“Good food can only keep your customers for so long, but good service will keep them forever.” – Steve DiGioia
Steve DiGioia, a 25 year hospitality industry veteran, considers customer service to be a key to success in business. I happened to read his blog about his experiences working with operational and service standards for multiple food and beverage departments for many big companies. Then one blog post came up that caught my attention. It was a post about the quality of customer service that is dropping over the years.
Steve emphasizes the important of customer service in his blog post. He expresses his anger towards waiters and waitresses who expect high tip from the customers when they do not know how to satisfy the consumers. The expectations he has towards servers is to at least know the menu fully and be able to explain or recommend them to the consumers. He also points out that he simply wants the server to come to his table when he needs them. Steve was disappointed by the treatment he gets from the servers from his recent restaurant experiences.
When I worked at CaffeBene last semester as an assistant manager, I understood the importance of customer service like Steve emphasizes in his blog. I agree with him that servers need to at least know about the menu that they are selling. I was responsible to train employees at CaffeBene, and I was always frustrated when employees were unable to explain about the beverages or desserts we were selling when customers asked. I had to train employees multiple times and teach them ways to describe certain menu so that customers would be tempted to try new menu. The process may seem a bit annoying to the employees, but it is very important that they know how to explain the menu because such procedure influences the store sales.
I saw many employees over the past half year at CaffeBene. Some awere passionate and responsible for their work while some were not. Those who were not enthusiastic about the work were usually employees who just simply wanted to earn some money from their part-time job, and passionate ones were people who really loved the job. Working at a restaurant as a server might be a seasonal or a part-time job, but I think it is important to hire workers who are enthusiastic about the work. I think they should at least put some effort into memorizing the menu in depth. Hiring good workers and training them to pursue good quality of customer service will definitely attract people to visit again. The key to success in business is definitely customer service, especially in the hospitality industry like Steve emphasize many times in his blog post and all over the blog. And I also believe customer service is one of the elements of public relations strategies, which makes customer service even more important.