A happy customer is a loyal customer. Keeping a customer happy is no small feat, though. Here are 20 tips that every restaurant manager can share with their employees to create happier customers and boost restaurant customer service.
- When you have an angry customer it is always important to listen first and foremost. Sometimes customers just need to vent. Make sure to let a customer finish speaking before responding.
- Speak with a friendly tone no matter what the situation is. It can sometimes be hard to do this, especially when you know the customer is wrong, but this is one of the most important parts of having great restaurant customer service.
- Deep breaths go a long way towards calming nerves in a stressful situation with a customer and can prevent anger. If you need to don't be afraid to step away from the situation for a moment. You can always say that you need to check with your manager.
- When a customer tells you what they want, always repeat the information back to them. This insures accuracy and makes the customer feel like you are listening.
- Try to never put an angry customer on hold. This can infuriate them further. If you must put them on hold make sure to apologize for having to do so and tell them how long they will be on hold for.
- Always give your customers options. The more options, the happier the customer will be.
- The University of Cardiff in Walesfound that people who smiled felt happier. Since customers respond better to happy people, try smiling, even when you're down. Smiling can be the golden ticket to better restaurant customer service.
- Warm up customers with a little small talk. Ask them how their day is going, point out that you like something about their outfit, complement them on their cute child, etc.
- Got a Chatty Cathy on the line? The best tactic is to politely interrupt, then ask the customer a question about why they called. This will get them back on track.
- Avoid restaurant jargon when talking to a customer. A customer can easily become agitated if they can't understand what you're saying.
- Make sure that every customer is greeted as soon as they walk in.
- Try to say 'yes' as much as possible.
- Did something go wrong or take too long? Always apologize.
- If your customer is mad, offering a free incentive is a good way to calm raw nerves.
- Add something extra to the customer's bag or package, like a coupon, or thank you note, to make them feel you went the extra mile.
- No matter if it is an email, letter or in-person dialog, always respond to customers promptly.
- Talk to your customers through social media. They enjoy knowing your business isn't just some faceless corporation.
BONUS - Use awesome customer service tools like these.