Restaurant customer service is one of the major things that decides the success of your restaurant. There are a number of 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.
Restaurant Customer Service Tips That Will Keep Your Guests Hooked to Your Restaurant
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 a wildfire and has the ability to bring your restaurant to notice to all the potential customers out there.
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, from an event or from the discounts and offers conferred by your restaurant. Although you can attract new customers, by hosting interesting events or offering catchy discounts, you will hardly be able to retain them and get them visit your restaurant again, unless you live up to your promises.
2. Trains 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: While dealing with your customers make sure that your waiters are not pushy while trying to upsell a particular item. While upselling is vital for a restaurant, it is an art that not all are able to 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 to the client. You can just offer a free drink or an appetizer as a compensation. However, if you don’t have such offers, create one or simply 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 what people visit your restaurant for. Hence, consistency in products is a must. 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 the taste of the food. This might make them regret the decision to revisit your restaurant, which you obviously don’t want. From cold fries to an overcooked main course, an inconsistent product quickly taints experience and brand perceptions.
4. Take Feedbacks 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 appreciations 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 and worthwhile, but on the other hand, if you do not work on your customers’ review, they will surely not return back 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 behaviour and allows you to make informed decisions based on the captured data which will improve your restaurant customer service. Waiters can view this details in the POS and upsell and suggest items based on customer’s ordering history.
Once you have your customer data you can run loyalty program, and even 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, increase your restaurant sales and overall profit.
Try these tips at your restaurant and let us know how they worked out for you!