What makes a happy, memorable customer experience? Ask a handful of different demographics and you’re likely to get a dizzying array of diverse answers.
However, it is generally accepted that good customer service ticks the following boxes:
Great Communication Skills
A friendly smile and some amusing banter can make a customer’s day and put a spring in their step. Human beings are tribal and quite loyal by nature. If a customer enjoys the great communication they receive at an establishment, they’ll keep coming back for more.
However, “great communication skills” can sometimes mean knowing when not to talk. If a customer is on the way to work or in the middle of a difficult day, hearing what the barista had for breakfast may not be exactly what they’re looking for. Having great communication skills means tuning into the needs of the customer.
This is a big one. Whether it is a supermarket, a café cart or a silver service restaurant, there’s nothing more frustrating for customers than asking seemingly simple questions that can’t be answered.
Schedule regular meetings with your staff to bring them up to speed with any product changes. There’s nothing more impressive than a waiter who knows the menu back to front, plus can recommend complementing dishes or drinks from a place of knowledge.
Patience and Problem Solving
Patience is a really important component of good customer service. There are going to be times when things unexpectedly break down or go wrong. Train your staff (and yourself) in alternative solutions, dealing with complaints and being calm as the proverbial cucumber under pressure.
This last point is arguably the most important. The world we live in feels busier and busier…so no-one likes to be kept waiting. One of the key things you can offer is well-planned efficiency.
Your staffing is key – make sure all your employees know which areas they are covering, and what their core responsibilities are.
Beyond all that, consider this: ever have a lovely meal and then had to wait half an hour to pay the bill? No matter how delightful the food, this kind of experience can leave a sour taste. Make sure your payment systems are as slick as the service. Your Point of Sale (POS) systems are key to this process, i.e. the apparatus and software you have in place.
Luckily, there are hospitality POS systems that are tailored to the needs of this industry. Utilise special features such as the ability to split the bill or track inventory to improve your overall efficiency and impress customers into coming back.
If your customer service and efficiency are ticking the above boxes, you’ll be on the right track to success.