restaurant | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 3

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Take a Measure from Government

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

When we work with our government clients, whether it’s an economic development division trying to retain local businesses, a property assessment division trying to efficiently serve its customer base, a City/County manager’s office trying to best manage such a large organization, we’ve found a consistent need – measurement.

When government is trying to measure over such a broad organization, they typically create an organization-wide balanced scorecard system. This metrics system will have the typical measures of Revenue, Cost, Quality, and Customer Service. But it will also have some more outcomes-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents on welfare and more capacity-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents living within “X” miles of a public park.

Let’s translate those last two measures to a typical business. Outcomes. An outcome is some end-benefit from what your service or product provides. It’s not the product itself. For a hospital, it’s the quality of life after discharge, not just how good the care was in the hospital. For a fine restaurant, it’s the enjoyment of the evening, not just the quality of the food. For an automobile dealership, it’s the feeling when driving or knowing you own a particular brand, not just the gas mileage. These outcomes often relate to the feelings your customers have as a result of their engagement with your company. They should be measured to make sure your services had a positive ongoing impact.

The other example metric dealt with Access. How close you live to a park can determine your ease of access and likelihood to use it. Similarly, what percentage of the population lives near a grocery store, what percentage of season ticket holders receive a sports team’s newsletter, and what percentage of long-term customers have online access all help to determine the customer’s access to the company. A greater access leads to a greater chance to develop relationships and retain the customer.

Learn from these atypical measures from government to know how well you impact your customers and to ensure you have adequate access to them.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Be an Everybody Business

Posted on in Business Advice, Carolinas, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Pizza…Yum! I was getting a takeout order at Hawthorne’s Pizza in Charlotte, NC, for the first time. As I walked in, the hostesses greeted me with a smile, asked how they could help, and showed me to the counter where I could pick up my order. As I approached the counter, two staff walking by made eye contact, smiled and said hello. I was greeted by an employee at the counter who asked how he could help – he smiled, confirmed my order, noted he’d get my order together and get right back to me. As I stood for a few seconds, I noticed that ALL the employees were moving, working, processing orders, taking food out to the tables…and smiling.

They were having pleasant conversations with each other and operating efficiently at the same time. Another employee walked up to me and asked if I had been helped. When the individual who was getting my order came back, he took the credit card, engaged me in light discussion, and closed the conversation with a smile and appreciation.

As I turned to walk away, another employee walked past me, made eye contact, smiled and said hello, and as I walked out of the restaurant, the hostesses smiled again, thanking me for coming in, and holding the door open for me.

I was in the restaurant less than 5 minutes, but one thing was obvious. This was an “Everybody Business.” Everybody smiled. Everybody worked efficiently. Everybody engaged me. Everybody seemed to be having fun with what they were doing and/or with each other.

When you experience an Everybody Business, you have to realize that this is not by accident. It’s by design. To have everybody operating in the same positive manner – naturally, smiling, engaging customers – that happens only because management wants it to happen. They hire staff with that attitude, train them on how to interact, and model those behaviors themselves.

They don’t leave it to chance that you’ll get good service with Employee “A”, but you could get bad service from Employee “B”. They don’t want that risk. They want to be an Everybody Business so that every customer has the same great experience.

Be an Everybody Business.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/


She’ll Take Your Order

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment. A feeling of "you are my most important customer" and "I cannot wait to serve you" brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant. But that’s not the only thing that can bring a tear to my eye.

Walking into a fast food restaurant, I stood back from the cashiers to determine what I wanted. After deciding, I walked to the counter and the two cashiers, both of which were available. This is how the conversation started:

Cashier #1: "Can I help…oh, she’ll take your order."

Cashier #2: "No, she’ll take your order."

Cashier #1: "No, she’ll take your order."

Cashier #2: "No…well, okay. What would you like?"

This dialogue would have been very flattering had they substituted "I" for "she," but the conversation made it obvious that, even though neither was doing anything, they’d prefer continuing to do nothing rather than help me buy their product.

Sometimes we complain about how many companies and many employees are more task-focused than customer-focused. But this company was more focused on inaction than action. While we desperately hope this experience is a rarity in your business, there are things to learn from the interaction that can help any business succeed.

First, hire people with not only the attitude of wanting to help others but also the energy to act on those impulses. Next, come up with a mantra that promotes productivity. One restaurant tells its staff to remember during slow times that "if you’re leaning (against the wall) you should be cleaning." Finally, create a proactive work environment. The more reactive a culture is, the more likely they are to be passive when there’s not a fire to fight. Proactive cultures promote the seeking of action and progress.

Work to create an atmosphere of "I’ll take your order."

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/