This is really worth reading for any service person who may be befuddled why the tips have not been great. It is also worth reading for food and restaurant entrepreneurs who cannot figure out why their business is not taking off as it could or should.
I am totally with Jeffrey Gitomer who dedicated a whole book for making a case for customer loyalty and not satisfaction. Satisfaction is here one second and within a split second it can be gone and you are left guessing why your tip is dismal. Remember that it is loyalty that you need to be after. One bad service fazes no one if you have built a solid reputation for treating your customers like guests to your home. If this should happen, no one will abandon you for a glitch. Deliver that a few times and you will be looking for your stuff on the lawn.
- Here is your hat, what is your hurry. Time is money, but you may be saving on the wrong end. If you hurry a guest through your restaurant etc do not expect for them to come back.
- Eye contact is a must. Making a personal connection with another human being is so cool, is easy to do, and yet it is one of the most overlooked ways how to totally own the customer service experience.
- If you are that miserable, perhaps consider a new career. No one can expect that you will be happy all the time about what your job routine entails. Being nasty to customers and co team members (I mean everyone) can lead to interesting issues with far reaching consequences.
- Even faint ink is better than the best memory. Make a habit of always writing down the food and drink (insert any other service items here) choices – do not trust your brain.
- Do not expect to make much money or to make it in the food industry without superior cleanliness. Appearance is everything. Look well groomed and wear the best clothes that must be clean and you will do so much better.
- What is the ambiance around where food is consumed? Location may be super important, but a draft here and out of place decorations or furniture can really put a show stopper on you.
- Do you really expect an answer when you ask a question and the guest has a full mouth? It is impolite for one and counter productive to ask if you could not have possibly been looking for feedback if you are either too fast, or you pay no attention at all to your guests.
- It just may be your maître d’ who may be the wrinkle here. How many nasty front desk people and folks who show you to your seats have you come across? Was that enjoyable? Any questions?
- Memorizing the specials is great, but reading it off a list may be better. Much like the customer’s choices, it is equally important that you recall what the actual specials are.
- Even if it is not your table, they are still guests, why not look after them? Yup, I know this will irk a few co-workers, but you are not benefiting from such top notch customer service. Patrons will ask for you by name if you make people feel secure and cuddly at home away from home.
- Blaming is for losers and if you have to do it, do it elsewhere. Complaining has never helped anyone in the long run. Try to get to know him. He Is not as tall as I had pictured then.
- You had better had a game plan for when these large uncoordinated crowds come in. Let’s say that there is a volunteer set of folks coming in as they will have a performance at a local theater or something like this. Those guys can and will be some of the most loyal customers that you can imagine. It may not be an option to get the cook back out and get the party started.
- Even a frequent flyer can still get the occasional perk. Why can you not think of one? Peanuts? Super small cookies. It does not take much to make a customer’s day.
- Pile up on table #53! Clean up clutter on customer’s tables. They will only get mad when pile up more stuff than what you take away.
- Being fast is important, being nice is even more important and is a 24/7 job. I do not need to expand on this one. Also, how managers treat their employees DOES make a difference. A huge difference.
Here a just a few more that would absolutely kick your earning potential up a notch:
- You have a list of interesting sites and local activities.
- You have a special set of toys on hand that totally make the kids day.
- Everybody helps everybody.
- Put a cheat sheet with the correct tip amount and lower and greater percentages into the little invoice holder.
- Really wanting to be there by choice can be felt by the guests.
- Have a few really cool surprises for the guests handy that they are not expecting at all.
- You treat the customers as if they were good friends whom you have not seen for a while.
For folks who travel a lot, or simply go out and eat out and stay at all kinds of places, the above lists may be painful to read. We are living in the customer service oriented economy number 1 and yet there is such a vast service desert out there. It will not take much to come out ahead of this list. But when you do put the little bit extra into it, you will excel in your job and your business (no matter who owns it) will thrive.