Saturday, April 08, 2006

Customer Service - Last Thoughts

In looking back at the great food that we enjoyed and the wonderful service (Check out the previous two blogs) there are a few things that stand out in my mind that set this particular restaurant apart from others.

1. On thing that impressed me as I talked to the manager was the thought that went into picking not only the type of restaurant that they wanted, but the type of food and the way the restaurant would be presented. Although it has changed with time they purposely went after a certain niche market and new who their customers were. In other words they set up a business plan that identified what they wanted, where they were going and how they would get there.

2. They were dynamic in the application of their plan. They were pro active in the way they responded to their identified market and expanded to acquire new market niches by making innovation a part of their business and operating philosophy. They would change and refocus their business plan to meet market needs (the customer) and would from time to time even readjust their strategic goals to enhance their ability to respond to the direction the restaurant would take.

3. They made R&D an inherent part of the business and customer acquisition cycle. Focusing on the way they developed their food, their environment, and served their customer.

4. They weren't afraid to interact directly with their customer and gain first hand insights and feed back that would allow them to identify and meet their customer's needs.

5. They hired open and friendly staff and set a profile for hiring requirements from the beginning as part of their business plan. To get the better employee they paid above scale in wages. What they lost in wages they gained in increased market share.

6. They would sit down with their entire crew including Directors and discuss the business once a week. The employees were empowered with the power to drive the feedback. In other words the employee was their primary feedback instrument. They were the first line of interaction in engaging the customer and the primary resource to recieve customer feedback. This allowed the employees to drive the primary change in the business based on their engaging of the customer and what they learned.

Note: There were many other things they could have done to enhance what they were doing and that would strengthen there market position and maybe at a future date I'll address those. The thing is it wasn't the manager that made it great or was it the owner, but it was the empowerment of the employees and allowing them to be the driver in how the business would react and change. They were not into power plays or wee they afraid of open criticism. All businesses need to take a look at this and this is especially true of small businesses were responding to markets and being proactively involved in dynamic development will either make or brake their business and customer relationships.

Please feel free to comment. If you would like more information on customer service please go to

No comments: