August 07, 2015

From phone reservation to raving fan: How to lead yourself to customer loyalty

Phone Reservation to Raving Fan | Überbartools™

In a world where communication is increasingly disconnected, hospitality remains inherently human. At a number of points, our industry has the opportunity to provide real interactions that can turn into remembered experiences within guest’s hearts.
This personal nature, expressed through everything from first-impressions to final goodbyes, can potentially become another competitive advantage for your venue; as long as you manage to convey it authentically.
Ironically, this same warmth, responsiveness and care can be projected even before a customer meets your staff face-to-face. Follow this script below to transform an unknown visitor into an instant raving fan – all before they actually arrive at your venue. Sound impossible? Give the role-play below a try!
Phone rings in a restaurant…
Staff Member: Good afternoon… this is [NAME OF VENUE]
Guest: Hi I’d like to make a reservation for… at… on…
Staff Member: Certainly Sir/Ma’am, it will be our pleasure. May l ask if this is your first time joining us or are you a returning guest?
If he or she is a first-time guest…
Staff Member:  We are looking forward to welcoming you and your friends, and we’re looking forward to providing a wonderful evening.
Is there anything specific you’d like us to take care of before you arrive, say a special occasion?
The conversation continues shortly thereafter.
This is a the first big step towards an ultimately happy, or daresay ecstatic, guest— one who is looking forward to a new experience and is confident in the knowledge that their friends will be happy with the choice of venue selected.
From here manually input the details gathered on your reservation system, noting NEW GUEST and special requirements (if any).
With this system, needs and expectations of the group are assessed, and staff members are aware of potential areas to go above and beyond— all before the evening begins.
Follow through ensures when the guests arrive, whoever welcomes them will be able to maintain expectations and extend the personal connection established at the very first touch point.
If the person calling is a returning guest, make use of the same system by pulling up the guest’s history (if on file). Continue by noting anything relevant and informing front of house staff to look for further opportunities to add nice touches or a friendly flourishes to the visit.
There are so many more extra touches your staff members can add throughout the evening to enhance guest experience, critical of course that each team member in your chain of service is willing to pay attention and provide the same level of care.
This level of consideration is usually provided at top tier venues. The creation of higher customer service standards particularly when not initially expected can really resonate with guests and can easily (and almost effortlessly) become the difference between sending off a one-time diner and welcoming back a life-long regular.