While great food is certainly a motivator when choosing a restaurant, diners are unlikely to come back if they’re unsatisfied with the service. To give your customers an all-around great experience, try out these tips for excellent customer service.
Manage Wait Times
Nothing is more frustrating than showing up to a restaurant looking forward to a great meal and having to wait for a table. While wait times are unavoidable at times, managing those waiting lists is crucial to great customer service. Be honest with the customer about how long the wait will be to manage their expectations. Then, do whatever you can to keep things moving and get everyone seated quickly.
Learn (and Teach) How to Communicate
Making sure your customer gets what they need all comes down to effective communication. All members of the staff should be trained on friendly, professional, and efficient customer service language. For example, when a customer makes a request, the staff member should repeat the request back to the customer to show they’re listening and to make sure they got the information right.
Know Your Product
It’s hard to communicate about the menu if you aren’t familiar with it. All staff members should take time to study the products so they can answer questions and make recommendations. Especially in a time when food allergies seem to be at an all-time high, making a customer feel comfortable with what they’re ordering can leave a lasting impression.
Find a Balance
It may be tempting to encourage staff to check on customers frequently, but too much attention can annoy customers. Staff members should learn to find a balance between attending to customers and letting them quietly enjoy their meals. This also relates to communication; staff should make an effort to learn how to read a customer and figure out their preference.
Address Complaints Quickly
You might try to make things perfect, but sometimes there will be problems. If a customer has a complaint, it’s important to handle it as quickly as possible. Make sure to listen to the complaint patiently and understand the issue, then seek to rectify it. Customers will remember the speedy and courteous way you handled the problem more than the problem itself!
Try Comment Cards
Customers are often more comfortable expressing their opinion if they don’t have to do it in person, so comment cards can be a great tool for customer service. Try asking specific questions that will encourage your customers to make suggestions to improve service. Be sure to take their suggestions to make future experiences better!
Getting feedback and addressing complaints are important, but it only works if you listen. Sometimes, all the customer needs is to feel heard. Simply giving them your undivided attention and sympathizing with them can go a long way.
Use Social Media
Many people interact with businesses on social media, so take advantage of this platform! Creating engaging posts and replying to customer comments via social media is a great way to form loyal, lasting customer relationships.
For more restaurant tips, or to see some great customer service in action, visit Italian Garden, an Italian restaurant in San Marcos, TX.