While sitting in a Greek Taverna in Corfu with my partner, Julie, we wondered why this owner seemed to get most of the business in the village.
It was then that it dawned on us it was because the owner exhibited some amazing customer service and customer experience skills.
After visiting most of the restaurants and the menus were pretty much the same, so how do you differentiate yourself in a commoditised market, when you are all pretty much all the same price? How can you be different through customer experience?
Here’s a look at the 10 things the owner was doing right in customer experience:
- He realized that if he got people into his restaurant they were highly likely to return during the stay. He went out of his way to find a table for new customers and make them feel welcome.
- Customers that had eaten at his restaurant were welcomed back like old friends. It was obvious he understood customer lifetime value (CLV).
- People often say to me that Facebook, isn’t for business, it’s for family and friends. What this Taverna owner realized was he needed to make friends with his customers as they are less likely to go to one of the other restaurants, they will buy from their friends.
- He always had a positive comment for customers as we went round his restaurant. He told us we were his “lucky couple” of course we weren’t but nice touch point.
- The waiters and bar staff were a “well-oiled machine”. If somebody turned up that had not booked, they soon found a table and it was set up and the people were sat down with menus. Each person had their role, one got the table, the other laid it up etc.
- Build Rapport – He always had an “open” question to greet people, to new people it was where you are staying, to returning customers, what had they done that day. This allowed him to start engaging.
- The staff always had a kind word for the children. Flattery and saying nice things about your kids might help in getting the customer to return.
- Waiters always served Limoncello at the end of the meal “on the house”, allowing the customer to think they are getting something for nothing, hopefully enticing the customer to return.
- Smile – The waiting staff always had a smile even when it got busy.
- Learn the language of your customer. All the waiting staff knew how to converse with the customer, (English being their second language) while it maybe stock phrases, “Did you enjoy your meal?” It enabled engagement and built that all important long term relationship.
Okay, a bit of fun, for the August holiday season, but hopefully you understand that we all have a part to play in customer experience, from the smallest business to the largest multinational.
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