Category Archives: Customer Service

Food for Thought: Cashless Operations

Cashless

With the latest payment technologies stressing ingenuity and convenience, many establishments are considering upping their digital payment methods and eliminating the option to pay with cash altogether. While goal of cashless operations is to stay relevant, these establishments may be missing important opportunities to connect with their customers, such as:

  • Encouraging Tips – Paying in cash gives guests the chance to recognize outstanding employees with extra tips for their good service.
  • Human Interaction – The small act of paying in cash opens an opportunity for extra interaction between staff members and customers. This gives your employees a chance to showcase their excellent customer service skills and earn loyal patrons.
  • Including Everyone – Generally, millennials are pretty savvy with technology. However, if customers are older or adverse towards going digital, going cashless can turn off potential patrons to your establishment.
  • Financial Flexibility – Sometimes technology fails and systems crash without warning. Accepting physical dollar bills provides a backup in times of technological failure.

Solve Customer Complaints

Customer

In the restaurant industry, managers should do everything in their power to keep customers happy and get repeat business. But what if, after all the training and preparation, a customer experiences less than stellar service? In the age of social media, solving customer complaints has become even more important since the bad experience can instantly be spread to hundreds or thousands of people with one simple online post. Luckily, there is a step-by-step strategy to recover from a customer service mishap.

When trying to make amends with a dissatisfied customer, remember the acronym S.T.A.R.S. to quickly avoid further damage and remedy the situation.

Sorry. Apologize for the mistake without blaming the issue on the customer. Make sure to give full attention to their story and listen intently to the problem at hand.

Thank you. Thank the customer for coming to you about the issue. Instead of being unenthused about the interaction and complaint, use it as a learning experience to avoid offending a guest in the future.

Act. Act accordingly by doing anything in your immediate power to solve the issue. Something as simple as recooking a meal or switching servers can quickly put the flames to rest and satisfy the customer.

Recover. Offer something special to leave a better impression on the customer. For example, giving a coupon or comping their meal can go a long way to mend the relationship.

Share. Share the customer’s story and the follow-up experience with other employees so the entire team can learn from the situation. This will help avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Build Your Brand with Storytelling

Brand-Storytelling

Building connections with your customers helps to make them feel welcomed and appreciated in your restaurant. Every restaurant has as story – whether your story is focused on the start-up process, challenges and accomplishments, goals, or mission statement, storytelling will quickly build your brand. Encourage your staff members to build better connections, and guide them toward success with the following tips:

Explain Your Story
The first thing you have to do in order to implement storytelling marketing is to call a meeting and share your story with staff members. Some employees may have a general idea, but use this as an opportunity to go in depth and increase brand awareness throughout your restaurant.

Encourage Conversations
The goal of this process is to have customers engaging in conversations with your staff members and asking meaningful questions. Ensure that all of your staff members will be able to answer most (if not all) questions from your customers. Ask that your staff members keep the stories conversational rather than lecturing the customers when they first sit down. Every staff member will have their own unique way of telling your brand’s story, but customers don’t want to hear the same story every time they come in. Ask your employees to start off the conversation by introducing themselves, and asking if the customers have ever dined at your restaurant.

Expand Relationships
Use these conversations to build quality relationships and increase repeat customers. Keep the conversations going by asking customers to write online reviews and recommend your restaurant to people they know. Consider implementing a refer-a-friend program by giving discount cards for first time customers and those who recommend your restaurant.

Remember to maintain these relationships built from brand storytelling by keeping your restaurant clean, food fresh and staff friendly.