In the hospitality industry, there is one factor that can make or break a company’s reputation: its customer service. Whether a restaurant, a chain, or a hotel, great customer service has proven to be the most important factor in a company’s success. But why is a customer or client’s experience so important? Here, we will look at a few of the most important ways that customer feedback fuels the potential for a brand’s longevity and bottom line.
The Deciding Factor
According to at least one Seattle restaurant store, customer feedback is a crucial learning tool when it comes to keeping tabs on customers’ experiences. The Restaurant Warehouse is in a unique position to make such an observation, as the popular restaurant supply store doesn’t just provide the needed restaurant equipment to both eateries and hotels throughout the city of Seattle; as a busy retail store, its staff also works to provide the same level of exceptional customer service as their customers in the hospitality industry do for their own clientele.
To most people, the attitude of management and staff is the gold standard of any restaurant or hotel. It’s no exaggeration that customer service takeaway can dictate repeat business. In fact, marketing studies have indicated that nearly half of the customers or clients to a given business will consider a brand’s customer service reputation as the deciding factor in decision making. This means that is if someone has heard great things about a restaurant’s cuisine, but horror stories regarding the management and wait staff, there’s only a 50-50 chance that they’ll visit that business for themselves.
Any business within the hospitality industry is dependent upon repeat, or loyal, customers. A good deal of first-time customers may be dependent upon the opinions of friends and online feedback, but a positive experience will work wonders in bringing them back again and again. The opposite will happen if a customer walks away having had a negative experience. This not only applies to hotels and eateries but according to the staff of The Restaurant Warehouse, to a retail store as well.
The Importance of Customer Service
In general, customer service is defined as the interactions between a service provider and the individual paying for a specific service. In the hospitality industry, customers and clients are not only paying for the full participation of a restaurant or hotel’s offerings of services, but they are dependent upon the staff to put their needs and comfort first. It can help to keep an eye on industry trade periodicals and read excellent customer service examples in hospitality. A customer experience can go a long way in forging long-term relationships between a company and a loyal client.
It’s important to note that many elements can factor into a customer or client’s overall experience, and the hospitality industry isn’t just relegated to food and beverage or room and board. Full vacation resorts, individual tourist destinations, bars, food trucks, and catering companies should all be going that extra mile in making a customer feel welcome. More importantly, a successful company in the hospitality industry will make a customer feel important.
What You Can Do
If you work within the hospitality industry, there are numerous ways to keep customer service as your first priority. No matter the industry itself, the basic fundamentals of putting your clientele first remain the same. Solid customer relations are not the only key but should be taken as a given. Be sure your support team is properly trained in all areas where a customer may require assistance. Whether you’re running a hotel, restaurant, or resort, the front desk assistance should be well-informed of the best practices for troubleshooting any issue. If your company guarantees next day service, be sure that it happens. Also, always be on the lookout for negative feedback, as that can teach you the areas that need addressing. In general, proper training and a solid customer service strategy should always be in place.