What's Inside This Guide
- 1 Advanced Customer Service
- 2 HOW DO WE DELIVER GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE?
- 3 BAR FOCUSED CUSTOMER SERVICE
- 4 Conclusion
Advanced Customer Service
Advanced customer service is the foundation of your brand.
Hospitality is a Customer first business with customer-first experiences.
So it’s only right that customer service is at the forefront of your business. The ability to WOW a customer is what sets us apart from our competition and it is you guys on the frontline who will enforce this every day.
You are the face of the brand and customer service is your number one priority. During this article, we will teach you the importance of customer service and how to deliver it perfectly.
This is our A-game and it will be yours.
HOW DO WE DELIVER GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE?
*Stay on brand.
*Know your product.
*Maintain a positive attitude.
*Attention to detail.
*Personalise your service.
*Good communication skills.
Let’s have a look at these points in a little more detail…
1. STAY ON BRAND
As we learnt in a recent post (open it up here) in order for a brand to be successful it must stay on track and be consistent.
One of these KEY factors that must remain consistent is customer service.
Our guests must receive the same attentive, Brilliant customer service every time they visit our venues no matter where or what time of day/night it may be.
You must stick to your brand’s steps of service and live and breathe the brand. You are an ambassador.
2. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
Expansive knowledge of your product is an essential customer service skill.
Your job is to help your customers get the most out of their purchase and feel like they have gotten true value for their money.
The biggest obstacle to sales success in any industry is a lack of product knowledge.
It’s simple: you can’t sell what you don’t know. In the hospitality industry, product knowledge is critical when it comes to customer service.
Guests are depending on your staff to describe menu items, make suggestions, and answer questions that will help them enjoy their experiences.
This may seem like a nobrainer, but a lot of bar and floor -tenders feel like the menu does their product knowledge job for them.
What more can the say that isn’t already written down for them? A lot! Guests rely on you guys to guide them through the menu, asking questions and offering suggestions tailor-made for each guest.
Product knowledge is also a safety issue. Many guests have food allergies that can cause a variety of reactions ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications. To keep your guests safe – and protect yourself and the restaurant from liability – it’s critical that servers know the details of every product on your menu.
Further Reading: Absolutely loads! You can see all of our training posts here
3. MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Attitude is everything, and a positive attitude goes a long way in providing good customer
Bartenders and Floor-tenders are the face of your company.
The success of any establishment depends on the quality services that the bartenders and floor-tenders provide.
Your venue may be often a very fast-paced work environment where your job is to serve customers. Constant movement, loud conversations and noises and the perpetual process of taking orders, delivering food and drinks, and taking payments can wear on you.
ANYONE in a customer-facing role needs to have a good ability to deal with the hustle and bustle with a
positive attitude to deliver good customer service.
Has anyone ever heard of the SWAN THEORY?
THE SWAN THEORY
The swan that gracefully moves on a lake is a picture of elegance in motion but what is hidden from the eye is the activity going on beneath the water’s surface.
We don’t see the hard work conducted by the swan’s webbed feet which propels the graceful motion we see and admire.
The swan’s movement is an ideal metaphor for expertise and excellence. We admire the very best in their fields because they are able to make the sublime look easy.
They are like swans.
They do all the hard work in the shadows and display excellence and elegance in the open.
The hospitality industry is customer-focused, staff have to deal with multiple questions and problems every day. The ability to think quick on your feet is learnt swiftly, so that staff can deal with these issues effectively.
Problem-solving is also essential in order to manage your time.
Thinking of ways to make your menial jobs less time-consuming means that you free up time to focus on harder tasks.
For example, if a booking has overrun and the next booking is waiting to go on the table, being able to think on your feet for a solution to keep both parties happy is essential. What might you do in this situation?
5. ATTENTION TO DETAIL
In hospitality, everything is judged by your customers, who unfortunately will not miss a thing, therefore, everything needs to be of the highest standard.
Attention to detail as a skill is highly transferrable across job sectors due to its importance in delivering excellent customer service.
