6 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant's Customer Service
If you’re getting customer complaints, negative reviews, or are noticing that patrons aren’t returning to your restaurant, it might be time to improve your service. Although this will take time, effort, and resources, you’ll be surprised at how much customer service can affect sales.
In this post, we’ll discuss six ways that you can upgrade your restaurant’s customer service!
1. Try Social Media Monitoring
Is your restaurant active on social media? If not, you should start, because it could benefit your customer service efforts. By practicing social media monitoring, you can review what your customers are saying about your restaurant online. In addition, you should also respond to complaints, questions, or comments that are left on your pages. Your customers will appreciate the responses, and you’ll be able to control the narrative that is being presented about your restaurant.
2. Utilize Restaurant Apps
Do you struggle to manage all the takeout and delivery orders you receive? In addition, you probably receive calls from customers inquiring about in-house dining. If so, you should consider registering your restaurant for apps like OpenTable, GrubHub, and Seamless, to name a few. These services can streamline your delivery, take-out, and reservation scheduling, so that you can provide better customer service.
3. Provide Employee Training
If your employees aren’t well-versed in your restaurant’s policies, you shouldn’t be surprised if you start receiving complaints. You can’t blame employees for poor performance if they weren’t given the proper training. To combat this, ensure that all new hires are given thorough training on how to interact with customers. Give them clear instructions on how to handle common situations in the restaurant industry – having customers that are unsatisfied with their orders, displeased with the speed of the service, have an allergy or dietary restriction, or are frustrated with wait times for a table. If your employees are prepared for these setbacks, they’ll be able to handle them responsibly, and ensure that customers are content.
4. Offer Employee Incentives
In addition to putting a focus on employee training, you should offer incentives that inspire them to work harder. If they know that incentives are on the line, they’ll be more likely to put in extra effort, and give your patrons an enhanced experience. Incentives could include a small bonus, gift card, or other exciting reward.
5. Follow Up with Patrons
If you receive negative feedback from one of your customers, do your best to provide a solution. For instance, if you got their takeout order wrong, or they were unhappy with the quality of their meal, provide them with a discount or gift card. Then, follow up in a few days to see if there is anything else you can do. The customer will appreciate that you care about their experience enough to reach out, and will be more likely to give your restaurant a second chance.
6. Pay Attention to Consistent Grievances
If you don’t take note of recurring complaints, you can’t expect your restaurant’s customer service to improve. Whenever a customer complains, write down what happened, who was involved, and how the situation was handled. Then, on a monthly basis, review the list of issues that occurred. Determine if you can find any persistent issues. For example, are customers continually unhappy with how long it is taking for them to receive their meals? Or perhaps one of your servers keeps getting orders wrong. Whatever the repeated grievance is, make it a focus going forward. If you eliminate this problem, you’ll have happier customers and will reduce the risk of losing business!
Keep Your Restaurant’s Patrons Happy
Now that you’ve read our list of ways that you can improve your restaurant’s customer service, it’s time to get to work. Make it a priority to assess your customer service on a regular basis, so that you can be confident in your restaurant’s service. Your patrons will thank you!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.