Short Lesson Series
More Customer Traffic
How To Have More Success
Reading time 2-minutes
It’s very important to listen to customer comments and make corrections based upon customer comments. A comment, even a constructive critique is not intended to hurt your self-pride. It’s 90% of the time intended to help you see that something is wrong and needs correction. Rather than display a sour face or even argue, say, “Thank you for telling me that. I’ll do what I can to correct the situation.” And really DO that.
It’s likely you’ll get more customer traffic, more compliments, more smiles, more people saying they’re happy with your service or food, or whatever is your business operation.
“The customer is always right.” What does that mean? It means we will make him/her right. Do your best to be amazing about making the business provide what he/she did not expect and be delighted. In the early years of Macy’s Department Store in New York (the one that ran Thanks Giving Day and Christmas parades for years) had a woman floor manager who helped customers, and constantly worked to amaze customers with bigger sales, new exciting displays, and anything else she could work up.
These days with the Internet, customers can say something unkind and perhaps damage a business. On my website, I delete any such comments or make commentary impossible, but other sites, online travel agency sites allow comments that can ruin a business.
What can we do? Sometimes just paying attention is all that is necessary. I’ve been to a Seattle French Restaurant where the Matrade wanted to speak only French, the menu was in French, he did not want to explain anything and if he did it was so quiet and spoken while looking away I couldn’t hear him. Of course, I was displeased. I’ve been to a restaurant in Puerto Rico where I was the ONLY customer. The manager was busy with the cash register and anything, everything else. He was too busy to stop at my table for a moment and ask, “How are you doing? Is there anything more I can bring you or do for you?” In the US often a waitress will stop and just say, “Is everything OK here? Can I warm your coffee for you?” She always gets a bigger tip!
And, I’ve been into restaurants where I was hoping for a quiet romantic conversation with my woman friend and the waiter thought he would get a bigger tip by interrupting us to tell jokes, and I could NOT get him to take my hints and stop pestering me. He got a smaller tip and I never went back there.
I read about a restaurant in The Philippines. A big group of tourists from Korea came in and requested more rice. The waitress said the rice cooker was broken and they couldn’t make more rice! (For 10,000 years people have made rice in a ceramic or metal pot over a fire and these people couldn’t make rice???) My word, order rice from another resto and have it delivered! DO SOMETHING!!!
To make it worse, Filipino custom is to be “ashamed” about nearly anything. To save face the waitresses ignored the customers completely. They wouldn’t even look in their direction. (You can avoid a lot of hurt with an attentive look and a smile.) This is really “adding insult to injury.” That restaurant and beach resort hotel went out of business a year later, and maybe it was because of the bad report displayed on an online travel agency comments page.
But the bottom line is, the management is not managing! Good managers pay attention to everything and know what’s going on all the time. It won’t hurt to take 3-minutes to talk to individuals or the entire group in the early morning, tell them about something wrong (without mentioning names or belittling anyone), and let them know the action you would prefer. A lot of young people come from a home where some adult was always yelling at them. Now they’re afraid to make a move without a given order. These people have been turned into “robots” and they really need your kindly help. Once you see someone is doing what should be done without receiving an order, just thank that person. “Very good, thanks for doing that.” That little compliment mans the world to a young person.
Making a few changes as I have outlined here is easy, it costs nothing, it earns money for the wait staff, and often leads to selling higher profit expensive drinks and deserts.
Be sure the place is clean, the bathrooms are spotless, the windows and signs are clean and in good READABLE condition, pay attention to customer’s needs and wants, and to the other little details, and you’re bound to see an increase in business.
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