Basic: “The essential facts or principles of a subject or skill”- the subject/skill in question here being: Customer Service. The above definition has three words which leave an impact: Essential, Fact and Principles. These three words probably highlight how important “Basics” really are. The subject or skill doesn’t really matter, it’s the basics that do.
It deeply bothers me that in today’s day and age with the amount of awareness, knowledge, and access to information, restaurants somehow are still not getting it right. Personally I would like to express my views on one of the basics of Customer Service: “Smile:)”
The other day I walked the length of Cyber Hub (Gurgaon’s ultimate food destination) in search of a restaurant which would satiate my need. I wasn’t really fixated on a particular cuisine so there had to be something else that actually lured me. While I traversed the length of Cyber Hub there was one restaurant in particular that caught my attention – and no, it wasn’t the way the signboard read or the number of people in the restaurant, or a recommendation that was ringing a bell in my head – but the fact that the people serving there had a smile on their face. It was such a pleasant change that I was immediately gravitated towards spending my evening (and my money) there.
Every interaction that I had in that restaurant, whether it was being greeted, taking my order, serving the food, the feedback being ascertained or finally bidding me farewell – it was all done with a smile:)!
My friend with whom I was dinning was not in the best of moods that evening and I took it upon myself to make her feel better. Clearly I had my work cut out, as during the course of the evening I realized that I had help from somewhere I least expected – our smiling server.
That evening I walked out as a satisfied man. But was it because of the food, the absolutely flawless service, or the fabulous ambience? Strangely, neither of them.
It was only because they got one of the basics of Customer Service right: “The Smile:)”
Sadly these experiences are far-fetched in Delhi NCR.
I was lucky to be given this piece of advice very early in my career: once you enter the guest area of the restaurant imagine you are on stage – you being the actor and the guests being your audience and the most important part of playing your character is to smile.
For me to highlight the benefits of a smile while serving the customer would be like going back to school, but I sincerely hope that restaurants in Delhi NCR get this basic of customer service right – more for their own sake than ours:)
Watch this space for more!
Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer