Learn to view complaints as gifts and an opportunity to keep customers’ business.
It is a second chance to satisfy an unhappy customer.
It is a chance to build a one-on-one relationship with your most valuable customers. By handling the complaint quickly and effectively, you can recover the customer, and will find out who he or she is. In the future, you can greet that customer by name.
Effective complaint handling is a proven way to build restaurant sales and transactions. Customers whose complaints have been handled quickly and efficiently usually maintain or increase their frequency of restaurant visits and have greater brand loyalty than before they had a problem.
Listening to complaints is a great way to learn about problems you can fix.
Common Customer Complaints
McDonald’s has identified the most common customer complaints:
Rude, uncaring, or unprofessional managers and crew members
Inaccurate orders (wrong or missing products)
Incorrectly prepared products
There are several reasons why silent complainers do not complain.
They feel the restaurant is too busy to bother with them.
They dislike confrontations.
They do not think complaining will do any good.
They may have used the Drive-thru and find it inconvenient to complain.
Identifying Unhappy Customers
Recovering a dissatisfied customer can have a significant impact on a restaurant’s top-line sales. Be aware of your customers’ actions and reactions, and interact with them to get feedback on their visit. The following is a list of ways you can help identify unhappy customers.
Talk to customers in the lobby and dining room and ask about their meal and overall experience.
Look especially for people who appear unhappy. When you spot them, ask specific but friendly questions about the food and the service.
Look for uneaten food left behind. It is often a sign of dissatisfaction.
65% of restaurant business is in the drive-thru. Make it right by watching for customers not leaving the drive-thru window until they have checked their order, suggesting concern their order is not correct.
Be aware of customers walking into the restaurant with a bag. When you see this, own it! Approach the customer and ask how you can help.
Some customers might call the restaurant to share a problem, so consider training your crew to handle issues appropriately over the phone. Make sure the phone is answered and calls are returned in a timely manner.
If you see things that need to be addressed, make it right on the spot.