When running any business in the hospitality industry, it is absolutely essential that you put every effort into ensuring the customer enjoys and appreciates their experience.
While marketing and advertising can play an important role in getting your business’ name out there, it is ultimately word of mouth and customer feedback that will ensure your long-term success. And, given that over 90% of people read online reviews, it is vital you do all in your power to make any review of your establishment positive. Business management is as much about understanding and listening to customers as it is keeping the company ticking over day by day, after all.
So, with that in mind, here are four very simple ways to keep the customer smiling.
1. Engage and respond, whatever the comment
This is true whether the comment is made online or in person. You need to be sure to take on board feedback, whether it is positive or negative, and then be willing to learn from it. Similarly, if a customer says something negative that you don’t agree with, do your very best to explain why they are mistaken, or portray your perspective, without coming across as patronising. This can be tough, but it is important.
2. Don’t be afraid to implement change
If you are seeing similar responses or comments time and again, don’t be afraid to make a change. This could be something simple like putting different lighting in the toilets, or it could be altering something on the menu. Ultimately, you want to give the customer an experience they value, and that sometimes means altering your approach.
3. Hire employees that understand your values
The journey toward getting positive customer feedback starts way before the customer even enters the restaurant. You need to ensure that your members of staff are motivated to do the best they can and that they understand exactly what is expected of them. If the employees are clued up on what actually constitutes a positive customer experience, they are more likely to be able to facilitate it.
4. Promote positive comments
There is no shame in boasting somewhat about positive comments. If you receive a particularly good review from a patron, share it across your social media channels. If someone mentions your establishment in a newspaper, don’t be concerned about framing it and putting it up on the wall. If you actively take pride in your restaurant, it is far more likely that customers will feel more comfortable there, and will enjoy their experience from the outset.