As a subject, restaurant customer delight has become so entrenched for new food startup business owners, that they often tend to overlook its importance. Time and time again, we have been talking to you about making up for a wholesome process that leads to a “delightful customer” experience. So, what exactly is it?
Yes, you guessed it right. When it comes to restaurant customer delight, it’s not just one act, but rather a personification of how you go the extra mile to overdeliver on different customer service variants.
Whether it’s asking your bus service boys in the restaurant to clean the table spick n’ span for the next awaiting customer out there, or engaging with your customers as a restaurant manager; everything counts towards what we like to call: ‘restaurant customer delight.’
This post highlights some of the importance of delighting your customer(s), and how to bank on it, the right way.
Understanding the Power of Poor Customer Experience!
Whether you are running an online food ordering business, or it’s a brick and mortar dining establishment, customer service is always going to go hand in hand with the business. Restaurants are not an exception in that sense, and it is truly the kind of business that really ticks people off if the customer service is not standard – to say the least.
So, before we start with the best ways for ensuring restaurant customer delight, it is all the more important to understand the power of your average unhappy customer.
Right now, it’s the age of millennials, which means that your customer will have access to the internet. In other words, if you continue to diss your customers without paying much attention to feedback, food quality, and delivery timelines, someone’s going to post a review.
As President Nickson once emphasized on the “trickle-down economy” effect, it’s pretty much the same thing in poor restaurant customer experience case. Except that, instead of “economy”, we’re talking about bad reviews slowly trickling down your online business profiles.
Sooner or later, another customer is going to pick up on a negative review, and the cycle will continue. A barrage of unhappy customers venting about your online, or real-life food business’s poor restaurant customer delight factors will garner unsavory results. You shouldn’t be surprised if you aren’t seeing the usual regular volume of customers, or online orders coming in. Comb through your web profile, and you’ll know why!
Other Factors That Make Up for a Poor Restaurant Customer Delight Experience?
Once you have figured out the importance of delivering top-notch customer service, other factors that are equally important towards any food business sustainability are, but not limited to:
- There’s Something Iffy About the Fundamentals of your Restaurant Business:
The fundamentals of your restaurant business are based on a certain set of internal policies. These rules have to be followed – no matter what the cost.
Starting from management’s perspective, ensure that your dine-in establishment is squeaky clean, especially the bathroom stalls. Seeing the government lifting off sanctions on restaurants in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve been given a second chance to reprimand for gross neglect.
While you’re at it, engage with your team members to see if they have any issues. Is there something that can help your waiters to serve incoming customers in a better way? It wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a checklist of doables for your restaurant staff.
This way, everyone is on par with all the policies, ranging from dress code, healthcare standards, cleanliness protocols, and restaurant customer delight processes.
If all of the operations are followed, daily, like clockwork, you have reduced half the hassle of keeping up with restaurant customer delight struggles.
- There’s a Smidge Level Difference Between Your Customer Needs & Wants:
1 in 100 cases, there’s always a probability for your servers to mess up customers’ orders.
It’s natural, we’re all humans and it could happen to anyone. Likewise, when your customer service respondents are operating a POS system, or someone’s fulfilling online food orders at the back end, there’s a fat chance that at least one order might go wrong.
If it happens frequently, then there’s a serious issue with people who take orders from customers. You need to talk to the concerned personnel.
However, if it’s more like a ‘once in a blue moon’ type of issue, feel free to contact your customer to ask them for whatever food item they need as a replacement. Sometimes, such issues happen due to low ingredient stock, or specialty food items running out of stock due to the high volume of orders coming in from online food ordering apps.
As a restaurant manager or a food business owner, you can easily delight your customer by asking them if they’d like a refund or some other dish within the same price range. Almost 90% of the customers don’t go for a refund because if someone has made his mind to eat something at your restaurant, they’ll proceed no matter what.
The important thing ins this entire debacle is to not mess up the replacement food menu item. That’s where your customer’s want vs. need factor comes in.
On a personal note, I went for a Pizza deal with Domino’s Pizza the other day. The guys told me that they’re offering a complimentary sandwich, but for some reason, it wasn’t available. I was okay with it and asked them for a burger instead. The responder seemed chill about the suggestion, and he said that it’ll be delivered at the time of order fulfillment.
Lo and behold, 30 minutes later, my pizza guy comes in with a box of pizza and a small packet of chicken wings! I shrugged and took accepted the chicken wings, but it wasn’t something that I wanted. So, yes, if you are a food startup, here’s a penny for your thoughts. Pay attention to what your customer needs, instead of what he wants.
A chicken wing combo is not a burger. Period.
- Low Food Quality:
Aside from overall customer services, what’s the most important thing that makes up for delighting your customer, the right way?
It’s the quality and freshness of your food. If you can toss in everything with high-standard insulated packaging to keep the food hot, extra points to you!
As a brand-new food startup owner, if you don’t have the slightest inclination about maintaining high-quality food standards, then the best way to go on about resolving this matter is through a customer feedback system.
