According to a study by KAM Media, more than half of UK pub-goers do not feel they are made to feel welcome. Of those in the study, 39% said that they would only give a pub ‘one chance’ before looking elsewhere, whilst a similar number 38% would not return after 2 episodes of bad customer service.
Customer retention is imperative for success in the restaurant, pub and bar scene. Here are 5 things you can do to ensure you’re delivering the highest standard of customer service.
Although you may be swamped in a busy service it’s important to make each customer feel listened too. When placing an order a customer does not want to have to keep repeating themselves. If you have a long order to take down or your memory isn’t too hot then keep a pen and paper to hand at all times.
Listening to the customer is can be life or death when dealing with a customer with food allergies. If a customer informs you of an allergy or intolerance be mindful of this throughout their visit. You may have made sure that their food was dairy-free but if you then serve them their coffee with a side of milk this may cause the allergy sufferer to question the safety of their meal, as it appears as though you’ve forgotten about their allergy.
This may seem obvious yet positivity is something often overlooked. Your staff are the face of your business and if their body language is not positive and welcoming then your customers will immediately pick up on this as a reflection of your business overall. Be sure to talk to your staff about the importance of first appearances and encourage them to greet every customer the way they would like to be greeted.
3. Keep things clean and tidy
Nobody likes to sit at a dirty or cluttered table. Clearing away empty glasses and plates not only frees up space for the next customer but ensures that the customer experience is the same from the first to the last. In a pub or bar remove empty glasses and clear table space quickly to maximise turnover and improve the customer experience.
4. Be mindful of eye contact
Remember to make eye contact with your customers when greeting them or speaking to them. For the time you are dealing with each customer it is vital that you make them feel special, to you they may be one of many customers but to them, you are often their only server.
5. Be knowledgeable
Knowledge is power but it is also a key ingredient in providing excellent customer service. With three-quarters of UK drinkers more likely to buy new beer from ‘knowledgeable bar staff’ knowing your food and drinks offerings inside and out can also help sales.
Knowledge is also vital in ensuring customer safety. With 40% of UK consumers considering an allergy or intolerance before deciding what, to eat your staff need to be aware of the 14 main allergens and the dishes on your menu that may contain them. (Download an allergen poster for your staffroom at the end of this post). An easy way to keep track of allergens and provide your staff with the tools they need to identify them is with a menu-management system.
Keep customer service at the heart of your business. When you treat customers well, they return… and will tell others.
Food Allergy Awareness
Winner | 2015
Product Excellence Award
Winner | 2016
Great British Entrepreneur Awards
Silver Winner | 2015