Things Restaurant Owners Should Never Do
When it comes to running your bar or restaurant we’re sure you know exactly how to get the job done. You make impeccable menu choices, hire and fire the right people and generally operate a first-class business.
When it comes to social media, however, we occasionally see a few of you making the occasional, um, misstep. And this is to be expected. After all, your background is restaurants, not Twitter.
We thought we’d point out a few mistakes we periodically see owners and general managers make as they interact with customers on social media.
“That is just our policy.”
Let’s be honest, this is the exact opposite of customer service. Are you correct? Sure. Does it help? Not at all.
Let’s say a customer complains on your Facebook wall about the way you handled the seating of their party. Perhaps they were forced to wait until everybody in the group arrived. Whether or not this is restaurant policy, flatly stating this is a complete waste of a fantastic social media opportunity.
While there’s nothing wrong with informing a customer of your policy, that information should shared along with a sincere apology that they felt inconvenienced. Invite them back and promise them some type of nominal incentive. Remember the key here is that other people are listening. The public act of you giving a squeaky wheel a free app could result in 10 or 15 new customers.
Ignoring an inaccurate complaint
There are obviously going to be times when a customer will voice concerns that seem divorced from reality. They may have a completely mistaken interpretation of what took place during their visit, or simply be misinformed about your business’s policy.
This falls under the category of “the customer is always right,” but not for the usual reasons. In days of yore it was considered good practice to be patient with the more idiotic customers if only to keep them coming back. But when those same interactions take place on Twitter or Facebook, the audience becomes quite large.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that the patience you show with a disrespectful or ignorant past customer will pay dividends with future ones. “If they treat people like that so well . . .”
Think of social media as giving the rest of the world a window into how you handle customer service. The more you capitalize on one-on-one opportunities the better off you’ll be viewed by the masses.