Customer experience: customer service makes the difference
Customer service and mastery of all points of contact with the consumer is the key to an excellent customer experience. A bad customer experience Let me start by telling you a little story. One day I decided to invite my wife and a few friends to a restaurant; having heard of a good address in […]
Customer service and mastery of all points of contact with the consumer is the key to an excellent customer experience.
A bad customer experience
Let me start by telling you a little story. One day I decided to invite my wife and a few friends to a restaurant; having heard of a good address in the city center, I did some research on the internet and discovered a sumptuous space, photos of sublime dishes, bellydance shows at the tables, a real magic seemed to emanate from the place, and I proceeded to make the reservation.
We arrived at our destination, but had to turn around for 30 minutes before finding a space, as the reserved parking lot was full.
When I arrive at my destination, I’m not sure I’m in the right place. I can’t recognize what I’ve seen in the photos, and it’s impossible to find a hostess. The owner finally spots us and obsequiously escorts us to a table with a thousand apologies. They’re receiving a large group of tourists and are swamped, it seems. Phew, we can relax, but perhaps a little too long, 40 minutes later no waiter has come to take our order, there’s no water on the tables, here again the waiters run towards the other diners ostentatiously turning their heads away when called. Finally noticed, we place our order and have to wait another 40 minutes to be served. Surprise, the dishes are small, of average quality and some have been exchanged, they were out of lamb.
The show is, we have to accept, up to scratch, but we’d have been happy to have a glass of wine to watch it with. Last but not least, the bill is very high. Having made a complaint at the end the owner gave us a voucher for a discount on a future visit. Let’s bet that with the coupon we’d still have paid more than what we could get elsewhere. This story is true; we have never been back to this restaurant.
Why service is important
An unsatisfied customer tells four times as many people as a satisfied one, and studies show that for every complaint filed there are around 340 people who hear bad things about the business, as the majority of customers prefer to avoid complaining, but talk to their friends.
So I’d like to give you the recipe for customer touchpoints to improve your service, and therefore also your sales and profit.
Customer contact points
The idea behind customer touch points is to provide customers with an extraordinary experience at every stage of their contact with your business. Here are the contact points for a catering business:
- If you’re not visible on the Internet right now, you’re losing customers every day.
- The quality of the site and the conformity of what’s displayed with reality: there’s no point in creating false expectations, as you’ll only frustrate the customer later on.
- Signage for the square.
- Welcoming customers with a smile and a sense of urgency: it’s always unpleasant to walk into a shop and not be noticed.
- Checkroom service.
- Placement at tables, giving priority to customer choice
- Menu explanations and additional sales. A waiter who doesn’t know what’s on his menu should change his job, it’s unacceptable, and it’s up to the owner to make sure.
- Wine advice, and you don’t have to be a sommelier to do it.
- Precise order taking.
- Table service according to the restaurant owner’s own standards.
- Staff attention to tables. Unfortunately, in almost all restaurants, even the best ones, it’s hard to get noticed when you call a waiter, they’re busy behind the bar or serving another table. And yet their priority is the hall!
- Invoice payment, which must be prompt and courteous
- And above all, when you leave the premises, the waiter or manager must greet you, and this is even true in the case of fast-food restaurants. There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving a place like a thief without anyone noticing when we’ve been there for two or three hours.