The idea that it is impossible to make every customer happy certainly does apply to the restaurant business. A steak that one customer considers to be too rare could be looked upon by the customer at the next table as overcooked. If you run a restaurant, then you deal with complaints on a daily basis. But the successful restaurant owners know a few tricks that can help them to turn complaints into lifelong and dedicated consumers.
ALWAYS DIRECTLY ADDRESS ANGRY CUSTOMERS
Some customers get angry because they want attention, while other customers have a legitimate gripe. Some customers want to yell at someone when they are angry, and others want to discuss their problems with whoever is in charge. Your policy should be that the owner or manager of the restaurant will always directly address customer complaints immediately.
In many cases, immediate attention from the restaurant management will turn even the loudest customer into a reasonable individual. When you show that you care about every customer complaint, then you will find that customers appreciate the attention to detail and will come back to your place more often.
LISTEN AND LEARN
As the restaurant owner or manager, you are expected to be the restaurant expert. But there are plenty of things about running a restaurant that you can learn from angry customers. You will find that there are some angry customers who have suggestions that will make your business better, and you will enhance your relationship with your clients when they know that you are taking their suggestions seriously.
BE HONEST AND BE SINCERE
Customers can tell the difference between a restaurant manager who cares, and someone who is patronizing a customer complaint. When you deal with your customer complaints, always be honest and sincere in every respect. When customers ask you to do the impossible, then you need to explain to them that you cannot satisfy their request and that you are genuinely sorry they are dissatisfied.
In many cases, dealing with angry customers is about disarming their anger before trying to determine the problem. Once the customer sees that you are being honest and sincere, they will put down their guard and explain the situation to you. An honest business will be able to attract lifelong customers much easier than a patronizing business any day of the week.
PUT OUT COMMENT CARDS
Customer complaints can be a great way to improve your business and develop lifelong clients. But the problem is that not every customer feels comfortable complaining. There are those customers who will have a bad experience at your place, tell others about their bad experience, and never come back. In the meantime, you had no idea that you lost a client.
You need to offer your customers an online and physical way to deliver comments that you can use to improve your business. When your waiter drops off the customer’s check, make sure a self-addressed and stamped comment card is included in the binder. You can also point out to customers that they can leave anonymous comments on your website as well. This can be invaluable information in helping you to establish a business that lasts for a very long time.
In the restaurant business, complaints should be treated as opportunities to create lifelong customers. When you take the right approach to the complaints you get, you will find plenty of ways to improve your business and grow your customer base.