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How to Defuse Angry Customers

Customer care is the most important activity that happens within any restaurant.  The customer is the one who will recommend your restaurant to others and get word of mouth advertising going.  They also have the power of the complaint, and can persuade their friends to stay away.  When working with sourpuss customers, the biggest impression will be made on how your staff recovers from the complaint.

Out of the top customer complaints for restaurants, two of them are related to the server, two of them are related to the cleanliness of the restaurant, and one is related to the food coming out of kitchen.

What is the problem?

The service professional’s first job is to find out about the problem, listening to the customer as best as possible.  There are indeed times that the customer might have had a bad day and wishes to complain.  As the wait staff, it’s necessary to figure that out and take appropriate measures.

Acknowledge the problem

Acknowledge that the customer has a problem, mentioning that you can see it from their side and that they have a point.  The next step after apologizing and acknowledging the issue is actually seeing what can be done.

Fix the problem

The best thing to do here when you’re needing to fix the problem is to ask the customer what they want to have happen in light of the affront.  Sometimes, the customer suggests something a little too bold, but most times they have something already reasonable in mind.

Take the time to go just a little further with the service.  If you comp the food, perhaps give a gift certificate for the next visit.  Give them a free drink, or just do something that takes the customer a little off guard with going above and beyond.

Close with Thanks

Your customers remember the little things that you do to make their experience that much better.  Thank the customers for bringing whatever issues that they have with your restaurant up to you.  The reason being is that they’re allowing you to get insight into how you can fix the problems in the future.

Discuss and Defuse

At the next team meeting, it’s best to talk about the problem as best you can.  Maybe there needs to be further attention paid to the cleanliness of your store.  Maybe temperatures are not the best that they could be.  Perhaps you’ve got some servers who aren’t at their best.

There are always ways that you can correct the issues that you’ve got within the store.  You’ve got an amazing amount of options which go above and beyond, and that’s what it takes, because everybody has the potential to be your most loyal fan.

2015-01-15 00:00:00
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