customers

Overstaffed or understaffed? Here are the signs

March, 2016

Understaffed or overstaffed? When it comes to building rosters you want to be as accurate as possible when forecasting future staffing requirements. Time again, we’ve seen rosters being created based on instinct and manager experience.

Negligence can lead to a substantial increase in costs for your business.

Often you’ll hear your employees say, “you just missed the big rush!” only to find later on that your sales figures prove otherwise. Trying to find a happy medium to combat the chance of employees standing around doing nothing, versus being completely rushed off their feet is no easy task.

Here’s a few things to watch out for:

  • Employee burnout

Typically, if you’re understaffed you’ll find your employees are burnt out. Being consistently rushed off their feet will most likely lead them to end up resenting the job.

  • A drop in service levels

Often as a direct result of being burnt out, when you’re understaffed your employees won’t be able to match the activity level happening within your business. Bad service can lead to unhappy customers – and you don’t want that! It’s important to keep your customers happy – they’re your biggest source of revenue.

  • Financial impact

Do you think that if you checked at the end of each day, you would find that the rostered hours of your employees would match the same percentages of activity level each day? It’s important to make sure that you’re optimally scheduling your staff against the variations and fluctuations in demand.

Mistakes are costly. Taking more care in building your rosters will see increases in overall service levels and efficiency. The result? A reduction in labour costs, an increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in overall profit.

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7 Reasons Why You Might Be Losing Customers

January, 2015

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning - customer loyalty

Take a moment to imagine you’ve been given the task of being a mystery shopper for one night. Your job is to go in and assess multiple aspects of a venue: its employees, its food and beverage, the decor, the atmosphere – the works. What is it you think that makes up a memorable experience? There’s a number of things that fit into the psychology of a customer and certain factors that make up their perception of you.

Let’s create a short list of things that may become apparent to you during your visit that could contribute to a bad experience, and how a business can contribute to a loss in customers.

  • Your customer can find the same quality for a lower price elsewhere
  • You potentially haven’t remedied any negative online reviews
  • You aren’t working on establishing an emotional attachment between the business and the customer
  • You’ve lost your ‘wow’ factor
  • You’re not listening to your customers
  • There’s a lack of atmosphere within the venue
  • Product knowledge – are your employees trained and knowledgeable on the products they are trying to sell?

Remember to constantly measure your results. There is always room for improvement, and those businesses that are able to quickly identify areas that may be lacking are the ones who are going to hold the top spot. With the nature of the industry changing so frequently, it’s imperative that you are always monitoring your progress and consistently working to develop a competitive advantage within your line of work.

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Tips For Attracting New Customers To Your Business

January, 2015

The customer's perception is your reality. I’m sure we all remember using acrostic poems growing up. This week we’ve chosen to discuss the topic of customers in acrostic form! Here’s some tips to help you attract new customers to your venue.

C – Is for customer service. Are you surprised this is the first point? This is the most crucial ingredient in making certain that your customer leave and give your venue wonderful recommendations!

U – Is for utilizing loyalty programmes. These are a great way to create value for customers both old and new.

S – Is for starting small. Don’t throw yourself into any new initiative full steam ahead. Start small and once you begin to see successes, begin to expand on these initiatives.

T – Is for ‘try pay it forward’. It’s okay to take a cut in profits sometimes. It’s nice to give something back once in a while and customers like this. It shows them you’re not all about their money.

O – Is for organising an event. An event is a great way to get traffic through the door and allows people to see your venue pumping and enables you to establish a vibe and atmosphere for the place.

M – Is for measure. Measure everything. How is your turnover looking? Measure your results is you implement anything new, or you change anything related to your service. By doing this you allow yourself to make changes in real time so that there’s no time or resources wasted.

E – Is for execute your advertising initiative effectively. Make sure all your advertising efforts are relative to your industry. Think seriously about your clientele and what they would want to read/hear.

R – Is for referrals and networking. Take advantage of any relationship you have with those around you. Talk about your business with friends and family. Do the same for them – mutual referrals are great for generating foot traffic.

S – Is for strategic alliances. Make connections and deals with industry competitors and benefit from each other’s established resources and clientele.

The 4 Things Customers Really Want From You

September, 2014

It's important to have plans in place that support customer loyalty and retention.

