Make Their Day
They say first impressions make all the difference in the world and for venues such as theatres, arenas and stadiums that are dealing with high volumes in restricted service windows, this couldn’t be more true. However, first impressions also count for any retail space where the interaction is condensed to mere seconds. Consider your local café and take out orders. . . How can you engage and make a positive customer service impact in the 30 seconds it takes to place their order?
In the hospitality industry, first impressions are crucial to the success of a business. Whether it's an event, restaurant, or bar, customers expect a welcoming atmosphere that makes them feel comfortable and valued. Here are three easy tips for engaging with customers that will make a positive impact:
Creating a Better Atsmosphere
GREET THE CUSTOMER WARMLY AND SINCERELY. This is a no brainer, but it has to be said. Start by greeting the customer with a friendly tone of voice and a sincere smile. This will help to put them at ease and make them feel welcome. However, don’t wait until the customer is directly in front of you. Every time someone joins the queue, make eye contact and smile. If in the case of large queues, engage the whole crowd. Look up and continually smile and acknowledge everyone. Tell a joke, work the room and most importantly, let them know you will be with them as soon as possible!!
ACTIVELY LISTEN. Once the customer is in front of you, maintain eye contact, listen carefully to what they are saying and use positive body language to reassure them that you truly hear them. Repeat their order to help them feel confident and to avoid any errors with their order
TAKE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE. There is a great little coffee shop in West Geelong, (shout out to the team at Funk), where they have ingrained the question “what are you up to today” into their service delivery. This automatically requires a response and they use that to build rapport and to engage with each and every customer. They see the value in connection and they take every opportunity to engage their customers.
I believe that every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to make their day and if you approach every service interaction with this philosophy in mind, it will help you to go above and beyond in providing exceptional customer service, no matter how small the time frame.
And don’t forget. . . It’s critical that you thank your customers at the end of each interaction. Thank them for their business, for their patience, or simply for brightening your day. Whatever it is you do, make sure they walk away from you feeling buoyed and on top of the world.
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