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Going The Extra Mile For Your Customers

Posted On January 30, 2013

The value of customer service was thrust into the spotlight recently when the story of a heartwarming gesture hit the Web. When a restaurant manager gave an expectant mom a complimentary meal, a copy of the receipt went viral, with Web users across the globe weighing in on the awesomeness of the act.

The restaurant, Red Robin, has a company-wide policy of going above and beyond for their guests. In some cases, managers have been known to present a card or special gift to couples celebrating an anniversary. Another reported one manager allowing a 4-year-old girl to act as a “waitress for a day” taking customer orders in the restaurant.

Some people may wonder what these small acts of kindness have to do with the overall task of running a restaurant. With stiff competition for a limited number of customers, there is a high bar for owners to reach when it comes to capturing their dollar. Because most chains offer the same standard fare and similar pricing, the one way to stand out is to offer the customer an experience they won’t forget.

Exceed Their Expectations Customers expect a certain level of service when they visit your restaurant. Wowing your customer means doing things they didn’t expect. A prime example of this is the Wells Fargo bank in New York City. Customers of this bank enter and are met with a greeter who welcomes them at the front door. After their transactions are complete, tellers offer them freshly baked cookies and thank them by name. This is the prime example of a memorable experience. Customers come in to deposit a check and walk out with a chocolate chip cookie.

Wowing your customers doesn’t have to mean spending extra money. Going the extra mile, or providing second-mile service, can be as simple as addressing a customer by name or making small talk with a toddler. It can also mean taking the time to ensure that customer problems are resolved quickly.

Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity to make an impression. From the time they walk in to the time they leave, you have many opportunities to make them feel welcome and appreciated. Providing parking spaces in your lot for expectant moms, having greeters at the door and welcoming customers as they are seated are all ways to go the extra mile. Even simple gestures like writing “thank you” on the receipt in ink make a memorable impression on your customers.

Parents often find it hard to enjoy a meal when they have to dine out with toddlers or young children. Engage children with games and activities to keep them busy while they wait for their meal. The parents will love you for it.

Great customer service ideas don’t have to break the bank. They key to providing excellent customer service is to give the customer what they want and more. While there many be stiff competition for your customer’s almighty dollar, you can set yourself apart by going the extra mile and exceeding their expectations.

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