Signature service is a term that I often use to represent something that is fresh and unique to a customers experience with your business. All companies have signature products that separate them from the rest of the pack, something that their competitor lacks. “Signature service” is just that. Customer service that is unique and special; that when a guest leaves your restaurant they scratch their heads and go WOW. That my friends, IS what I call Signature Service.
Most customers when they come in a typical fast food restaurant dont expect much in service these days. Unfortunate, but true. The restaurants that make the effort in providing their own Signature Service set themselves apart from their competitors. Something is different about the service, the employees perhaps, customers may not pin point it, but its there.
I compiled ten simple things to achieving signature service and wont cost you and your managers anything. Excellent customer service should be a given and an expectation to running great restaurants.
1. First impressions. Making a first impression is so important in building a relationship with your customers. Take a walk outside of your restaurant.
· Is it clean and well maintained? Litter free?
· Are the windows clean with no fingerprints?
· If you have double entry doors are they both unlocked?
2. Treat your customers as guests. How are your guests greeted when walking in the door?
· Is it always friendly with a big natural smile
· Are they welcomed into your home
· Do they feel special, even though its their first time visiting?
3. Listen to your guests when theyre ordering. When taking their order always smile and be accommodating to your guests needs. Make them feel good about what they ordered. It can be as simple as Thats my favorite said with a smile.
-Maintain eye contact. Listen and repeat the order.
4. Use manners. A simple Thank you, Yes Sir or Yes Maam, Youre Welcome. Priceless these days where mannerisms seem to be a forgotten art.
5. Names instead of numbers. Instead of giving your guests a number when they placed their order, how about using their name. Just ask. Next time instead of yelling out ” #133 your order is ready!”. Try this Frank your order is ready. When Frank comes up to get his order tell him Hi Frank this is your order, my name is Wendy, just let me know if you need anything else Bingo, relationship started.
6. Be accommodating. When it is apparent a guest needs a hand with carrying their food out, offer to do it. That mother with the two preschoolers will appreciate it I guarantee it.
7. Be an ambassador to your restaurant. When youre straightening out the dining room, ask customers how their meal is. How about refilling their drinks. A little small talk with your customers will make them feel like true guests in your home.
8. I want to be a regular too! When you finish up having a great experience with a regular customer, make sure the next person in line is treated just as great; maybe even better. From personal experience, Im always the next guy in line little do they know Im the Video Mystery Shopper and I saw how great you were with that first customer because you knew him, then its my turn and Im treated differently because Im not a regular. Best way to increase your business is to make your regulars come in more often and then make more regulars through Signature Service.
9. Open the doors. If you see a customer is approaching the door open it for them. That simple act will ensure this will be a different experience.
10. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Did I mention that saying three thank yous to our guest should be mandatory, better if it comes from three different people including the cook.
HOW ABOUT SOME ADDED VALUE!
Here’s a few extra thoughts:
Trash Talk. Offer to clear the table and throw away their trash. I dont know of any customer who would refuse that offer (sorry about the pun).
Have Fun! Encourage fun in your stores. Catch people doing things right; reward them on the spot with candy or recognition in front of their peers. Guests will pick up on the fun environment.
Trivia! Have trivia contests for you customers when theyre waiting in line. The right answer gets them a free drink.
Heres the hard part. In order to achieve Signature Service How do you do it? Well go through that in our next article
Today just start with one or two and go for it! Try the names instead of numbers or perhaps the lobby ambassador and stick with it for a couple of weeks. Get your whole staff on board with a contest. Keep it simple, trackable and attainable. Reward and recognize, thats what were all about and having fun doing it.