Even with the best food in town, a restaurant with terrible service will cause your customers to look for another venue for dinner plans. Customer service is the core of restaurant marketing. With a pleasant and knowledgeable staff, your clientele will enjoy their experience and definitely be more likely to return. The main goals of any business are to obtain new customers and retain happy repeat customers.
Customer service entails everyone working in your restaurant from the kitchen staff to your servers. Start with a hostess with a friendly face, throw in a server with an inviting attitude, and top it off with an accommodating manager definitely makes for an impressive restaurant marketing team. After all, your staff is the face of your brand.
Proper training is the best way to avoid unpleasant encounters. Having employees who know what to do and say while in a bad situation will allow them to manage their own crises and avoid having the manager make a table visit. Always remember that experience is the best teacher and every experience is a lesson learned.
There will always be that one difficult customer, or two, but your employees must learn to take it in stride and "kill them with kindness". It may not be the most ideal interaction but, in a restaurant environment, it happens every day. Grinning and bearing it will be tough, but it is probably the best way to avoid confrontation or escalate a problem. Your employees should always keep an open mind while interacting with customers. Everyone is different and some people will definitely need special attention and care. It is up to your staff to provide that to them as much as possible. Making that customer feel comfortable and appreciated is the key to gaining repeat business. Providing customers with a positive experience is just as important to your sales as mailing restaurant menus with coupons into homes.
In any business setting, learning to understand your customers and their needs makes it significantly easier to help them complete a transaction. All business operations focus on efficiency and profitability. If your customers are happy that means your staff has been excellent at proving quality customer service. Happy customers mean helpful and efficient employees and leads to your customers wanting to come back to another great meal!
Chris Barr is a marketing professional and graduate of Christopher Newport University. His areas of expertise include direct mail, internet marketing, copy writing, SEO, and new business development. Chris currently serves as Marketing Director for Taradel LLC in Richmond, VA.
Keep customers on your side by avoiding
the Customer Service Sins.