A potential customer is anyone wishing to purchase or use your product and/or hospitality services, to meet both their needs and expectations. But how are we supposed to tell them apart from those that may not be interested?
We’ve all been customers in the past, and we have all experienced both good and bad service. In order to ensure that your customers return, you should use your own expectations as a guide. Provide them with the kind of service that you yourself would expect as a customer.
Most customers will decide on a purchase based on the advice and depth of knowledge they receive about the product or service being offered. Being in a position to influence the customer’s decision and provide products or services to meet their needs, you will need to know what products are offered by your organisation, what level of service is expected by your customers, and what product and service options are available to them.
Product knowledge is the understanding of the features and benefits of your products and services. Communication and interpersonal skills play a big part in explaining how these will benefit the customer, and how these will meet their needs.
With the same viewpoint: all customers seek choice, experience, and variety when we are enquiring about items that we are ordering. There is often a myriad of questions we need to ask to either make the experience more enjoyable, or side-items and add-ons we wish to know more about, so that we can make an educated decision to heighten the chances of an enjoyable and repeatable experience.
“I’ll order the Quilpie rack of lamb with the seasonal vegetables and the delmonico potatoes, and my colleague here will have the seared prime rump steak with the caramelised onions and the French fried potatoes. What wine would you recommend we have with that”?
Your job role here is to assist and guide customers through queries such as above, using your own knowledge and experience to provide honest and accurate information. However be aware, your choice may not be what the customer is looking for. You may also need to seek further information from the customer about their preferences, to assist you in making the right recommendation.
Offering advice regarding a wine preference will depend much on your knowledge and skills. Although it may be easier to say simply that you are not fond of wine, being in the business of food and beverage service requires you to have certain knowledge of the products you make available for customers. Knowing even just a simple piece of information about the products will not only positively impact the customers’ experience, but also the regard of the venue and yourself. Gaining knowledge relating to the hospitality industry will make you better equipped to offer sound and accurate advice to your customers.
Providing customers with excellent customer service involves knowing everything there is to know about your products and services. When a customer asks a specific question about a product or service, you should be able to provide them accurate up-to-date information. In some cases, it might be necessary to refer a query to your supervisor, which is perfectly fine so long as the customer’s query can be answered.
Product and service information can be easily obtained through many avenues. From the product itself – by looking at and tasting or using the product you sell, you will be able to develop firsthand knowledge of the quality, value and characteristics of the product, which can then be translated into a healthy recommendation. Seek information from colleagues and even the customers themselves and their feedback. Seek information and/or demonstrations from the supplier. Attend trade fairs. Read packaging and product labels. The internet. Read all promotional material – brochures, flyers, menus, new letters, etc.
Being able to provide a high standard of customer service and knowledgeable recommendations are all basic criteria of your Cert III Hospitality. For all traineeship enquiries including our School-Based Traineeships programme, contact Club Training Australia today.