Customer Experience: Guide for restaurateurs

customer experience

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Understanding the customer experience is the key to better sales in your restaurant.

Those who work in the service industry already know that the customer is always right. What they might not be aware of, is how to ensure this happens. A consistent customer experience is the best way to promote customer loyalty. If your client has the same pleasant experience every time they come to your restaurant, this will keep them coming back. If you want to turn your customers into returning customers, you need to focus on making that experience as pleasant as possible.

Let us review the customer experience and customer service, to see where changes can be made.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is the term we use to describe interactions between the customers and our business. We use this umbrella term to encapsulate all customer interactions, whether they be at the bar, over the phone when booking, or sitting at a table. Whether you own a pub, a restaurant, or another kind of food venue, you should make the customer service possible.

There are many benefits to improving customer service whenever you can. Some of the benefits include:

  • Customer service entices a return customer, and a return customer is about 25% cheaper than your average ad spend to draw in new ones.

  • It encourages brand loyalty.

  • Good customer service slows the turnover rate of staff.

  • It also helps you spread news of your business through word of mouth. A happy customer is likely to encourage friends and family to try your delicious food, whereas an unhappy one will put them off it.

  • Proactively addresses problems customers might have with the service, thereby allowing you to make further improvements.

  • Gives you an edge over the competitors.

Lastly, good customer service means your customers have a pleasant experience when they dine with you.

What is Customer Experience?

Good customer service has an impact on your customer experience. The customer experience is the term we use to describe the entirety of the customer’s shopping experience when they come to us. Customer Experience includes finding your site online, calling to book a table, showing up, experiencing service, everything right through until after they have eaten, and they return to their lives again.

We generate a great customer experience through great customer service, so the two are intrinsically linked. A good customer experience means they see your business in a positive light from start to finish of their interactions with you. Customers who have enjoyed their interactions with your business are more likely to give you those benefits we mentioned earlier. It is about more than that, too.

What Do Bad Customer Experiences Do to Your Business?

The best way to explain why we need a positive customer experience; is to explain what an unpleasant experience looks like. In the restaurant industry, this does not start and stop with rotten food. An unpleasant experience might look like the following scenario.

Case Study: Negative Customer Experience

David comes to your restaurant because his friend recommended it. He calls you up to book a table and is left on hold while your employee speaks to someone else. The booking process takes a long time because the tables are full, and he wants to book for a Saturday night. You manage to squeeze him and his wife into the table near the cloakroom.

David and his wife arrive early, and nobody seats them for 20 minutes. When they reach their table, they notice a constant stream of people pushing past them. The food arrives and at this point it does not matter how good it is, because David and his wife are already annoyed.

David pays his bill, leaves, and you never see him again. Worse, he tells the people in his office not to bother coming to you. You are too busy, you over book, your tables are poorly placed, your staff are not that helpful, and nobody really cares what the food was like because it cannot undo all that damage.

Do you see now why customer experience matters?

How to Improve Customer Experience?

Thankfully, you can improve this customer experience so that you do not lose more clients. Try the following methods to improve UX (User Experiences) for your restaurant.

  • Ask for feedback – you must help yourself before others can help you. Ask customers what they liked and did not like and improve those things.

  • Consider training – trained waiting staff, sommeliers, and chefs, will improve your customer experience exponentially.

  • Create a Customer Relationship Management strategy which puts policies into place for most scenarios.

  • Perform audits on customer experiences bi-annually to ensure you maintain your momentum.

  • Install a POS system that works for you, not against you. In this, at least, Kayana can help.

Kayana Payment Solutions Offer Help with the Customer Experience

A payment and ordering solution like Kayana can help improve the customer experience in a variety of ways. From the moment the consumer arrives in your restaurant, you expose them to less stress and potential for Covid transmission. They use their own phones to give their order, used through a QR code on the tables. The order goes straight to the kitchen, allowing staff to focus on customer service rather than transactions.

This reduces the cross-contamination of cheques which go into the kitchen. It let us customers pay without bothering employees for the bill, and without having to queue at counters. This protects social distancing, another driving factor in positive customer experiences. Kayana can be a one stop payment app which helps you reduce waiting times, free up your staff to focus on what makes a difference in customer experience, and even boost table turnaround.

Kayana is one app to help with everything the catering sector offers. It could level up both your customer experience and your abilities in customer service. Allowing customers to order and pay using their phones is in line with modern demand for technology that meets consumer needs. It is the way of the future. All we need to do is catch up.

Katriona MacMillan

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