As a restaurant owner, there are so many things that you will have to hear from your customers on a daily basis. But you always have to remember that the customer is always right, and you have to satisfy the customer no matter what you do. In this guide, Jay Holstine takes you through the process of handling customer complaints in the best possible way so that you are on the same page as the customer and can pave your way to success.
How to Manage Customer Complaints in the Restaurant Industry by Jay Holstine
Here are a few tips to help you manage customer complaints in the best possible way.
The most important thing for you is to first listen to what the customers have to say. You can only understand what they want when genuinely listening to their complaints. You need to have undivided attention when you talk to them so that you know where they are coming from. Also, try to take notes to retain that information for future reference. This is more important than you think and is crucial to help you find your way up.
When handling customer complaints, try to be as calm as you can. If you raise your voice or sound remotely defensive or confrontational, then that can backfire. Remember that you are the one whose reputation is at stake here, so you have to make sure that you stay as calm as possible and answer all complaints in the best possible way.
You need to show the customer that you understand where they are coming from. When you do that, you will be better able to solve the problem. Jay Holstine says this can be tricky, especially when you are so occupied with things and have so much to do. Your body language has to align with what you are doing.
If you have done something they don’t like, and their experience at your restaurant has been compromised, then you need to apologize. While this may seem like the obvious thing to do, it is something that most businesses struggle with. Remember that passing the blame on will only make the situation go from bad to worse. The sooner you accept your mistake, the sooner you can take action to fix what is going wrong.
Every wrong step that you take is a lesson for you, says Jay Holstine. Remember that you gain nothing from the situation if you don’t learn from it. Try to note what has gone wrong and what you could have done better. When you do that, it helps you with all your future dealings with customers and helps you be very calm about the situation on the whole.
Final Words by Jay Holstine
With these actionable tips on handling customer complaints well, you can surely do a much better job. Remember that complaints are part and parcel of the business, says Jay Holstine.