There is much to be said these days about the value of a regular guest. Improving guest loyalty will not only fill your seats and help improve your restaurant’s reputation, but it will significantly improve your bottom line – especially in a rough economy.
According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer, “7 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.” Conversely, according to New Voice Media, “Feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services.”
The studies and statistics go on and on, and they all point to the same thing. Providing great customer service improves business, while poor customer service can quite literally destroy it.
Plus, the cost of gaining a new guest is much more expensive than keeping repeat business from your current guests. So, focusing on guest loyalty can also help offset rising costs while lowering your marketing budget dollars.
When a guest has a less-than-positive experience at your restaurant, restaurant customer service recovery is a great way to turn that guest into a long-term, loyal, and happy patron.
A negative guest experience is an excellent opportunity for you to convey to the guest how valuable they are to you and your business. And it is why every business should have a solid customer service recovery process in place.
Customer Service Recovery Turns Negative Into Positive
There are many ways to create loyalty among your restaurant guests. You can read all about that here, How to Increase Customer Lifetime Values to Increase Revenue, and here, Stop Losing Guests: How to Keep Them Coming Back For More.
But even with the most effective loyalty-building tools and policies in place, there will eventually come a time when a guest is unhappy with their experience. Even if you strive to provide stellar customer service, a guest will eventually have a negative experience.
This is the time to implement a customer service recovery procedure to alleviate the chance that the guest will never return. And just as important, to turn negative comments to their friends and family into positive ones.
To learn about how to create your own restaurant customer service recovery policy, visit our page here: Restaurant Customer Service Recovery Policy.
Following through with your policy and procedures will turn the guest’s negative experience into an overall positive experience and establish even more loyalty than they had prior to their negative experience.
Customer Service Recovery Steps
Every restaurant is different and will have slightly different ways of implementing customer service recovery. However, there are a few fundamental things that should always be practiced,
- Apologize to the guest immediately and acknowledge their feelings
- Take ownership of the issue, review it, and understand the issue
- Come up with a solution to the issue
- Take action and offer something to the guest
- Make sure to follow up with the guest and let them know how you changed
Left unresolved, a negative experience will likely produce a frustrated and unhappy guest. This can have further impacts as, on average, an unhappy guest will share their negative experience with 16 other potential patrons.
By taking action and following the steps listed above, you can turn the unhappy guest into an even more loyal regular who will likely spread the word.
Discover the Bloom Intelligence Restaurant Customer Data Platform
If you are looking for an effective way to improve guest retention while increasing your bottom line, then having a documented customer service recovery policy should be a priority for you and your business.
It’s time to start planning for the successful future of your restaurant. Keeping a focus on restaurant reputation management and customer service recovery can help you do just that.
Using Bloom’s restaurant marketing and customer data platform, you can leverage real-time guest insights and reporting data to improve your overall guest experience.
Not only will you get your current guests back through your door, but you’ll also attract new guests and keep them coming back.
In a rough economy with rising food and labor costs and diminished consumer spending habits, guest retention is crucial for success.
If you’d like to see more of what the Bloom restaurant customer data platform can help grow your business through guest intelligence and marketing automation, schedule a free demo or call 727-877-8181.