How often do customers get a less than positive experience through lack of information available on a venue’s website, a less than friendly booking experience, or a lack of customer follow-up? It’s important to remember that customer experience is much more than good food or drink!
For many pub, bar or restaurant owners, these initial impressions are not always considered a part of the overall customer experience but this is where you can make a real difference!
According to research by guest experience management company, HGEM, two-fifths (40%) of consumers admitted an unfriendly tone over the phone stopped them from making a booking, with team members lacking information (21%) also putting consumers off.
Now this HGEM research was focused on Christmas party venue bookings which will start immediately the Summer holidays are out of the way. With September not far off, it’s a great time to review your operational management, processes and your marketing to make sure your staff are trained and equipped with all the info they need to be ready for when those enquiries start to come in.
Even before a customer picks up the phone or makes a booking online, that customer experience needs to be considered. The research also showed that the three key priorities when choosing a venue were being able to preview the menu in advance (64%), how well the venue catered for their desired capacity (49%) and how prepared they were for those with food allergies (39%). Does your website offer this information, not only for seasonal bookings but as standard?
On a more general note, how your staff answer the phone for any bookings, and whether they have access to menu information and any special promotions, should all be considered essential training so that every customer call to your establishment is a really positive one.
When it comes to customer feedback – do you ask for that from your customers when they are onsite? Or do you hope they will post something positive on social media or rely on customers being active users on TripAdvisor and the like?
Being proactive and offering them the opportunity to give feedback before they leave could be a way of engaging them and give you content to use in your marketing too. If an element of their experience isn’t perfect – you have the opportunity to finish their visit on a high note. It’s got to be quick and easy for them to do but what better time than when they have just had a great meal, or fantastic service from your staff?
With many years’ experience in the UK hospitality industry, we offer a one stop shop for licensing services, management & support. Why not take advantage of a fresh pair of eyes to see where simple improvements can be made to ensure your customer experience is much more than good food and drink?