Customer service is a vital part of the dining out experience, but it appears some visitors to UK restaurants, pubs and cafés are losing faith with the service they are receiving.
Recent statistics from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) revealed that satisfaction within the leisure industry declined during the first six months of 2014, with major brands including Subway, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero and Pizza Express slipping in its customer satisfaction rankings. So how can this be rectified?
Losing customer trust is critical at this point in time, as competition is rife within the hospitality sector. With new eating and drinking venues opening across the UK each week, providing outstanding levels of customer service can prove crucial to gaining and retaining business over market rivals.
While satisfaction success relies heavily on the demeanour and knowledge of staff, there are a number of things that vendors can do to equip customer-facing personnel with the best possible set-up to carry out their job. For example, the majority of modern hospitality businesses depend on a secure and reliable internet connection; from online bookings to chip and PIN terminals, connectivity is essential for a seamless end-to-end customer experience.
In addition to making the lives of personnel easier by removing common causes for complaint, a reliable network connection can be an incredibly useful tool for marketing purposes. Many diners and drinkers have come to expect free Wi-Fi access as standard in bars and restaurants, which presents a perfect opportunity to communicate special offers or loyalty vouchers to mobile devices at the point customers log on.
Customer trust is difficult to gain and easy to use, and even the slightest mistake can damage a valuable relationship. What hospitality vendors must focus on is getting the foundations of an outstanding encounter in place before building the wow factor on top – from basic staff training to running all venue devices from one reliable network connection.