Remember Ashlea? Well as promised, here’s a word…actually, quite a few words from Ashlea!
Ashlea shares her thoughts and tips about building relationships in your business and keeping your customers coming back time and time again.
Over recent years while working in hospitality I have learned that anyone can poor a beer, however there are only certain people who can truly make a customer happy and ensure they have a great experience.
Working in a service industry you learn that there is in fact such a thing as a stupid question, and that the customer is not always right. This can be confusing because we have spent our lives being told the exact opposite. In truth, these are just things we say to preserve the customer’s ego as this is the key to building repeat business. If you make a customer in your pub feel like an idiot, do you think they will be back??? Ahhh, no! However, if they walk into your a pub, ask seven stupid questions and leave feeling like the smartest person the world has ever seen, they will be back for sure! This is the power of the ego.
Our business is our customers, without them we do not exist. This means that when someone orders an extra hot, very weak, soy latte, instead of saying ‘why bother?’, because lets face it, what’s the point??? There will be no flavor, the milk will be burnt and there certainly won’t be enough caffeine to provide any kind of perk-up that they might be looking for…..you must smile, nod and say “sure, I’ll bring it right over”. This way, you preserve the customer’s ego, they think you’re the best thing since sliced bread and they’ll feel comfortable coming back to order their next coffee (I use the word ‘coffee’ very loosely!!).
When a customer is at the bar with their mates and come out with an outrageous comment or say something completely stupid – rest assured that their mates pull them into line and give them hell. Perhaps their wife will tell them when they’re eating too much or putting too much sugar in their coffee. It’s certainly not the place of the staff to tell a customer “one sugar is probably enough”, or “you really have no idea what you’re talking about”.
In hospitality the vital skill you must have, is preserving the customers ego – even when it means you have to bite your tongue! Sure, you can have a quiet chuckle about it out the back later, but to their face you need nod politely, smile and make sure they walk away feeling like Einstein.
By practicing these tricks, a loyal customer base is assured!