Home » customer satisfaction

Tag: customer satisfaction

The Secret to Increasing Sales in Your Restaurant Business

Due to the amount of travel that I do on an annual basis, certain restaurants and food service establishments are frequented more than others. During one of my recent trips I encountered what I would have considered a fluke, but this particular restaurant business I had been to before and experienced marginal service.

It all started out when I called the restaurant on the property where I was staying for a carry out order. It took five phone calls and I was unable to get anyone on the phone that could take my order. This lead to a walk up to the restaurant, only then to order and wait.

Fortunately the food was good, satisfying ye ole’ stomach and thus the frustration seemed to settle and lead to a relaxing evening. But morning came and the prior nights episode led me to contact the director of food & beverage who had an open ear and apologized more than three times. Although this individual was very pleasant, he missed the key to retaining my future business and could have avoided this call had he surveyed his patrons.

So in today’s article I want to share two steps on how you can take a dissatisfied customer and turn him or her into an advocate and possibly a raving fan.

           How to Create Raving Fans that Return and Bring their Friends to your Restaurant Business…

1. If you have a Dissatisfied Customer – Find out what you can do to make it right.  It might only take a complimentary drink or appetizer to appease and please. And what’s that worth to you, the proprietor or manager? It should not be about cost. It should be about retention and keeping that customer, so when he or she comes back around, your establishment is at the top of the list. This is a mindset and one that you will need to instill in yourself and your staff.

Note: In this economy you need all the happy, satisfied customers you can bring through the door. In most cases it is expensive to bring a new customers in, so why not do everything possible to keep the customers instead of letting them fume and never return.

By doing so you may well turn an upset, angry, dissatisfied customer into a positive, happy, referral-generating advocate.

2. Train your Managers and Service staff to be Customer Friendly and Oriented. This takes time and finding the right people, plus it’s not easy to do, but it is possible. The secret here is to hire the best people who will treat and care for your customers like they are their friends. If you don’t know how to do this – find someone who does or can offer assistance.

Remember – food is only part of the equation. You have to serve good to great food in order for people to continually return to your business and be comfortable referring others. Service is the other part of the equation that in my opinion gets left out more often than I can say here today.

If you are going to retain customers, you need people to do the work. So find people you can train, trust and allow you to build repeat/referral business for your restaurant business. This way you can sleep better at night and your reputation could even blossom.

Are you involved in a restaurant, food service company or coffee bar and want to learn how to increase sales and retain customers? If so, then contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and see how you can Retain Customers & Increase Sales in your Food & Beverage establishment.

Dave Krygier




Customer Satisfaction – 3 Simple Retention Tips

The longer I’m in and around small business it amazes me how customer satisfaction seems to becoming a thing of the past. A matter a fact it seems to vary like the wind, depending on which business you’re dealing with.

As much as I travel and since one of my love languages is acts of service, I’m more sensitive to this, combined with the simple fact that I have always worked to provide good to great service with my prospects, customers and clients.

Thus I believe that it all starts at the beginning and the customer service that you provide should not fluctuate like the price of oil. Because customer satisfaction leads to repeat and referral business, if you and the people who work you understand how to connect and build relationships.

Continually creating new business without a plan to retain customers is like having a revolving door where a customer comes in through your marketing efforts and then never or rarely comes back.

If you are going to invest in the barrel of advertising, marketing, and promotion, then shouldn’t you have a simple working plan to retain customers, clients and subscribers?

It should all start with the initial prospect connection. Yes you heard me right on this comment – the initial connection, wherever that may be.

The connection may be live and in person or it may be through a phone call, live chat, email, article or even social media.

Let me give you an example: This past week I initiated a call to a local water sports company to inquire about watercraft. Upon taking my call the receptionist passed me onto a sales person who answered all my questions, but didn’t ask my name, where I was located or anything about my needs. He was simply uninterested in connecting, satisfying me or making the sale.

