Customer experience plays a crucial role in determining the success of a restaurant business. It is thus important to give your best in making customers happy by coming up with creative restaurant customer service ideas. A happy customer spreads the word about the restaurant and brings along more customers to your place. If the restaurant customer service isn’t efficient and friendly, there isn’t much profit that can be expected from the business.
With the evolving restaurant consumer trends, it has become imperative to understand the customer on a deeper level. Restaurant customer service revolves not just around the quality of food, but also spans other finer aspects like how waiters interact with customers or the finesse with which they serve the food. These small but significant gestures leave a positive impression on the customer’s mind. Your restaurant customer service determines whether it’s a good impression or a bad one.
Deliver Stellar Service With These Restaurant Customer Service Ideas
Post pandemic, customer service is not to be confined to winning the customer’s heart but should go beyond that. Sanitation, social distancing, and protective gear for the staff are some of the additional attributes that come under restaurant customer service to make customers feel safe.
Restaurants that are implementing these measures are evidently witnessing an expansion in their customer base. Furthermore, these measures also highlight the brand image of the restaurant and promise a safe dining experience to the customers.
Here are some restaurant customer service ideas and keep more guests coming in.
1. Try Being In The Customer’s Shoes
To understand the customer in-depth, you need to put yourself in their shoes and notice things from their point of view. There might be numerous things that might not be up to the mark from the customer’s point of view, even if they are from the restaurateur’s point of view.
When you enter a restaurant, see if the staff is smiling while greeting the customers. Setting the right expectations with employees in terms of customer experience from the very beginning can go a long way in keeping your customers happy. Visualizing yourself as a customer will gain you insights into the little details that are important to keep guests happy. You can note down the things that made your experience worthwhile and then implement your observations for enhanced customer service.
2. Keep Your Customers Busy
Customers need to feel that they’re having a good time when they visit your restaurant. The orders should be prepared in minimum time so that the wait time is less including the table turnover time. Longer wait times leave the customers displeased which is not good for the restaurant’s reputation.
Keeping the customers busy while they wait for their orders or checks to arrive is the job of the restaurant staff and the manager. You can keep board games or novels for the customers to play and read respectively, while they are waiting to be served or to check-out. Live music is also a good way to keep the customers engaged while they wait. Having something to kill time while waiting or eating can make the dine-in experience worthwhile for the customers.
3. Train Your Staff Well
The way you treat your customers contributes a lot to your restaurant rating. In order to make your customers happy, it is important to train your staff to adhere to well-defined service standards. A competent staff not only provides a good service but also offers quick solutions to customers’ problems. The waiters should be trained to greet the customers and treat them well. The chef should be trained so that no plates return unfinished.
In fact, the staff should be trained so well that no problems arise at all in the first place. However, that is not the case most times. Hence, the staff should learn to recognize the problems that customers might have and respond accordingly. This prepares them for any emergency situations that might arise while catering to the customers.
4. Give It A Personal Touch
Adding a personal touch in the form of greeting customers and introducing the waitstaff, for example, enhances the customer experience manifolds. It pleases customers and fosters loyalty. Calling customers by their name builds a good rapport with them and goes a long way in retaining them. It is also good to remember the orders of your most frequent visitors.
If you have loyalty software in place, you can use it to keep a track of your customer’s birthdays and anniversaries. Using these customer data, it is possible to send personalized discounts and offers to your customers. A cake on the house for the celebration of special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and other events is also a good idea to engage your customers. These are the bonus points that add even more value to your restaurant and should be leveraged judiciously.
5. Ask For Customer Feedback
Asking for customer feedback makes them feel valued and they will walk away knowing that the restaurant cares about their opinion. It assures them that if they face any problems, they will be promptly resolved. Customers are likely to leave positive reviews on social media about the food, ambience, staff behaviour, delivery, etc that you offer.
Moreover, regular feedback also brings out the loopholes in your service. The shortcomings that you do not realize exist can then be rectified. This will eventually help you bridge any gaps in service and provide flawless service in future.
6. Leverage Technology
Technology advancement has opened many new doors for the restaurant industry. These are opportunities that can be utilized to enhance the customer experience. The extent of the utilization depends on the restaurateurs. It is advisable to invest in a sound POS system that comes packed with extensive features to allow you to deliver the restaurant customer service experience.
For example, restaurant management systems come with a CRM module that can manage customer data centrally. Besides, a good POS system also consists of other features like billing, tablet ordering, online reservations, customer feedback management, etc. that improve the overall customer experience.
In today’s restaurant industry, serving good food isn’t enough. With the rising competition of the ever-evolving market, offering something special to your customers is a good way to gain a lead. Follow these tips to refine your restaurant’s service to send your customers back home satisfied.