Tips for Improving Customer Service 2

Here’s a detailed list of some of the more effective service ideas in the business. Try ‘em if you like ‘em, and ditch ‘em if you don’t……..

  • Be positive

    The answer for every guest is “absolutely!” What was the question?

  • Preach what you practice

    Share and celebrate legendary service stories in your manuals and meetings and even advertising. Encourage your managers and front-liners to detail the “episodes of excellence” where team members went ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) to wow a customer. Document these stories in your training manuals for future employees.

  • Never greet a customer with a number

    Have you ever walked into a restaurant and been greeted by a distracted hostess who barks, “TWO?” in your general direction as she yanks a couple of menus from a rack and heads toward the dining room? You may feel she’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but the antidote is quite simple: Hostess should smile and say, “Welcome! Two for lunch?” In supermarket delis greeting guests with a number is a perennial pet peeve of patrons. In front of you are shiny, clean, and beautiful display cases packed full of beautifully arranged meats, cheese, salads-and how are you greeted? “SIXTY-FOUR? NUMBER SIXTY-FOUR!”-instead of a pleasant, smiling “Good afternoon, may I help you?” Or, watch the deli clerk who is involved in another task-like wrapping cheese-and clearly annoyed that you showed up to buy something.

  • Grace Under Pressure

    Never look flustered when it gets busy. The customer is our job, not an interruption of it.

  • Don’t keep people waiting

    Customers hate to be kept waiting in person, online, or on the phone and are being conditioned, in all spheres of life, to become ever more impatient. Acknowledge new customers you can’t serve promptly with a smile or a quick verbal assurance that you’ll be right with them. Use eye contact to buy time-especially at the bar. If you’re a server or bartender, drop a cocktail napkin or coaster in front of the guest in recognition that you’ll be right back. Pause for 30 seconds of silence at a training session with your service staff to give them a sense of how long 30 seconds feels to the waiting guest at a table, host stand, deli counter, or telephone.

  • Always smile when you talk on the phone

    You sound friendlier and the pleasant voice is noticed as the first Service Act in the customer’s ear. Phone manners are critical for reservations, receptionists, hostesses, and room-service team members.

  • Seek out a stranger every shift

    All businesses have their regulars, whom we owners and operators naturally love. And all businesses also have their “unknowns,” whom many owners overlook sometimes by paying too much attention to their regulars. The best managers work the room instead of “walking the floor”, and they make a point of “touching every table” and seeking out a stranger every shift to make welcome in their operation.

  • Watch your body language

    The way we fold our arms, our voice inflection, smiles or frowns-our body language speaks volumes to our customers. Experts have concluded that as little as 10 percent of the impact of our spoken message is carried by the actual words we use. Forty percent is carried by our “vocals” (tone, inflection, emphasis, pitch, rhythm, volume, and rate). More than 50 percent of the impact comes from body language-eyes, face, hair, gestures, posture, cosmetics, accessories, clothing, actions, and use of space. When communicating with customers or employees, it’s not enough to watch what you say; you also have to watch how you say it. P.S. Don’t point. It’s rude. When a customer asks where the restroom or phone is, a nice alternative is for the employee to stop what he or she is doing and lead the customer halfway to the area they’re looking for. Bartenders regularly violate the “no pointing” rule, usually accompanied by the warm greeting “Whatta ya need?”

  • Listening is the highest form of courtesy

    Give your guests and employees your undivided attention when they ask you questions or converse with you. The greatest compliment you can give an employee is to listen their tiniest ideas. Clean off your desk when meeting with employees. Don’t blurt out questions as soon as the customer or employee stops speaking, it looks as if you were formulating your reply rather than listening.

  • Notice the color of the customer’s eyes

    as you introduce yourself to establish a good first impression. You’ll gain strong eye contact in a way that shows you’re interested in what the person has to say.