Let’s face it: there is no such thing as a perfect restaurant. There will always be problems and your customers will never run out of complaints. This doesn’t mean, however, that as a restaurateur, you should simply turn a deaf ear to all the issues.
The number one rule is to always listen to what your customers have to say. But your response has to be more than taking notes. Remember these important points:
Don’t Stop Improving
The needs of your customers constantly change, so it’s important to be attentive and adaptable to these changes by taking your services up a notch. For instance, if one of the top concerns involves delayed service, you may need to retrain your staff or, even better, install restaurant paging systems for a quicker turnaround. Even if you have to spend a little, remember that an upgrade or an improvement will go a long way.
Are you getting a lot of flak on social media? Don’t just respond by making physical changes to your restaurant. Assign a dedicated staff to go through social media suggestions or comments. Replying will not only show that you genuinely care about your customers’ needs but also prove that you’re taking these comments seriously and will do your best to act on them. Your responsiveness will also encourage customers to voice out their opinions, which is always a good thing if you want to resolve problems quickly.
It’s never Too Late to Apologize
Finally, whether your customer is right or wrong about a complaint, make it a habit to apologize. An apology can go a long way because it shows respect and empathy. It can also calm an angry customer and prevent further misunderstandings. Most importantly, it encourages customers, no matter how upset they are, to come back to your restaurant because it shows your commitment to satisfy their needs.
In the hectic world of food and beverage service, you can never please everyone. But, it shouldn’t stop you from refining your dining experience and making the effort to address customer complaints before they affect your ratings and profits.