No matter the kind of business you run, it is essential that you pay the utmost attention to its customer service aspect. It’s because as a business’ front end representation, customer service for a cafe is the one factor that all patrons remember about an establishment.
Since service industry businesses are based upon the notion of customer retention, ensuring repeat business through great customer service is crucial to their operation. If a cafe doesn’t give customers the encouragement to return and experience star treatment every time they visit to get their daily cup of joe, it can lose the core section of its business pretty quickly.
After all, there are only so many new customers that a cafe can have every day, and even that gets affected by negative word of mouth. Keeping this in mind, improving customer service for a cafe on a long term basis should be a priority for every cafe owner who wants their business to scale like it deserves.
Thankfully, implementing great customer service isn’t as difficult as it might seem at first glance. At its essence, it is simply about taking care of your customers and ensuring that their needs are met in an optimal manner. To help you on your journey to practice exceptional customer service, I am here to outline a few tips that would ensure your business is not lagging behind in taking care of its clientele. Be sure to check out “How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café” to see tips on getting your employees to that right mindset yo dealing with customers.
1. Customer Service Requires More Than Bare Minimum
Gone are the days when customer service used to be only about answering questions and forwarding complaints to other departments. Now, customer service is a whole business sector on its own. It doesn’t suffice on being reactionary to what the customer has to say or do. But it takes special care to ensure that customers don’t really have any need to feel conflated or frustrated about anything in the first place.
As a cafe owner or manager, this alludes towards the need to implement a proactive attitude amongst your employees. Instead of tending to issues only when they arise, ensure that your staff is able to perceive potential problems beforehand.
If a customer’s order is delayed past the committed serving time, cafe employees should acknowledge the issue while assuring the customer about the prevention of such an instance in the future. This prevents an emotional outburst from such customers, while also ensuring that your relationship did not get affected negatively.
The key to improving customer service for a cafe lies within the employees’ sense of perception. That is why it is important that each employee of your establishment takes an active role in identifying customers’ issues and work towards resolving them. In cases where they cannot resolve the issue themselves. They can reach out to a superior to help them with it.
Making this small change in attitude could go a long way towards ensuring an exceptional customer service experience for your customers.
2. Provide Targeted Training to Your Staff
Similar to how you wouldn’t ask your staff to make a kickin’ espresso without giving them the proper ingredients and equipment. You cannot expect them to provide premium customer service without the proper set of skills.
This doesn’t mean that you have to hire your workforce based solely upon their work experience. Sometimes, even the most tenured customer service professionals may fall flat against the expectations that you have for your business’ level of service. Do you have any teenage employees in your establishment? Check out “Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees” for a full guide to managing them with success.
Here, the idea of, “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself,” comes into play. Even if you are picking your workforce based upon their illustrious experiences in customer service. They wouldn’t know what to expect out of your approach towards the segment if you don’t take the time to highlight it to them.
That is where you need to develop and execute targeted employee training programs. Which is focused on the aspect of customer service and customer service alone. Learn how to connect with your undergrad employees as well in “3 Things You Should Know Before Hiring College Students“.
3. Encourage Active Communication
Customer service is not just about replying to clients’ questions and handing out free vouchers. It is about forming a connection with the customers to ensure a positive and long-lasting business relationship. At the same time, it also pertains to doing the same for the people working for your business establishment.
The idea of internal customer service is not new for improving customer service for a cafe or any other establishment for that matter. But many businesses tend to overlook this crucial component of ensuring a great customer service experience to its actual customers.
In a service business as demanding as a cafe, you need to make sure that you and your employees are communicating well with each other. It’s not just about throwing words around. It is to actually understand what a coworker needs in order to do their job more efficiently. What they require for a specific customer conflict resolution, and what needs to be implemented to provide customers with an exceptional experience.
Need help keeping track of your whole staff? Then be sure to check out “Tools For Tracking Employee Performance at Your Cafe“.
4. Be Open to Feedback
A big aspect of customer service is to actually stop and listen to what your customers have to tell you. It doesn’t always have to be a complaint for you to seriously heed to it. Most of the time, it is what your customers are telling you in subtle feedback that needs to be paid attention to at all costs.
It could be something like a passing comment about the taste of your coffee beans or the design of your coffee cup. It could also be something unrelated to your business but which highlights the customers’ views towards your establishment. Such as mentioning the level of service they received at another place.
As a Cafe Owner or Manager
You need to be all ears to this feedback. While also handling larger feedback issues such as employee behavior or serving times. Here, you need to remember that customer service is not about talking for hours or putting up a preppy smile for your customers.
It relates to listening as much as talking – even more so in some cases. So, it is important to follow this tip while you are on the way to improving customer service for a cafe.
That is why you should ask your employees to be open to feedback from your clients. At the same time, ensure that you are open to feedback that comes from your employees.
Sometimes, you might be doing something that is not in favor of every worker in your business. In other instances, your staff might have great ideas that would make a big difference in your bottom line, but which you wouldn’t be able to make use of if you don’t listen to them.
By implementing these tips, you will be able to form a working environment where your employees could effortlessly provide an ideal customer service experience to your clients. Remember, the happier your customers are, the more chances you have to establish your cafe as a formidable business in its competitive sector. Be sure to also check out our piece on “6 Marketing Hacks to Promote Your Cafe” for helpful info to advertising your cafe.
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