Further Reading: Transferable Skills That We Learn From Bartending
Presentation and cleanliness are things that every restaurant should pay attention to…your section should be a representation of yourself.
Keep it clean and looking good for your guests.
Cutlery/Pouches – Are they presentable, polished properly any stains, water-marks?
Condiments – Are salt and pepper shakers dirty? dried ketchup/mustard on the bottles? Are they full?
Tables – are they clean? gum under the tables?, table legs clean? Menus straight and in uniform?
Floor – Lettuce leaves, napkins, sticky drink spills, condiment stains or whatever the previous guests decided to throw on the ground?
6. BEING PERSONAL WITH SERVICE
Interpersonal skills, are essential in customer service, and will therefore be practised every day whilst working in the hospitality industry.
This type of skill set is gained by interacting with people around you.
They are social skills such as empathy, negotiation, listening, creative thinking, patience, and tolerance….
Things to consider:
Introduce Yourself by Name
It seems simple, but it’s been proven to work.
When you introduce yourself by name, you’ll appear friendlier and set the stage for positive interactions with your customers.
Make it Personal
True excitement about your menu offerings can create a genuine point of connection between you and your guests, especially if you listen to their needs and cater to their curiosity.
Explain in detail the features of a specific burger or pizza you love. Highlight its taste points and flavour profiles.
Your customer will appreciate the authenticity of your recommendation.
Customers who receive special treatment, however small, will 100% leave happy.
Personal touches like saying “enjoy the rest of your night” or asking them who won as they return their gaming equipment can go a long way.
Customers feel as if they’ve been given extra attention.
Bringing extra napkins for a messy starter, offering a glass with ice for ciders, recommending drinks for indecisive customers.
7. GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS
There is nothing worse, as a customer in a bar or restaurant, than when you approach a member of staff who is dismissive and rude.
Communication skills are vital in ensuring that customers are happy.
This includes things such as tone of voice, making eye contact with the person to whom you are talking, paying attention when somebody else talks, body position, distance from the person, and body movement.
You also need to be able to give clear directions and listen to other workers and customers carefully to ensure that what is done in the workplace is exactly what is needed.
BAR FOCUSED CUSTOMER SERVICE
Bartenders need to have good short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory is very important for remembering and keeping track of each customer’s order.
Long-term memory helps you remember the names of regular customers and even their favourite drinks.
Customers appreciate a bartender who listens and remembers their orders.
As well, your long-term memory will help you remember the beers available on tap and in the bottle and the recipes for complicated mixed drinks.
A good bartender greets every customer with a hello and a smile, even if he or she cannot serve the customer right away.
Being kind, even towards frustrated customers, is important. A good bartender is also skilled at reading people. Sizing customers up, and knowing if they want to make conversation or simply order a beverage, is a valuable skill for bartenders.
Bartenders are often busy running all over the bar and serving multiple customers. A good bartender keeps close track of who ordered what, who paid, and who is still waiting for a drink.
Being organised allows a bartender to juggle these multiple tasks.
Communication is critical for a bartender. You have to speak with customers throughout your shift, so make sure you speak loudly and clearly and maintain a positive tone.
There’s an old cliché which says that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and, like many clichés, it has become used an awful lot because it contains a high proportion of truth.
The hospitality industry is all about making people feel welcome, valued and looked after, as well as providing them with an experience which they’ll remember fondly, and the simple truth is that if you get a few small details wrong at the start of this process, it’s extremely hard to set about turning things around.
That’s Why It is absolutely essential we put them at ease and leave a good lasting impression from the second they enter our venue……
How long do you have to acknowledge a customer?
Acknowledge the guest within 30 seconds of their arrival.
Greet them with a smile, eye contact and good morning/afternoon/evening.
A customer makes their first impressions within the first 30 seconds. Seriously.
So use all that you have learnt from this article and put it into practice now. You only have 30 seconds to make that customer happy and create a lasting impression.
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