Your customers are mentally tallying your business the entire time they’re in contact with you, from the moment they call or see your online menu, to walking through the doors, to when they leave. Every touchpoint is important to their experience and whether or not they’ll return. Here are five important points for you to think about that your customers are asking themselves:
Am I being served with a friendly smile and helpful knowledge? Do these people care if I’m here?
Train your staff to treat every guest with respect and kindness. As Maya Angelou once said, “People will soon forget what you said. They will NEVER forget how you made them feel.” If your staff treats every person who walks through the doors of your establishment in a way that makes them feel like a valued customer, they will keep coming back.
Don’t forget that everything you and your staff does sends a message. Your staff represents your entire business. As far as customers know, their attitudes are indicative of your attitude. If they’re unpleasant, the entire establishment is unpleasant. If they’re friendly, it can go a long way toward showing all customers that your restaurant is friendly and welcoming. If they interrupt the next person in line to answer the phone, they’re sending a not-so-subtle message to the customer that the person on the phone is more important than in-person guests. No one appreciates that. If your staff is feeling overwhelmed by phone call interruptions, Reachify can help.
- Quality of food
Does it look and taste delicious? Does it leave me craving it later on? Or raving about it to my friends, family and social media contacts?
Everything about the eating experience comes into play in the quality of food. It has to smell good, look good, taste good. It needs to offer pleasure. Think about the smell of freshly baked bread or cookies and what memories it brings to you. Think about the taste of fresh donuts or pizza right out of the oven and whether it makes you hungry. Those are the types of emotions you want to be evoking in your customers whenever they come in.
- Quality of total experience
Is it clean? Does it present a nice ambience and style? Do I have to wait in a long line?
The atmosphere in the restaurant is important. The building needs to look and feel clean, be inviting, and provide the proper mood for your business. You need to have the right music – or lack thereof.
Did I get my food in a reasonable amount of time, or did I have to wait excessively for it?
You need to have enough staff that you can help your customers without making them wait for extended periods. There’s nothing wrong with waiting briefly for a table or for food to be freshly prepared, but long waits aren’t always a sign of popularity; sometimes they’re just annoying. If customers have to constantly wait, they will eventually find somewhere else to go.
Is the asking price a reflection of the quality of food and experience?
Remember, most people are willing to pay more for an amazing experience and fantastic food, so while it is important to keep your prices competitive, to some extent, you don’t need to keep them well below your competitors’ prices as long as you’re still offering a quality, unique service and pleasant experience. That is what your customers are looking for. The ideal things for your customers to think as they leave your business are “When can I come back?” and “I need to tell everyone else about this place!”