Good food, good music, and a pleasant atmosphere are important when it comes to a restaurant’s reputation. But so is timely customer service.
No matter how much you try, there will inevitably be a moment in your restaurant’s existence where you will have customer complaints. This is a crucial moment. Restaurant managers need to successfully deal with a problem by turning it to their advantage.
If you’re not able to solve the complaint of a customer, then you will lose him. And if you do this with each and every one of your complaints, then the future of your restaurant is in jeopardy.
What Restaurant Managers Can Do When They Receive a Complaint
- Listen to the client. Don’t rush the client into giving you explanations as to what made him unhappy with your services. If you rush him, the client will become even more frustrated and probably won’t even bother telling you what happened. Sometimes, all people want is someone to listen. So be patient, and let your client spill out their frustrations. It will also help him calm down and relax as he opens up to you.
- Apologize sincerely. Restaurant managers should get used to apologizing to their customers in the most sincere way possible. After all, you want to turn an unpleasant situation into one with a happy ending. Apologies always make things better, and in the restaurant business, the customer is always right.
- Show empathy. Apologies go hand in hand with showing empathy. Tell your clients that you understand them, that you’d be frustrated/angry too if something like this had happened to you. Empathy has a way of establishing a connection because it makes you seem more human in their eyes.
- Take action. The three steps mentioned above will be in vain if you don’t take action. After all, the client will also want some kind of solution regarding his problem. Studies suggest that if the problem is resolved, the client will return to that restaurant.
- Give the client something extra. Aside from taking action and resolving his problem, it’s also a good idea to give the client something for free, as a way of going that extra mile in order to make him forget as quickly as possible about the issue he had. Ending the situation with something positive brings satisfaction in regards to your customer service.
- Manage your online reputation. Nowadays, people often choose to complain on the Internet about different services and products. This includes your restaurant as well. Most of the time, your clients won’t tell the waiter that there was something wrong with the way they were served. Instead, they will act out on social media or review sites. Make sure you’re constantly checking your Twitter, Facebook, social media channels, and review sites as well, such as Yelp.com. Bad reviews are usually the ones that end up viral in no time, so be on the look out for those, and resolve them as soon as possible.
Over the Top Customer Service is Key For Your Success
Restaurant managers that show their clients they care them and take their complaints seriously, are the managers who will build a large, returning customer base for the restaurant. By making customers happy, you will keep them coming back for more.