Customer Service: it’s the Achilles Heel of the business world. Important, but hard to get right with all its moving parts. In 2016, U.S. businesses lost $62 billion due to poor customer service, up $20 million from 2013, reports New Voice Media.
Still, customer service likely hasn’t declined that much in three years, right?
More likely customers are turning up the volume when talking about it—and posting about it in the form of reviews—and other people listen.
Word of mouth is coming home to roost big time. Nielsen says 92 percent of consumers rely on recommendations from friends more than advertising.
Let’s deconstruct the poor customer service experience in the restaurant industry. It looks something like this:
- Dirty kitchen/restaurant
- Employees who are rude, slow or inattentive
- Poorly executed food
- Food served past its hold time, so it’s old and possibly cold
- And, most concerning, food served past its expiration date, which can make someone sick.
That all happens at the counter, but these mistakes originate earlier, likely before the doors are unlocked, when employees are tasked with cleaning, food rotation and prep, stocking stations, and properly labeling food.
Change Your Fate and Automate
Tablet Systems: Get them to track food rotation and training. Employees can also automate food prep labeling on the spot for greater accuracy and safety.
Task Trackers: Get rid of the paper checklists and go digital with applications that require employees to check off tasks as they’re finished, whether cleaning, food prep or getting coolers ready for the day. They also monitor food temperature to ensure food is safe to serve. All information is stored digitally and can be analyzed to ensure compliance.
Donate and Waste: The National Restaurant Association reports 30 to 40 percent of food is wasted. Tracking what’s not used will improve the inventory ordering process and decrease the chance something past its prime is served, not to mention the gift of goodwill through food donation
The technology is at our fingertips; it’s a shame not to utilize it. Automate the basics and watch your customer reviews improve and your word of mouth increase.