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The difficult guest in the making

How often do our customers come to us in the best of moods, but by the time we are through with them they are dissatisfied with us, unhappy with the service we offer, and are, as a result, completely disgruntled? Too often.

Many managers and employees in the service industries sometimes forget that customers have many choices open to them. Therefore if we are to be the customer's choice from among many, we must provide the best customer service in the industry.

The embedded video well shows what happens:

1. When personnel are distracted to the point where they become completely unaware of the customer's needs--even the customer's presence. Mayhem easily results from such inattention.

2. When disappointed customers are exposed to uncaring attitudes ("It's your meal.") and the accompanying body language.

3. When employees do not carefully choose their words in addressing a customer's problem. ("So your card was delinquent!")

4. When a customer's privacy is not taken into consideration, and an entire restaurant floor is informed that his credit card "bounced".

Under these and other similar circumstances, there is little wonder that customers become difficult and move on to the competition.

Some Solutions

  • Always be alert to a customer's presence and needs.
  • Listen actively in order to give the best possible solutions to customers' problems.
  • Show a caring attitude and be mindful of the body language you exhibit.
  • Choose your words carefully, and think of that customer's privacy. Just imagine how you would like to be treated under the circumstances.
  • But even as you choose your words, never tell an upset customer to "calm down". Invariably, such advice only aggravates the situation. Thank them instead and apologize sincerely.

Yes. Guests are customers, and they will only keep coming back when they are appreciated.

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