests Happy
Keeping customers happy should be the ulterior motive of all restaurant owners. Unless you can keep them happy, then you can hardly expect to see the influx of repeat customers through your restaurant entrance. The news of a good restaurant customer service spreads like wildfire and can bring your restaurant to notice to all the potential customers out there. Here are some useful restaurant customer service tips for you to follow:-
1. Set Legit Expectations
Never give false promises to your customers. This essentially means that do not set an expectation that you cannot meet. Clearly explain what they should expect from a particular dish, an event, or the discounts and offers conferred by your restaurant. Although you can attract new customers, by hosting exciting events or offering catchy discounts, you will hardly be able to retain them and get them to revisit your restaurant, unless you live up to your promises.
2. Train Your Waiters And Servers Well
It is your waiters and servers who will be in direct contact with your customers. Hence, training them well will be your first step towards ensuring that your restaurant customer service turns out to be the best. Learn more about restaurant management training here.
The main things that you must give due importance while training your waiters are:
- They Should Not Be Pushy: When trying to upsell certain dishes to customers, make sure that your waiters are not pushy. While upselling is vital for a restaurant, it is an art that not all can master. Train your staff to subtly upsell the items, while not being pushy or overbearing. No customers will like, if your staff literally forces, with a smile, to order something that they don’t want to order.
- Let Your Staff Know That Customers Need Privacy: None of us would like, if a staff hovers around our table after the order is taken, only with the hope that we would order more. Hence, let your staff know that customers need privacy and make sure that your waiters are not very infringing on the personal domain of your customers.
- Be Upfront with Your Customers: If there was an unexpected delay in the kitchen, the wait staff should tell the customer. The best thing to do is to explain the problem in detail and ask if there’s anything you can do to make up for the client. You can offer a free drink or an appetizer as compensation. However, if you don’t have such offers, create one or provide free professional time.
- Ability to Handle Disgruntled Customers: No two customers in this world are the same. And hence, one day you might receive a polite customer and the next day a rowdy one. Your staff must be prepared for the worst, always. But, in no way can a staff of yours lose his cool. Find out how to manage even the most difficult of the customers here.
3. Provide Consistent Products
Food is the main reason why people visit your restaurant. Hence, consistency in products is an integral part of the restaurant customer service. You don’t want your customers to like your food when they first visit your restaurant and when they revisit your place they don’t find the same quality, quantity, or taste of the food. This might make them regret the decision to revisit your restaurant, which you don’t want. From cold fries to an overcooked main course, an inconsistent product quickly taints experience and brand perceptions.
4. Take Feedback Seriously
Taking feedback from the customers is a must and should not be treated as a mere formality. On the other hand, treat it as a mode through which you can make all the appropriate changes that will help you to augment your restaurant customer service. You must give due respect to all the reviews on social media as well.
Acknowledge the appreciation and apologize to all the criticisms. But make sure that you work on the negative reviews and feedbacks. This will make your customers feel needed. If you do not work on your customers’ reviews, they will surely not return to your restaurant.
5. Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) To Enhance Restaurant Customer Service
CRM has now become the key that helps in improving customer engagement in your restaurant through loyalty programs and others. Centralized restaurant CRM enables you to gather customer data related to the contact details of the customer, the frequency of visits, their preferences, and average spending per visit.
POS integrated CRM gives great insights into customer demands and behavior and allows you to make informed decisions based on the captured data which will improve your restaurant customer service. Waiters can view these details in the POS and upsell and suggest items based on customer’s ordering history. Once you have your customer data, you can run a loyalty program, and even a customized loyalty program, which will help your customers feel wanted and important.
A great restaurant customer service goes a long way in retaining customers and in turn, increases your restaurant sales and overall profit. Try these tips at your restaurant and let us know how they worked out for you!