Transforming your staff into service gurus

By Steve Pike

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Customer Customer service Good

Pike: "Investing in staff training can have very real benefits for your business"
Pike: "Investing in staff training can have very real benefits for your business"
Customers aren’t generally looking to find fault — they just want a pleasant, hassle-free experience, with courteous and effective service as a minimum, says Steve Pike, director of the Mystery Dining Company.

However, receiving an engaging, personalised service that exceeds expectations can turn a run-of-the-mill experience into a memorable one.

Delivering excellent customer service requires management and waiting staff to have a clear understanding of the types of customer that a venue attracts. Some customers will define excellent customer service by friendly, engaging staff members who are happy to make recommendations and contribute to a good time. Others will be looking for seamless efficiency, with faultless order taking, meal delivery and billing.

It’s critical to help staff to understand how they can take the initiative in good and bad situations. Regular front-of-house staff training should be a given, but all too often it slips by the wayside due to budget and time constraints. Investing in staff training can have very real benefits, both for your customers and for a business’s bottom line. For large businesses, a good learning management system can provide real benefits in terms of tracking performance at unit level.

Tasting sessions for waiting staff can be a great way to improve menu knowledge and encourage staff to talk passionately about the dishes that you offer. The personal experience will help them feel empowered in giving recommendations and also help them answer any questions quickly, rather than having to refer to the kitchen and leave the customer waiting.

Consistency and how welcome a customer is made to feel are the most common reasons that customers give for recommending a venue or for returning time and time again to a particular establishment.

It’s always worthwhile talking to some of your regulars to get their perspective on why they keep coming back.

Related topics Training

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