While celebrating my daughter’s 20th birthday at a local steak restaurant – yes, the chicken finger & fries meals are a thing of the past, I was reminded that great service and experience doesn’t happen by accident. There must be a series of steps planned for and actions taken to allow for great service. Here is my list of 5 things you need to know about great service.
Customers want “easy” and customers want to enjoy their experience without having to direct the actions of the service staff.
Don’t make your customer “have to” ask for a refill of beverage when their glass is almost empty. Provide it automatically. Let your customer know that the item comes in different colors or sizes; you’ll never know how many uses they’re planning for your product. Is rain scheduled for today? Have umbrellas available for your customers, even escort them to their car after purchase.
Some customers love popular dishes or products that are no longer offered. Business is most accommodating when they can still provide past favorites when asked.
I once overheard a restaurant diner seated next to me ask for a spinach salad that was not offered on the menu. He was told it wasn’t an option. But, when he pointed out to the server that spinach was a featured side dish on 3 different entrees and didn’t understand why he couldn’t have some prepared as a salad, you should have seen the confused look on the server’s face. BTW, the guest never got his salad.
If you want to retain customers, make sure you adapt to their needs regardless of your existing offerings. It’s really not that big of a deal to modify a product, especially when you have the merchandise and abilities already on hand.
It Has a Flawless Design
“Don’t put the cart before the horse”. We’ve all heard this phrase. Or this one, “You must walk before you run”. Each points out that basic and standard underlying actions must be in place before you can expect to excel in other areas. Example:
You cannot give great service unless you have the means to do so. A restaurant hoping to keep prices low must serve more customers to generate the needed profit. You can’t serve more customers without a kitchen designed for efficient service and a well-trained team motivated to do so. All needed equipment must be readily available and employee levels set for peak performance to compliment your service goals.
Customers assume each of your employees knows the business like the back of their hand. But we know that’s not a realistic expectation for most. So, how do you overcome this? By empowering your employees to do as needed without “needing” prior approval from management (under most situations).
Empower your team to make decisions to serve your customers. But this is only possible when you trust them to make the “right” decisions. This trust is built on proper training and realistic company policies and procedures that allow your team to anticipate and adapt to the ever-changing needs of your business.
Poise, or to be poised, is when you are graceful, elegant, relaxed, and steady. Businesses with a team of self-assured and poised employees can remove the stress from most customers and allow their experience to be savored. High-pressure sales tactics may increase sales but decrease the confidence customers have in the business.
Now that you’re better prepared to provide excellent customer service, let your customers feel special and appreciated when doing business with you and make sure this level of service is offered to everyone who passes through your doors.