CUSTOMER RELATION AND SKILLS
YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER
What does a customer looks for in the restaurant? Customer usually looks for quality of food and beverages, fast and efficient service, pleasant atmosphere and reasonable prices. With certain customers, however, price is not a very important aspect.
You can refer your customer as guests, clients or simply as customers but no matter what terminology you use to refer them, they are indeed VIP, for without them, the restaurant business can not function.
In fact, few realises the value of this VIP. A lot of profit goes down the drain all the times because of poor service. In pertinence, rudeness, disrespect, lack of courtesy and poor work attitude from people who have direct contact with the public.
The sooner these people understand the term “customer”, the better it will be for everybody from the point of view of the Management ( in term of business ), serice personnel ( in term of job security ), as well as from the Public relations point of view.
WHAT IS A CUSTOMER?
The motto should be: “ Cutomers are business, Value the customers”. O
IDENTIFICATION OF GUEST NEEDS
Despite our best efforts, we do occasionally have our guests complain or advise us of their dissatisfaction. Usually service, portion size, cold food being served, or food item too long to be served, etc. Formed the basis for most complaints and most of the time they are justified.
When a guest takes the time to make a complaint or a positive criticism, he is doing us a favour because it gives us the opportunity to take corrective action to prevent the mistake from reoccuring. If a dissatisfied guest does not complain, normally he will not return to our outlets and will tell his friends of his dissatisfaction. With this thought in mind, the following actions should be taken when a guest complaints:-
The seven Steps of Problem Solving are:-
NOTE : Do not make any promise on what you can’t deliver.
Being calm and helpful at all times means that you recognise his importance to the hotel, and that you want to be helpful to him. It also means NEVER acting insulting or hurt when a guest is acting in an angry or demanding fashion. This is a good time to us the guest’s name when speaking to him. REMAINING CALM AND HELPFUL IS THE ONLY ATTITUDE THAT IS USEFUL FOR SOLVING THE GUEST’S PROBLEMS. DO NOT END UP ARGUING WITH THE GUEST. YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY TO PROVE THAT THE GUEST IS WRONG. YOU MAY WIN THE ARGUMENT BUT WILL LOOSE THE GUEST.
To solve a problem, you must know exactly what the problem is. This means asking the guest as many question as you need in order to help him. Even if the guest is impatient and nasty to you, remain calm and tell him that you want to help him but need certain information. It is important to understand how the guest is feeling so you know that he is NOT angry WITH YOU but with the situation. Try to imagine yourself in his position. YOU may be nasty too!
The key to selling of any items is – DO THE THINKING FOR THE CUSTEMER!
The key to selling is to think positive! Let the customer know that he can go first class and you want to help him.
You have heard many times, “ Would you like a drink?” or “ Can I get you a cocktail?” it’s a little better than nothing, but not much. Do the thinking for the customer. “Would you like a martini or manhattan befor dinner?” or “ we have a special drink for the ladies. It’s called a pinang and it is served in a special souvenir glass that you can take hom.” (Pause for a reply) or “Would you care for a daiquiri or a whisky sour?” if they don’t want a drink after two tries, they will let you know. (Know the ingredients for all mixed drinks. They are simple to learn).
When he say Scotch soda, just ask, “Black label, sir” and the big percentage of the time they will take your suggestion. Repeat the order verbally as you write it down. This is basic, even when taking a food order, because it reduces chance of error. There is a definite trend to drink “on the rock”. If, for example, he order a whisky sour, first ask “with V.O?” and then, (if they haven’t already mentioned it), “on the rock?”
Let people enjoy their drinks. Don’t attempt to take their food order at this time unless they ask you to do so. Build up your check and your tip and your incentive when they are half finished, go back to the table and refill their cocktail from the server. Many times you will hear, “Let’s have another”. This required nothing but the gesture and upgrades the service.
If you don’t get an order then suggest, “Would you like your cocktail refreshed?” Direct your question at the host or the man who seems like he will order that second round. They will tell your their wishes.
Remember, “the willingness to serve is just as important as the service it self”. Coddle them with kindness – they love it. Be alert to sell them another drink or take their food order. Let them make the decision by asking, “Would you like to relax a while befor I take your dinner order?” They will then make the decision. Remember, we make more money on that cocktail that we do on the dinner, so sell them in a sociable manner.
KEY POINTS TO SELLING OF ANY ITEMS
WHAT IS SERVICE ?
Service is a word that we hear a lot, and yet everyone still has his on her own idea of what it is about. This short description may help you.
S - Is for sincerity. This is being genuine and straight forward in what we do. To be sincere in our work is to be honest to not only the guests but also ourselves and your fellow colleaques.
E - Is for respect. Respect towards ourselves, the guests and each other is a positive step to giving good service to our guests. To look on other members of our society with high opinion and esteem is to compliment them. A guest should always enjoy and must have our respect.
R - Is for respect. Respect towards ourselves, the guests and each other is a positive step to giving good service to our guests. To look on other members of our society with high opinion and esteem is to compliment them. A guest should always enjoy and must have our respect.
V - Is for visual. While in front of our guests we must act with decency and at a standard which will compliment our hotel. For all front of the house staff this is most important. For back of the house staff it is equally important how we look is respresentative of how we feel.
I - Is for Information. The A-Z topics help us to cover all the points in our training programmes. We must have or know where to obtain the answer to all our guest’s questions.