When it comes to doing business today, a lot of power has been placed back into the hands of the customer, leaving little room for error for businesses. With the increasing prevalence of technology and the inter connectedness of customers with businesses, those working within the service industry have to keep on their toes.

Here’s 4 things to make sure you’re doing properly in order to keep your customers loyal!

Employee Knowledge/Recommendations

Ensure your employees are given training opportunities to learn all they possibly can about your product and/or services. In a bar restaurant setting, it’s particularly nice when staff give personal recommendations and can comment on the products they are selling. A personal touch shows that you want your customer to have a really great time.

Problem Resolution

Mistakes are inevitable and are they are going to happen whether we like it or not. How we deal with these mistakes is how the customer determines whether or not they will be returning. Problems that are dealt with quickly and attentively show that you care about remedying the situation. If you are prepared to offer a quick solution or even prepared to take loss and offer a discount or voucher for example, shows that as a business you care about how your service is received.

Added Value

What is it that you offer that better than the next place? What are you doing that’s different and gets customers hooked? Ensure that you are reliable and keep true to your promises. If you set the standard at a certain level, make sure you keep hitting that target to make sure you don’t come out looking greedy. Look for ways to add both tangible and intangible value.

Make them feel important

The old saying “treat your oldest customers like royalty” is very true. A significant amount of your turnover comes from this group. But it’s important to keep investing in growing this group also, so treat every new customer as someone that you want to nurture through to the same stage. The more customer you nurture = the greater the long term revenue! It’s a win-win. Customers also appreciate a human element in their dealings with you, so try and put yourselves in their shoes and think about the things you would like should you ever be on the other side of the service deal.

So there you have it. Four easy elements to incorporate into your business that can help you better your service transactions and increase that customer loyalty and retention!

If you are after some more information on customer loyalty and would like some more tips, take a read of one of our blog posts “6 Hurdles Hospitality Managers Commonly Face – Customer Loyalty” for more info!

 

Stop Losing Direction And Focus On The Simple

September, 2014

Make sure you do one thing - and do it well.

It’s not uncommon to want to be everything to everyone. It’s also not uncommon to feel the pressure to perform when you’re surrounded by successful people. The difference however is that successful people follow the right recipe.

Being great isn’t good enough anymore. You have to be outstanding if you want to be heard amongst the noise. We live in a world where society increasingly feels the pressure of information overload.

The quote “jack of all trades, but a master of none” resonates incredibly well with this idea. The more you try to do, the less efficient you become. You need to do one thing really, really well.

Find the areas where your ability and skill intertwine with your passion – it is here where you then become uniquely qualified to help people in that area.

The key to this?

We all know how important it is to set goals. But, let’s take this a little further. Start by pulling apart your goals into smaller areas and jot down the different ways that are going to help you reach these goals. I guarantee that if you forget about the end goal and focus solely on the different ways and mechanisms that aid you in getting there – you’ll be experiencing success faster than you ever knew possible.

Forget the goals, and focus on the systems that get you there. By doing this you not only create for yourself the ability to be heard above the noise, but you’re now also able to reach your goals in a way that generates a much greater impact on your customers.

Try and be everything to everyone, and you will not be trusted in the eyes of your customers. Be the best at one thing – and become one of the most trusted and successful players within your market.

Moral of the story? Make it simple.

6 Hurdles Hospitality Managers Commonly Face (And How To Overcome Them) – Part Six

August, 2014

Make sure you execute your communication strategy effectively within your hospitality business.

HURDLE SIX:  COMMUNICATION

Technological developments are occurring so often now, that it’s hard to put a plan in place that’s likely to be around for very long. With the development of websites such as Trip Advisor, Dine Out and Facebook, reviews and comments are put out into a world-wide forum every day. As a result, a lot of power has been placed in the hands of the customer, leaving an almost non-existent gap for error within the hospitality industry.

Your customers are both your greatest and worst critics. In order to survive, hospitality managers must embrace these online platforms in order to keep up with industry competition. In this day and age it’s not uncommon for all generations to be educated on how to use the internet, and declaring one’s feelings and thoughts online is a growing trend.

Review websites are a tangled web of positive and negative reviews of bars and restaurants, and it takes a very trained and unbiased eye to filter through those comments that you know “may be a little over the top”, or “slightly inaccurate.” How hospitality managers deal with these is pivotal in how they are received by the general public. Businesses must remain mature when they know a patron or diner is inflating the truth, and remain diplomatic when they know that a customer’s “bad experience” may have simply been out of their control.

Social media channels also provide a quick and effective way for bars and restaurants to communicate with their customers. Just think back to the days where most businesses had to rely on word of mouth to get themselves known, because who really wanted to pay an exorbitant amount of money on paper advertising to promote a special that would probably change within the next fortnight? Whilst I’m not saying that paper and magazine advertising is not effective – in such a competitive market today it does hold a great importance especially when used in conjunction with online communication.

There’s often such an overload of information that needs to be communicated to the public, whether it’s about new drink specials, menu changes, hiring opportunities or certain advertising events. It’s important to use the platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. These online forums were turned to primarily for an  individual’s personal and recreational use, but the growing influence now of businesses on these websites is here to stay and joining in with this trend is paramount in order to keep up with the competition within your industry.

Solution – Make sure it’s someone’s job to monitor all online channels for reviews. Thank those who give you good reviews, and to those who choose to get colourful with their negative comments, it’s still important to acknowledge this feedback. All feedback is useful at the end of the day. How you deal with it is what will make or break you as a business. Use social media to put your establishment on the radar and engage and connect with potential customers on an emotional level.

A lot of these social media channels are free. How you choose to use them is your choice, but I suggest dedicating time to making your pages ‘user-friendly.’ Be informative, be engaging and be emotive. Get amongst it – and get your business out there!

So there you have it. 6 hurdles hospitality managers commonly face. Next time you are at a bar, and a staff member goes out of their way to give you great service or you order a meal that you really enjoyed – let someone know. People generally are very quick to complain, and gratuity these days is often a forgotten thing.

Finally, to all you managers – give these solutions a go! You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to overcome these hurdles.

If you feel like you may be wasting time and money on planning and communicating rosters to your staff, it may be time to take the next step to really taking control of your business. Let us help you better track your financial costs and assist you in saving time and money in the production and communication of your rosters. Give our free trial a go here.

6 Hurdles Hospitality Managers Commonly Face (And How To Overcome Them) – Part Four

August, 2014

Responding to a crisis can be a difficult task for hospitality managers

HURDLE NUMBER FOUR:  RESPONDING TO A CRISIS

Another ability that falls under the hospitality manager’s umbrella of many talents is their ‘quick-to-think’ attitude. Let’s take a moment, and imagine you are sitting at a leaner in a busy bar, the line to get a drink is about four people deep, and the queue to pay at the Maitre’ D station is growing. Suddenly, the Eftpos terminals crash. You can see everyone starting to get annoyed, patience is faltering and frustrated customers are considering leaving.

It takes a lot of patience to deal with these sorts of situations as a manager, especially when you have disgruntled patrons wanting another drink, and you are running the risk of diners walking out without paying. It takes an experienced person with a calm and competent attitude to fix situations such as this one, where a large amount of money and customer satisfaction is on the line. It’s a make or break moment.

I’ve seen instances such as this dealt with in a multitude of ways. Some good, and some not so good. Often I’ve seen customers’ being told to wait a considerably long period of time until the situation is remedied. Other times, those with credit cards kindly offered their card details over to the manager, took a receipt with them and they were on their way; and the charge would simply be put through later when things were up and running again. I’ve also witnessed patrons who have used a crisis such as this as a way to get out of paying and have simply gotten up and left.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you consider is right from the customer point of view. As for managers, situations like these are important to remind you how crucial it is to know what system you use, how to fix it, or what to do if it can’t be fixed immediately.

Solution: Be prepared. Make sure you have plans in place for any sort of crisis that may happen. These incidents show patrons how organised you are when it comes to dealing with situations like these. For the majority of us, we don’t mind waiting at all if the incident is dealt with professionally and promptly. 

The contingency plans you put in place must be tested and recorded for future incidents. Once you have set plans, ensure your staff are informed of these plans too, so everyone is up to date on how to respond to any sort of crisis that may occur.

So there you have it – a few suggestions on how to respond to a crisis within your hospitality venue. Next up we will be discussing Hurdle Five – Prioritising.

Want to take the next step towards becoming a manager that’s more in control of your business? Click here to start a free trial of goRoster, and see how rostering plays a crucial role in the success of your venue.

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