The success of any business is measured primarily by its customer service. A happy customer is always the reason behind a successful businessperson.
The Sanskrit phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava” meaning guests are like God is very closely connected to the hospitality business. The restaurant industry, being a large part of this business has complied with this concept very sincerely. Their main aim is to serve the guests at their food joint in a way that want to come back, over and over again. And competition in this arena has made it no less of an area of extra attention over the years. Thus making a restaurant’s customer service the most important part of the business.
The owners of restaurants of every style need to put a lot of effort and hard work into understanding the customers’ current expectations. Do not forget that a customer is not just looking at enjoying a good meal. They are also going to rate you based on their experience at your restaurant, and that includes the service as well as the value for the price they will be paying. Ensuring good customer service has been the top priority of brands such as KFC. No wonder they are so popular across the globe!
It would be easier to steer your customer service towards improvement once you understand the reasons to do so.
Reasons for improving restaurant’s customer service
- Your customer experience has to go through an upgrade for the basic reason of customer retention. If you want to have customers come back to your eatery, you will have to give them an experience that they will not forget easily. Studies reveal that a happy and satisfied customer is capable of generating 74% customer loyalty. It is found that about 32% of customers do not return to a restaurant they have had a negative experience.
- The second extremely important reason why you should concentrate on your restaurant’s customer service is your marketing. Often people spend a lot of money trying to market their brand; unfortunately, they fail to recognize that a satisfied customer is your free marketing tool. Word of mouth has time and again proven to be the best form of marketing and that is activated when a customer has an unforgettable positive experience at any restaurant. You will be surprised to know that even though you may be the owner of the restaurant, the range at which a customer will sell your restaurant will be much higher.
- Finally, the most obvious reason why you should pay very close attention to your restaurant’s customer service is to increase your ROI. The more the number of satisfied customers the more they will invest in dining at your restaurant. Research says that a content customer orders about 12% more dinner and 16% more coffee than a person who has not yet had a good experience. Cross-sells, upsells, adds-ons, and special menus will easily be leveraged by one positive customer experience.
Ways to improve restaurant’s customer service
Any restaurateur needs to remember that the success of their restaurant can be reached only when they have a good team in place. Your staff always needs to be on the same page as you just like KFC. They ensure that they train their staff well and drill into their minds the exact way in which they want to deliver to their customers. From greeting customers to taking orders to completing purchases quickly, KFC ensured that each of their staff knew their specific roles.
If you want your restaurant to reach such heights of success, you too should ensure that your expectations from your staff are absolutely clearly drawn. Additionally, they must also have in-depth knowledge of the kind of food and/or liquor being served. Make communication the key tool that every employee in your restaurant should use to enhance the restaurant’s customer service. This will bring clarity to operations and end up an excellent service.
Technology in the present times plays a very important role in the success of every business; your restaurant is no exception. So get to the various ways in which you can incorporate technology into the operations of your restaurant. This will not only make your customers happy but also accelerate your growth by leaps and bounds.
In this regard, you must try a restaurant management system such as Gleeca that gives you complete assistance in helping integrate technology into your operations. It gives you access to a free website that you can use aggressively use to encourage online ordering and table reservations through the digital menu and easy billing process (POS).
The use of chatbots trending in restaurant websites is another addition that you must make to improve your restaurant’s customer service. Domino’s Pizza is using these chatbots effectively and increasing their revenue largely by keeping the customers satisfied and happy. These interactive experiences make the customer feel important and thereby help in customer engagement largely.
- Attention to complaints or queries
This is an extremely important area of attention and needs to be dealt with, with immense promptness. Every staff member of your restaurant should be duly trained in handling customers in this regard thoroughly. They should know how to act actively and use their best behavior when dealing with any kind of complaint. A commonly used phrase “the customer is always right” is a prevalent one when training the staff. The acknowledgment, response, and solution of the problems or queries must be done with lightning speed to make the customer feel that they are valuable to you. Do not forget to report the incident for future situations.
- Attention to personalization
Every customer enjoys personalized attention. This can be done when a manager puts in a little effort and personally goes to tables to ask the customers if they are enjoying the experience. In case they mention some issue they are facing, the manager must make This is, another way to make the customer feel valued.
Taking feedback from the customers is one of the best parameters to consider when attempting to make the restaurant’s customer experience better. A case study of Domnio’s reveals how the restaurant team worked together to not just get a review from the customers but also to work on those critical comments and ensure that they made the necessary changes. One of the harshest comments that Domino’s had received from a customer was that the pizza tasted like ‘cardboard’.
Every single staff member responsible for making the pizzas got together and made alterations to the dough, the sauce as well as the cheese, and other toppings. After this, the head chef reportedly, along with a few crew members went to the house of the customer personally and made them taste the newly manufactured pizza. This was done to confirm if the pizza had been successful in removing the complaint of the customer and also to make the customer feel that they are genuinely being heard.
Taking care of even the minutest requirements of the customers makes them feel wanted and valued and guarantees loyalty. One of the primary concerns is the quality of food for the customers; thus as a restaurateur, it is your responsibility to provide them with the best quality as well as the acceptable kind of food. There must be flexible menus so that you can cater to a wider range of audience. Alongside a variation in the price of the menu items also serves the purpose of making the customers happy. KFC uses two strategies for pricing at their outlet, optional pricing and mixed pricing. This keeps almost all consumers satisfied and is a proven means of enhancing a restaurant’s customer experience.
A unique customer experience can be given when you are sure who your target is and you mold not just your operations but also the physical appearance of your restaurant. The ambience plays a crucial role in satisfying the customer. The bottom line is the R & D (research and development) must be very strong and accurate for the restaurant to gain the confidence of the customers, which will in turn serve towards the achievement of customer retention.
All of the above and a desire to reach the top position in the list of the popular restaurant will never fail you in improving your restaurant’s customer service.