Pub Customer Service – Why Good Service Is So Important
Pub customer service is one of the biggest differentiators between an average pub and an amazing pub. It’s so vital to ensure excellent pub customer service if you want your pub to succeed.
Nothing beats the feeling of sitting in a pub and sipping on your favorite drink with your friends, yelling at the football game on the screen. Pubs are one of those magical places that can make you feel at ease no matter what mood you’re in.
But what makes a pub good? Is it that delicious greasy pub food which goes perfectly with a pint of ice-cold beer or is it perhaps the decor? Although these things do play a role in creating an excellent pub experience, the real glue that holds it all together is good old fashioned customer service!
If you want some tips on how to do pub customer service well, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s talk about why having good customer service is important for your pub in terms of helping you understand how you can take your pub customer service to the next level.
Good pub customer service can be an indispensable asset to your business
Customer service is one of those aspects that tends to take a backseat.
You always want to provide good service and keep your customers happy but when you’re running a pub, things tend to get hectic and it’s not always possible to provide your customers a flawless experience.
But you need to remember that when done well, excellent pub customer service can be the thing that helps your pub get an edge over the competition.
Now, you might think that while it’s true that customer service is essential, it doesn’t seem that crucial to a pub. After all, the main draw of a pub is probably the drinks and food so why is good pub customer service vital?
Well to answer your question, let’s consider this example.
There are two pubs that are exactly the same with one key difference: one has slightly better customer service and one has slightly better food. Now ask yourself this question, which would you pick if you were a customer?
You would probably pick the pub that has better customer service and that’s because one of the biggest reasons people go to pubs is for the atmosphere.
When a customer walks into your pub they’re looking to let go of their worries and have a good time and great customer service can do just that.
How can you improve your pub customer service?
If you want to make your customer service go from good to great, you’ll need to put in the effort.
Improving your customer service is a tedious process that isn’t going to happen overnight. While the difference may not be obvious initially, you will find that it makes a great difference over time.
You’ll see a lot more loyal (and regular) customers come into your pub and with them, an increase in business.
We’ve listed some of the top 7 tips that will help you figure out how to make your customer service flawless:
TIP 1: Talk with your customers – just a few words can go a long way
We know that running a pub is a difficult job that keeps you busy. Especially when it’s rush hour you and your employees are always trying to frantically finish one task after another.
However, you need to remember that taking a few seconds to check in on your customers will improve their experience drastically. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but this small act can make your customer’s experience much better.
There are a huge variety of pubs out there and all of them are trying to draw people in. When customers walk into your pub, just being greeted by a friendly staff will immediately put them in a good mood.
You don’t need to have a full-blown conversation with all of your customers but taking a few minutes to chat with your them and ask if they enjoyed their evening will help to improve your pub customer service.
TIP 2: Optimize your service to run as efficiently as possible
The atmosphere of your pub depends entirely on how smoothly your services can run. It can be really annoying waiting for food and drinks that are taking way too long to come out.
A single missed order can put a damper on a customer’s experience and make them not want to come back. This is why you need to prioritize your efficiency.
How you work will depend on the crowd that comes to your bar. It all depends on your location and your customer base.
Tailor your service to your needs and make it a point to be flexible.
There are always going to be a few tricky customers that are a bit impatient so try to solve this issue by keeping your customers entertained.
For example, karaoke nights are sure to keep your customers interested and give your staff a little extra time to get their orders on the table.
TIP 3: Rectify any mistakes as soon as you can
Running a pub is hard and you’re going to slip up once in a while.
When your pub is packed full of people and you have orders lining up one after the other, you’re bound to miss an order or two. Although you won’t be able to prevent mistakes from happening, you can change how you deal with them.
Once a mistake is brought to your attention a proper response can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Customers understand that this stuff happens so most of the time they’re just telling you about the mistake so that it is corrected.
Take the opportunity to acknowledge your mistake and give the customer some compensation like a free drink. Showing your customers that you care about the service they get is crucial if you want to make your pub customer service excellent.
TIP 4: Have regular meetings with your staff to discuss how the team can improve
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in this business is to leave your employees out of the planning process.
Your staff are usually the ones that are at the front of the line. The waiting staff are going to be the people that customers first interact with and they’re also going to be the people that listen to the customer’s feedback. So, there’s a high probability that if something is going wrong, they’re the first ones to know about it.
Organizing weekly meetings will help you to get all of your staff members on the same page.
Ask your employees a few questions like “how was the overall customer experience? Was there anything in particular that any of our customers liked? Did you get complaints about any particular aspect of our service?”
These discussions will give you an overall understanding of where your pub stands and how you need to alter your service moving forward.
TIP 5: Make use of any feedback that you get to make your pub customer service better
Your customer’s feedback is going to serve as the main indicator of the quality of your service.
Look at each piece of input that you receive and work on it. If your customers like the food but they felt they had to wait for a long time to receive their order, figure out why there was a delay.
Was there an issue with the kitchen staff or the waiting staff? Can certain dishes be prepped ahead of time?
Customer feedback will also give you an overall picture of your customer’s experience.
In case you look at the feedback and see that there are a large number of complaints about one specific issue then you know that this is a serious problem that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.
A simple way to tackle this to introduce a feedback form to your customers so that you can have a constant stream of information about what to do and what not to do.
TIP 6: Technology can be a very useful tool
There are many gadgets and apps that you can use to help your pub customer service improve and become more efficient.
For example, smartphones are an excellent tool that you can use to streamline the ordering process. Certain devices will let your waiters send the orders to your kitchen instantly without having to walk back there.
But that’s not the only way that technology can be used.
Social media is one of the best marketing tools that you can use. You can also use your platforms as a quick and easy means to get some customer service feedback.
Social media platforms aren’t just a way to market your business; they can also help you to keep your audience engaged in your pub.
TIP 7: Build a relationship with your customers
Customers love it when you remember them.
For example, maybe you had a chat with a customer about the football game last night. So, the next time he walks into your bar you can casually ask him what he thought of the latest game.
This customer is probably going to be thrilled that you actually recognized him, and you can be sure that he’ll remember you (and your pub) for a long time.
At the end of the day, pubs are about having a good time with the people you love.
Take some time out of your schedule to get to know some of your regular customers on a more personal level.
If you do, then you’ll be able to build up your customer base and you’ll also form connections with your customers that will last for a long time.
A few final thoughts…
Learning how to implement top-quality customer service is tough because every place is different.
No one blueprint will tell you exactly what you need to do, but hopefully our tips have given you someplace to start.
If you want to figure out what works for you, consistency is going to be key. Good pub customer service depends on how well your staff can adapt to your customers.
One of the exciting things about this business is that you get to interact with your customers and form bonds with them, so do your best to invest time into creating those bonds.
Pubs are a communal place – they’re all about bringing together people to have a fun time. With a bit of hard work and dedication, your pub will be able to become an integral part of your community. We wish you all the best of luck with your endeavors!
In case you’re looking for a surefire way to get customers into your pub, you might want to consider checking out Bloc. We are a platform that gives our customers incentives to go to your pub.
Our app will give you guaranteed results in no time as we actually reward our users for attending, financially.
By paying your patrons to attend via Bloc, it’s going to put them in a good mood from the start and they might just be a little bit more forgiving.