The hospitality and food industry are in an advantageous position when it comes to the customer experience as many people rely on hospitality spaces for the experience they offer. We live a fast-paced world now where you can buy almost anything online but people still enjoy dining together, having a social experience and receiving good hospitality. It’s not just about the food being served but also about how the person feels in that space, what they get out of their time there and how memorable it is for them after they have left. We constantly push the idea of creating customer-centric spaces which breed impeccable customer service, efficient function, high quality food and refined design. All of these things contribute to the overall customer experience and make people linger a little longer and return a little more often leading to an increased.
Keeping an eye on the experience you’re delivering to your customers is necessary to ensure you’re still doing a good job. Staff can quickly drop their standards, customers can adjust their wants and needs or centre management can change hands - all of which can lead to a change in the customer experience or what the customer expects from their time with you. This is why it’s important to monitor how you’re doing and continue to implement strategies to elevate the F&B experience. Here are four tips to ensure you continue to improve the customer experience to give them more and more of what they want to ultimately better your business.
1. Know Who Your Customer Is
This means you can personalise the experience to the person at your centre or outlet. A person who wants to sit down at the smart casual pizza restaurant with friends will have a different expectation of their experience than someone stopping in for a take-away burger. Get to know who it is you’re serving and learn to know what they need from you. Once you do this, you can deliver consistently and effectively to the customer and build loyalty from them as you are satisfying exactly what they need.
2. Read and Act on Your Reviews
Modern technology means people can instantly upload a review of their experience which can work both for and against your business. If you do happen to receive poor reviews, act on them quickly whether it be engaging online and offering an apology or logging the information to see whether larger changes need to be made within the business. Whilst not all reviews are rational, you can also gain insight into how you can improve particularly if you are receiving common feedback on a certain aspect of your offer or your precinct.
3. Train Your Staff to Understand the Customer Experience
Your staff are your biggest asset when it comes to ensuring every customer receives a high standard of service, food and hospitality. Implementing sound training programs and processes to ensure their is consistency in service will ultimately improve the experience your customer gets from your staff. This includes training your staff in how to manage certain customers, how to maintain the environment that customers use and how to handle the more difficult customers who might complain.
4. Ask for Feedback
Don’t be scared to ask your customers about their experience and track this data so it becomes useful tool for improving your service as you go. QSR Magazine speaks of what F&B operators and management have available to them to gather feedback and seek information in order to continue developing the experience your customers are after. At Future Food, we provide an extensive and specialised operational reviews service to our clients to do this. Any which way you do it, the customers are the ones with the information you need to create the most specific and elevated experience they need so ask them exactly what it is they are after.
Food and beverage is now one of the most effective ways to create a unique point-of-difference whether you’re in centre management, a developer or you’re a single operator. However, to gain the benefits of it you need to ensure it’s done well with the customer at the centre of your focus. By ensuring you’re maintaining the highest level of experience for them, you gain their loyalty so that they return to your centre or outlet time and time again.