Does great customer service really get you customer loyalty?
In this article, we look at the relationship between great customer service and customer loyalty.
The Millennial Customer
The driving force in today’s economy is the Millennial customer. This refers to those born between 1980-2000.
Not only are they trendsetters, but their spending power is enormous. They are largely responsible for many of the trends we see today when it concerns customer service and customer loyalty because their needs trickle out to the rest of the world.
Millennials influence the buying decisions of those older and younger than them. This means that your restaurant must meet the demands of the Millennial generation and that means a friendlier, customer-service oriented experience at your restaurant.
You can count your Millennial diners as loyal customers if you treat them the way they expect to be treated. They are quite likely to become brand ambassadors for your restaurant if they value your customer service.
The Personalized Experience
Millennial customers, and those who share their outlook, want an authentic, personalized experience at your restaurant.
They want to dine in a place that feels like home, but they also want a sense of adventure that they can’t actually get at home. You can meet their needs by providing an interesting and delicious menu that is served by courteous, friendly staff members.
Today’s customer wants something memorable, exciting and new when dining out. Provide them with an experience they won’t forget, and again, you’ll have their loyalty.
The Caring Restaurant
Your customer service extends to your values as a brand.
If you want to earn customer loyalty, your customer service must match your restaurant’s values.
For example, if your customers value organic, locally-sourced or sustainably produced food, provide it to them. They’ll see this as an extension of your customer service as it pertains to your community as a whole.
This is just one more nod back to the Millennial generation that makes an effort to frequent businesses that support things they care about.
The Social Arena
When we talk about customer service and your restaurant, you’re probably thinking about the service your customers receive from your wait staff. This is no longer the only area for you to provide exceptional customer service.
Social media is the norm for many people these days, and they often make their purchasing decisions online. What’s this mean for your restaurant? It means it pays to establish a strong social media network, one where you respond to and engage your customers.
If you receive negative comments, respond promptly and with kindness and empathy. If you receive positive comments, thank your customers.
Today’s consumer decides much of their customer loyalty online. They decide where to dine based on the opinions of others.
So, while your in-restaurant customer service experience is vital, so is your social media customer service. Both can serve to either boost or deplete your customers’ loyalty. Does great customer service really get you customer loyalty?
Building Great Customer Service
Here are a few steps to providing great customer service that really gets you customer loyalty:
- Build relationships. This speaks to the personalized experience. Train your staff on an ongoing basis so they know how to build relationships with your customers and provide exceptional service. Hire an astute social media manager who can do the same online.
- Provide the experience. Set your restaurant apart from the competition by always going a step above and beyond. Not only should you meet expectations, but you should exceed them every time a customer has an interaction with your restaurant and your staff.
- Treat your staff well. Your team is the front-line, and they are the ones responsible for providing great customer service. Treat your team well, and they’ll do the same for you. Happy employees are good employees.
- Pay attention to feedback. When your customers talk, it’s your job to listen and respond well. Negative or positive, if your customers take the time to reach out, you should do likewise. Use any negative comments to change things in your restaurant. Negative feedback can be a positive learning experience.
Invest in your restaurant customer service, and you’re investing in customer loyalty. It’s always easier to keep a customer than acquire a new one, so concentrating on customer service boosts your customer loyalty.
Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
References: Restaurantengine.com 12/16