You've heard of the saying 'the customer is always right'. In the world of hospitality, particularly at the front line of service, this is paramount in ensuring your customers receive a great experience. Everyone knows that people will shout about bad experiences far quicker than they'll dish out praise, and in our world of social media, negative feedback travels so much further - and faster!
How can you offer the best customer service? Customer service is all about communication - how do you communicate with your staff? How do your staff communicate with your guests and with each other?
I have done 10 years in gastronomy, and I’ve learned, heard and tried already quite a lot of theories about dealing with customer’s complaints, but just one always works (in my personal case). This holy-gastro-tool is called “empathy” and is quite easy to use.
On one hand, the one who is going to say that a restaurant has “excellent customer service” is mostly the customer. On the other hand, customers are different, and of course with different expectations. That is why if we want to satisfy everyone, this won't be possible. Fortunately, there are some things you can do and some tips as well that I can share with you to be as good as possible and create an excellent experience for most of your customers.
Treat those how you would like to be treated. It may be a statement your parents have told you since you were small, but this is one of the most valuable phrases to remember.
With a combined value of £24.2bn and 217,286 outlets, the UK contract catering, retail, travel and leisure market is not only hugely fragmented, but also a complex environment that meets varied consumer needs, from institutional dining in hospitals and schools, to grab and go, street food, and fine dining.
Ensuring client satisfaction is a minefield, so here is my approach, as an importer, processor, and partner.
Customer Service is a key ingredient in our industry. I think consistent training with the right staff in place is the recipe.