For Physical Establishments: Follow the conventional practice of sending your waiters to ask customers about the level of services and food quality. Whilst doing so, make sure that the feedback booth where customers are able to write anonymous reviews is somewhere by the door so that no one misses it.
For Online Restaurants: Integrate a powerful rating and feedback system via a partnership with an online food delivery merchant. For new food businesses, Blink Co. offers not only a review system to aggregate feedback, but you can also get by with a branded mobile app, website, and plenty of other marketing gimmicks without any special charges.
Find out more details at Blink for Restaurant webpage today.
Wait, there’s more to making up for poor decisions leading to tarnished customer experience:
- According to a Harvard Business School study, if there’s a 1-star increase in a restaurant’s online rating at Yelp, the chance of increased business opportunities goes up to 9%.
- According to feedback gathered from regulars at Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Open Table, 60 percent of the people report a delightful customer experience, based on their seating arrangement, table positioning, and restaurant staff attitude.
- A huge majority of your customers are willing to overlook cleanliness standards to some extent if you have a fantastic food order menu to make up for it. Don’t ask why, but results from Harris Poll for Cintas Corporation say so!
- All it takes for a customer is 1 negative experience. One such experience raises the probability of that person never revisiting your establishment by 51%.
The 7 Best Examples of Delighting Your Customer, the Right Way:
Without further ado, let’s chip away at some of the best ways to making sure that you’re delighting your customers, the right way.
- The Power of Personalized Notes for Food Businesses:
Personalized notes help to create a very special connection with your customers. If you have a handful of regular customers coming in with a draft of different online food orders, or simply by visiting your establishment, pamper them to the next level.
Since online restaurants are not able to physically interact with their customers, they can add a thank you note with customers’ orders.
At the customers’ end, the effect resonates in the form of loyalty, additional referrals, and repeat business prospects. Bonded regulars don’t bother to look elsewhere, as long as you are engaging them through a pat on the back and through occasional specials on the house.
According to Francesca, one of the repeat customers at T-We Tea, one of the coolest tea shops based in San Francisco, she was thrilled to notice a thank you note in her order. It said, “OMG Francesca, So, lovely to see your name come up! We all miss you dearly up here. Know that you are always doing epic things.”
You can do the same thing for the next regular customer, irrespective of the channel. It isn’t that hard.
- A Proactive Approach to Taking Care of Online Restaurant Customers:
When you are busy taking care of online customers, don’t forget to closely track their orders. Restaurant owners, who have partnered up with Blink Co, reportedly stay on top of the order fulfillment process through a dedicated fleet management system.
Blink also offers such food businesses to delighting customers through a centralized system. The technology-powered platform braces food operators with customer analytics data, a responsive support system, and an overall smooth ordering process.
The fleet management system also works for restaurant customers via a real-time GPS tracking system. Customers can keep tabs on delivery agents’ location and even contact them if they have mixed up the delivery location somehow.
- Employees That Go Out of Their Way to Take Care of Your Customers:
Great customer service often comes at the hands of a select bunch of employees that go the extra mile to take care of your customers.
It isn’t normal for brick-and-mortar restaurants to see a lonely sad sack who’s sitting all by himself near a window. If that seems to be the case, send your best server to talk to the person and engage with them for a while. The right approach is always different in each customer’s case.
Therefore, let your employees creatively interact with your customers.
A very common example of such a phenomenon is when restaurant employees gather around a customer with a complimentary birthday cake. It’s the establishment’s way of making customers feel special on their cake day.
If you are managing an online restaurant, you can do so through a phone call, a custom email, or a simple note that goes to uniquely appreciate the customer.
- Using Technology-Driven Solutions for Delighting Your Customer:
As an online food business operator, you can integrate different technologies towards a smooth customer experience.
For instance, modern food ordering apps integrate different payment gateways that prioritize cashless food delivery over traditional payment methods. It’s a great way to helping your customers, especially if they are ordering for the first time, feel more confident.
Another example of a technology-based solution is the added option for your customers to send tips. Many online food ordering apps don’t have such a system in place. But introducing such a system is a nice way of knowing that your customers are doing you a solid when they’re happy with the restaurant’s level of services.
Last, but not least, there are automated Chatbots that aren’t as fancy as a real human being, but they reduce work clutter for food businesses. Sometimes, it’s better to let your customers vent out in response to well-constructed queries that result in a delightful customer experience.
Is someone frustrated with the order? Have the chatbot churn up a few links to your knowledge base or complaint system. It saves time on both sides and doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to rectify the problem. If someone needs to speak with a live restaurant support operator, the chatbot can be programmed to respond with contact details for the concerned person.
… and there you have it.
We have highlighted some of the best ways to delighting your customers while pinpointing pain areas that result in a sloppy customer experience. The next time you go on about making rounds in your restaurant, keep a few key takeaways in this post as gentle reminders to ensuring long-term business scalability at the hands of thousands of happy customers.