6 Ways To Boost Customer Satisfaction In Catering
The catering industry is competitive. There are now more service providers than ever before, attracting customers in different ways, through pop-up experiences, street food stalls, dine-in restaurants, 24 hour takeaways and more.
There is always one way to stand out, however, and that’s with great customer service. Whatever your industry, great customer service is never out of fashion. Customers want to feel validated and supported, and as if they can trust your business for a great experience.
Surveys have shown that what often keeps customers returning to a business — or providing positive reviews — comes down not just to their products, but to the way they deliver them.
In short, get customer service right and you will attract customers who are happy, loyal, and likely to recommend you to their friends.
But how can this be achieved? Great customer service does not have to be complicated, but it can be an integral part of your company’s culture. Below, we take a look at six of the simplest ways to boost your customer service and satisfaction.
#1 Encourage Feedback
This is perhaps one of the simplest and most effective ways to boost your customer satisfaction rating. It helps in two ways.
Firstly, customers immediately feel more valued and ‘heard’; that their opinion is valued and that the business cares about their feedback. These can all be crucial to overall customer satisfaction.
Secondly, customer feedback helps you to identify what is working well and which areas would benefit from improvements or change. Great customer service can often come down to communication. Try to identify what is pleasing the customer and what is consistently an issue, then make changes accordingly.
Also consider which ways might be the best ways to seek feedback. Are your customers especially active on social media, for example? If so, consider asking their opinion in online surveys or via social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. If customers spend more time on site, why not leave a feedback form on each table that they can fill out after dining?
#2 Hire Support Staff
Where possible, considering hiring more staff to focus specifically on customer service. Perhaps your current front of house staff are under pressure and more help there would improve customer service.
Perhaps you are handling online orders or bookings for your business, and a prompter response time would mean higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Look at the key areas of your business that are helping — or harming — the customer service experience, and consider adding specialised staff.
#3 Provide Transparency
While choice is often touted as being key to customer service, menus are actually becoming simpler. As customers have a wider range of dining options to choose from overall, the individual menus of eateries are often becoming more streamlined.
What is now important instead is transparency. Many customers have dietary requirements or restrictions. They may be vegetarian, vegan, or have allergies and intolerances. Ensuring that your menu is as transparent as possible, listing ingredients and allergens, can be key for a happy customer.
#4 Elevate Standards
Continuous improvement or a general elevation of overall standards will almost always improve customer satisfaction. It may not be necessary to undertake an expensive overhaul. Small increments of change can still have a big impact — such as decor or equipment.
Replacing faulty kitchen equipment doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, for example. Caterquip provide affordable catering equipment that has refurbished to industry standards.
Reliable equipment and a pleasant environment can be essential for the smooth running of your kitchen and the excellence of your food — both essential elements for customer satisfaction.
#5 Know Your Audience
How well do you know your customer? Do you know their average age and preferences? What do they most like and appreciate about your business? Getting to know your customer can be crucial when it comes to improving customer service and satisfaction.
Perhaps it is the convenience that appeals most to them, or the range of options, or the affordability. Perhaps it is more about your message, such as environmental awareness or using local ingredients, for example.
Make an effort to understand your customer — through surveys, social media, and general interaction — so that you can do more of what they appreciate, and less of what matters least to them.
#6 Stay Connected
Social media was previously just for staying in touch, but now it is a valuable business tool. Consider setting up — and maintaining — a website, Facebook page, or Instagram account to share what your business offers.
This is a great way to stay connected to your customers and build an audience. You can seek feedback, offer discounts, show menu changes and more. Build genuine connections with your customer, and watch their loyalty and satisfaction soar!