C - Is for Courtesy. An essential quality which we all must have.
E - Is for Eagerness. This is the strong desire to do what we enjoy doing. If the hospitality business is not enjoyable then it is unlikely that we will stay with it long. Your eagerness to serve the guest and do our jobs well is essential in your daily task.
GOOD SERVICE IS NOT BE GIVEN TO SOME OF THE GUEST BY SOME OF THE EMPLOYEES SOME OF THE TIME, BUT IS TO BE GIVEN TO ALL THE GUESTS BY ALL EMPLOYEES ALL TIME.
Ü Suggest a second drink or refill.
Ü Direct question at the host or the customer who seems like he’d order that Second Round
Ü Coddle them with kindness – they love it.
Ü Communicate intelligently with common sense and alertness.
Ü Remember that every items sold is – revenue which increases your earnings.
Remember, “the willingness to serve is just as important as the service itself.”
WHAT IS CUSTOMER RELATIONS
HOW DO I PRESENT MYSELF? HOW DO I SELL MYSELF?
Customers are very demanding and they have every right to be demanding. If we do not provide what they expect, they will go elsewhere. Here are 9 point on what customers expect, think of them when you are dealing with your patrons :-
01. A welcome
Customers like a greeting. They want to be welcomed, to belong. Greet them no matter how busy you are, never neglect them, always pamper them. They are your guest.
02. Prompt service
Show customer by attending to them quickly and satisfying their wants is the most important thing you have to do.
Show your guest that you have to offer them. Patrons may not know your enthusiatic suggestions (but take care not be over-insistent).
Know what you have to sell. This demands work. Master the basics. Know the beers and the spirits and how and when to serve them. If you have wines to sell, make sure that you know at least a little range about each of them. Try to increase your range of cocktails and make sure that if you do not immediately know something, you do know where to look to find out what is in each dish and how it is cooked. If you know what you are selling, you will give customers the confidence to buy.
Patrons will not come back if they are not confident that they are getting value for money. Use the best available ingredients. Look after the stock of beer/wine.
A friendly attitude smoothens the path for your guest and co-workers alike, your attitude is more than the way you look, it is how you feel about things within you.
It is important to overcome bad attitude before they become bad habits. Whether you realiseit or not your attitude will show in the long run and every time we interact with a guest our attitudeis showing normally with the way we stand, or more commonly with our eyes and body language. Having said that, your attitude will reflect on your personality and this is an area where you could develop in order to create the best positive approach in your job.
If only you try, you could improve your smile, your tone of voice and your way of speaking. If you have a good / positive attitude it will not only make your job easier in handling guests but also your fellow workers. Remember the key to your success will be your ability to work with people, not only the guests but also your fellow colleagues.
Having the right attitude makes your job more pleasant and it becomes effortless to be friendly, courteous and considerate.
So when you serve a guest, remember “ Your attitude is Showing”
There is no better way to present hospitality and assistance and to sell Food and Beverage items than to open a conversation with a smile. You must greet our guests warmly and naturally and by conveying assurance and a friendly reception to them, you immediately place them at ease and in a more receptive mood.
You and Your Fellow Employee
Your job in relation to the operation of the entire department can be compare to a vital link in a chain, meaning that a smoothly run operation depends on the co-operation of all sections and teamwork between all member staff.
WHAT IS COURTESY
HOW TO PRACTICE COURTESY
The ten rules of courtesy:
TEAM WORK AND CO-OPERATION
Service personnel must realise that they do not and can not exist alone. They would need co-operation from every of the working force. If one waiter does not do his job properly, the whole catering staff will suffer and the whole show will be a complete flop. All service personnels must therefore realise that they are inter-dependent and inter-related. The following are tips on how to get along with your co-workers and work as a team.
a) Always offer a helping hand to fellow workers.
b) Take orders from fellow workers willingly and cheerfully.
c) Give order in a pleasant manner.
d) Treat your fellow workers as you would like them to treat you.
e) Always wait in line for your turn, do not rush for the drink order in the bar counter, for instance.
f) Help your fellow workers to clear the empty dishes and glasses.
g) Help to keep the whole place clean and impressive.
h) Avoid criticism or arguement with and unnecessary remarks concerning your fellow workers.
i) Always remember to be courteous, friendly, pleasant to every member and be considerate to each others, feelings.
j) Do not form “cliques” or practice “politics” in your place of works.
k) Help to familiarise new colleagues with the hotel’s rules, regulations and policies.
l) Be open minded and willing to listen to suggestions.
m) Be punctual so that there is no room for criticism.
n) Do your duties skilfully and properly.
o) Do not allow personal problems to interfere with your work.
p) Be cheerful and smiling always because it never cause you any cent.
If all service personnel play their role well and understand that co-operation is necessary, and that nobody can stand alone, the hotel business will run smoothly to the benefit of all.
How can a hotel business be successful?
Success in the hotel catering industry of today means the three “G”s as follows:-
The correct work attitude should be cultivate by service personnel for the enjoyment of their work and to the profitability of the industry . their motto should be :
“Never : what can the industry do for me?”
“Always : what can i do for the industry?”
“Never : what can the customer do for me?”
“Always : what can i do for the customer?”
Employees right conduct
Hotel employees should be co-operative and conscientious. They should maintain good relationship with the management , the customers and co-workers. They should try to maintain a safe efficient and successful operations of the hotel for their own personnel benefit of the customers.
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