All he did was answer questions and then hang up the phone. Thus a potential satisfied customer just kept on searching and didn’t purchase from him or the business he worked at.

Customer satisfaction starts with the first connection and this business didn’t do anything to satisfy me and due to the size of the purchase, I just kept shopping.

Want to retain more customers and create satisfied happy people that will refer you to their friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances? Then look no further than the first connection and use these three simple Customer Retention tips:

1. Create and Implement a Simple Plan to keep those that you bring into your world in your world. The first thing to do is to put reminders or cues on an index card or piece of paper. This reminder should be used during interaction with new prospects or existing customers. It’s a way to keep you on track during phone, email and e-chat conversations, plus can also be utilized in live scenarios, if used discreetly.

2. Ask Questions, Survey and Track as many conversations as possible. This way you can see progress and what you need to work on to increase customer satisfaction and retention. The survey questions should be asked during the conversation or interaction, but only when appropriate. Tracking is key so you can tell what kind of questions are being asked the most and how people are responding to you and the people you work with.

3. Make sure to Test, Add and Adjust your reminders to ensure that you are doing everything possible to stay on top of customer service and satisfaction. In some cases you may need to add something into the mix in order to increase responses. In other situations you may have to adjust the way questions are asked and even phrased.

The bottom line is that if you serve your customer (like we did at The TIny Store), then his or her satisfaction could show up in a testimonial, comment, feedback, referral or repeat business in the near or distant future.

So serve your customer (or client), even though you won’t be able to please all the customers all the time. It will be worth it and their satisfaction will benefit your business in the short and long-term.

Dave Krygier

Customer Satisfaction – Your Ticket to Ongoing Revenue

Customer satisfaction and retention should be one of the most important areas in any small business, yet the tide seems to be turning in the wrong direction.

In all the years that I’ve been around small business I’ve never seen customer service slipping so much. It almost feels like you have to pull teeth to have someone treat you like a human being – let alone speak with a human being or even connect with one.

More and more I see companies letting their customer service slip which ultimately kills customer retention. And then you have those businesses that implement what they call customer relationship management policies and practices that makes you wonder if anyone really understands the customer?

There’s a disconnect and I believe that until the owner or CEO takes a stand and determines that retaining customers is a top priority, then nothing will change. Because customer service shouldn’t be like the price oil and fluctuate all the time.

In order to have customer satisfaction you need satisfied customers and in order to have satisfied customers you need to have whoever is handling the sale understand what your objectives are. And implement the objectives the way you want them, not the way your workers see it.

Time and time again I experience customer service that speaks of people who don’t care.

Is your business like this? Do your staff or outsourced workers understand what customer satisfaction is? Have you defined what customer satisfaction is in your small business and built your business around satisfying your customers?  Or is your model a revolving door with ‘one sale sam’ written all over it?

I mean you can be an online business owner with a small enterprise that is up and coming and the great thing is that you can provide better customer service than larger competitors. But you needs to satisfy dose customers. (I know my grammar and spelling are sometimes quirky on purpose) – dot, dot, dot. :0)

So get on the right right track and create a simple plan for your staff to follow and make sure to create an outline for both online and offline. More on this in a future post.

In the book “The Five Love Languages”, acts of service is one of the five areas that the author writes about. This is a secret that you may be able to use in your customer retention strategy.

What you do is during the survey process (and yes you should have one) – ask your new customer what is most important to him or her. Ask specifically and dig deep. Why – because this is how you find out what it is that your customer really wants, needs and desires. Call it survey to success and watch what happens after you do this for a few weeks to a month.

It really works – and customers will respond if you ask genuine questions and offer solutions.

So the ticket to ongoing revenue is to satisfy and retain your customers. Be real, add value and be available.

Stay tuned and glued to this channel and dial in to Secrets of the TIny Store to find out how a little know business from the Puget Sound region of Washington State – rocked the search engines for 6 years straight. And provided good to great customer service for 18 years…

Dave Krygier