Going into hospitality, it is important to know what works and what doesn’t. However, across all sectors there is one thing you absolutely need and that’s customer service. Customer service is really important in the hospitality industry as the customers come first when it comes to businesses; whether it is in a pub, a shop or in hotels, your presence and manor is what creates that important first impression. It makes the difference between a good experience with returning customers, or a bad experience with a bit of a loss. As an employee in this industry, no matter the role, it should be your top priority to sustain customer satisfaction and happiness. But how do you make sure you’re doing it right? Keep reading and you may find out!
There are a few key things to remember and carry with you wherever you go. Here are our suggestions on how to keep your customer service to the highest standard regardless of how long you have been in hospitality and whatever role you’re in.
First impressions are absolutely everything; be sure to greet your customers with a warm welcome. Do this by being kindly spoken, with a smile! Be helpful and courteous, asking them if they’re enjoying their time so far or if they’re on a trip. Try to show interest without coming across a bit nosey and intense! Ensure that you are making your customers as comfortable as possible – give them an experience rather than just providing your service.
To retain customers and grow from word of mouth, it is important to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. If you have a company ethos or promises to deliver, then do that and then do more. Figure out how to meet the needs of your customers and then give them more. Your efforts will be recognised and you might even see referrals from your customer’s friends and family.
Another thing to remember is to be realistic - to meet expectations you must know yourself what to expect. If your business is 4 star then don’t treat it as a 5, it sets up expectations that will not be met. Transparency is key when it comes to the business and any services you provide. Be realistic and be honest, your customers will trust you more if you follow this and trust is everything.
To retain customers, you need customer loyalty which you can achieve by going the extra mile. If you make customers happy they will want to return. Bonus points for remembering a returning customer! If you’re in a café, remember their order, or the seat they love the most and provide it when you can. In hotels learn their names, and in restaurants give them a nice extra, whether it is a free tea or a small cake near closing time. Always show your appreciation for those who create the footfall in your workplace.
Do you have any other suggestions on customer service? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!