Customer Service Tips: How to Handle Angry Customers

Are you ready to learn how to keep all the guests happy? It starts with making sure your managers are fully trained in every position within your restaurant. They need to know all the jobs, so they can step in if someone takes sick leave or if sales are higher than expected.

The manager must be highly trained in excellent customer service. This type of service is called a “wow” service because your customers will say “Wow!” about your experience at your restaurant.

One way to easily achieve that “wow” experience is to simply tell your managers that whenever they are in direct contact with any guest, they are smiling, friendly and attentive to guests. If a famous person came to your restaurant, how would you treat that person? All guests must receive the same VIP treatment.

In case of dissatisfied, angry or furious customers, we recommend applying the GLAD technique. This will dramatically decrease customer related issues and lead to customer recovery.

Which is the GLAD Technical?

  1. GRAMor the guest
  2. Lis careful with the guest
  3. HASapologize to the guest
  4. Dor what is needed to solve the problem

When approaching the upset customer, always show genuine concern. It is important to listen to the guest without cutting him off. Make sure you take the time to fully understand his concerns. Keep calm. Responding to anger calmly can help reduce the person’s anxiety. Don’t be fake, be real.

Always apologize to the guest, even if the customer is wrong. Even when you are sure the person is wrong, have the mindset that the person is right. Never offer excuses as to why the problem occurred, but offer solutions instead.

Solutions will vary depending on the complaint and the circumstances. Offer a solution and ask if this will meet the customer’s needs. Go further. Remember, one angry customer leads to other lost customers. Keep in mind that for every client you lose, you will lose 11 clients in the next few weeks. That number will compound because those 11 people will also repeat what they heard from the first customer. Ultimately, you could be losing hundreds of customers due to one dissatisfied customer. If the matter is serious, you might even lose the reputation of your restaurant and the restaurant might end up closing.

Every customer that leaves your restaurant tells family, friends, and co-workers about their experience at your restaurant. If the experience was mediocre they will not say anything, but if it was a very good experience in your restaurant they will tell others. If it was a negative experience and they left unsatisfied, your restaurant’s reputation will suffer. Negative feedback from your customers could spell the end of your business. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Word of mouth will work for or against you depending on the guest experience.

Do you really want to lose business due to customer complaints? Teaching effective customer service techniques to your managers and staff should be at the top of your to-do list.

Teach your managers to be proactive in preventing customer-related issues. The manager’s presence in the dining room is a wonderful way to reduce customer complaints. The manager must spend at least 80% of their time in the dining room and only 10% in the manager’s office.

The manager must also physically approach each customer’s table to ensure WOW guest service is in effect. The manager also needs to learn how to spot negative body language and how to express positive body language.

How do customers show their dissatisfaction with their body language?

  • When in direct eye contact, you can witness the anger in the customer’s eyes.
  • Seeing untouched food, especially when everyone at the table ate their food except for the one customer who barely touched their food.
  • The manager asks the customer, “So how was your food and service tonight?” The customer replies, “Okay.” If the customer was completely satisfied with both the service and the food, he can say that it was “excellent” or “excellent”, not just “good”.
  • When you look at a guest and get an uncomfortable feeling, act on that feeling.
  • You see a customer looking around as if he wants someone to help him. You can even see them staring at a server talking to other clients.

What does your body language say?

  • Always use direct eye contact when talking to your guests. Never look away while talking to your guest. Looking away gives the impression that you are not interested in what the other person has to say.
  • Never cross your arms when talking to guests, this could be interpreted as rejection or anger.
  • Never roll your eyes, as this is highly disrespectful and seems like you are belittling their concerns.
  • Constantly listen to the guest, even if they are angry. It can be helpful to allow the person to vent anger on her. Always acknowledge her feelings.
  • Ask the customer what would improve the visit to your restaurant.

What do you do with Moody Customers?

This is your chance to change the customer’s mood from bad to good. Make sure you stay on top of things and pay attention to details. If you have any concerns about your experience, you can even offer the table a free appetizer or dessert. It may seem like you’re losing money by “giving away” food or “cheating” your meals; however, you will lose more money for each lost customer than for that food or meal. If you turn things around successfully, then you can create repeat business. Kindness and consideration of his needs will often overcome his anger.

A wise person once said, “How you handle positive feedback is important, but knowing how to handle negative feedback is more important.” Be sure to tell customers that you appreciate the fact that they took the time to tell you about their experience. Don’t make excuses, instead look for solutions. Don’t disagree with the customer, even if you know the guest is wrong.

If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them over and over again.

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