The Continued Value of Customer Service

Jun 28, 2020

We know customer service has always been an important pillar of the foodservice industry. As the industry begins to re-open post lockdown, we're pivoting in multiple and varied ways, including limited customer and therefore revenue capacity.

With restrictions limiting the footfall of patrons at any given time, customer service is arguably more important now than ever before. So as venues across the country are opening their doors, it doesn’t hurt to get back to basics and think about the things that may set your business apart from the rest. Here we revisit the values of customer service and how to put your best foot forward.

The Value of Customer Service

While you may have got your social distancing procedures don’t pact, and you might have the best steak in town, it’s worth less than a Big Mac if your service isn’t up to scratch! From fast food to fine dining, customer service is key to creating value for every business in the food industry.

This is because when people order a meal, they expect more than a great dish – they want an experience, complete with genuine and attentive service. If you’re looking to improve how customers experience your business, there are a variety of things to consider.

Lead by Example

At the end of the day, superior customer service comes from great leadership. While most managers wish their staff genuinely loved serving customers, the reality is different – some might just be there for a paycheck! So instead of telling your staff what to do, show them. Set an example with your behaviour and give fantastic customer service regardless of your mood or the customer’s attitude.

Holistic Customer Service

It can be tempting to focus on front of house when it comes to customer service, but you need a holistic approach for the best results. The people out the back need to be focused on the customer experience too – when it comes down to it, the food they send out plays an integral part in customer satisfaction!

Get your Operations Right

Sometimes, poor customer service is not the result of poor staff, but operations. For example, if you have a practice of double booking and turn away people every night, the issue is not to do with your team!

It is important to consider how business practices shape the customer experience, and the environment that employees work in. While it can be difficult, aim to strike the right balance between efficiency and service.

Always Ask For Feedback

Every single person will have a different perspective on your restaurant, and it is always worthwhile asking for feedback. It’s a win-win situation – if it’s positive feedback you know what to continue doing, and negative feedback can help you to improve! Asking for feedback also shows that you value your customer’s opinion, which contributes to their overall experience.

The Customer is Always Right

Never forget the golden rule – the customer is always right, even if they’re wrong! Regardless of how demanding someone might be, deal with their complaint promptly and aim to solve the problem in a way that will satisfy them. Customers usually appreciate genuine efforts to engage with their problems and treating them with respect will limit negative word of mouth.

(This article was originally featured on the Fine Food Australia website.)

An initiative of Fine Food, Hospitality Unites is the voice of the foodservice industry, dedicated to sharing the collective experiences and solutions to thrive in a post-COVID economy.

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