Customer Service Tips for Bars, Part II
Bar owners, we’re back with more customer service tips to help build your business. In another post, we recently shared 10 customer service tips for bars. While that advice was helpful, it’s not the complete list of what you need to succeed. That’s why were back with 10 more tips for bar owners. While having customer service tips and techniques is good, it’s only half the equation. You and your staff have to train and practice what you learn here until it becomes habit. When you do, you’ll be known as the bar crew with excellent customer service skills.
Bar owners and managers, here are 10 more customer service tips and tricks to try at your bar or pub:
- Remember Your Regulars: If you’re an owner who’s at your business every day, you might your regulars’ names committed to memory. If you don’t, you better get busy learning them. The theme song to the TV show Cheers made a great point about bar ownership – people want to go where everybody knows their name. It makes them feel welcomed and appreciated. Make it a priority to do this, and ask your staff to do the same. You might even want to take notes on your regulars, including their favorite drinks and other preferences.
- Get the Drink Ready: Since the last point was about your regulars, consider this one a follow up. Do you have a customer who comes in at the same time every day and orders the same drink? If so, you should have that person’s favorite drink waiting for them when they walk in. This is a great way to make your regular customers feel appreciated and special. It will also go a long way toward encouraging them to keep coming back.
- Honor Special Requests: Here’s yet another one for your regular customers. Do you have one who wants to try a drink that you don’t carry in your bar? For example, maybe they’re interested in the latest oak barrel-aged hefeweizen with light raspberry notes made by the newest microbrewery. It wouldn’t kill you to order a six pack to let him try it. If he likes it, and is a loyal regular, you’ll know just how much to order to keep that regular happy.
- Confidentiality is Key: In the real world, people have love affairs. It might not be right or moral, but it happens. If you own a bar in a small town, your business might be the place were these illicit meetings begin. It can be upsetting to watch – especially is you know the people who will be hurt by this – but you still must be discrete. Never discuss these things with your staff or customers. And tell your staff not to discuss this at work. Once you earn the reputation as a gossip, no one will want to come to your bar.
- Always Be Visible: It’s very important for your floor staff to be seen by customers at all times. Even if they’re standing there doing nothing at the moment, they need to make sure they’re seen. Why? Because customers hate not being able to find a waitperson when they need something. (You know you’ve felt this way before when you were at a restaurant.) Make your bar be the exception to the rule by having a wait staff that’s always available for its customers.
- The Importance of Hand Sanitizer: Are you a germaphobe? If so, then you should understand how other people might also feel this way. If you’re not, there are ways that you can improve the customer experience for those who are. It’s very easy, too. Have a few bottles of antibacterial hand sanitizer around the bar as well as in your bathrooms. Your customers will appreciate the opportunity to keep their hands clean and sanitized in your bar.
- Be Prepared: No matter how great your bar is, you and your staff will always have a bad day. This results in customer complaints: food, drinks, service, particular staff member, etc. The first thing you have to do is listen to your customer’s complaints. The second thing you and your team needs are some pre-set responses to your customers in each of these situations. You must sit down and come up with these responses, then train your staff in how to use them until it becomes automatic. These responses should usually be enough to pacify the customer until you and your staff actually solve their issue.
- Breaking the Rules: If you have a customer who has an unusual or difficult request, what do you say to them? Many of he bar owners we talked to said they play a little mind game that’s designed to make their guests feel appreciated. The most popular one is called the “rulebreaker.” Let’s say a customer asks for something that’s a bit outrageous. You or your staff should pull that person aside and say, “Well, the rules here say that I can’t, but I’ll do this just because it’s for you.” Are you really breaking the “rules?” Of course not. What you’re doing is making a customer feel special and appreciated.
- “Thanks for Waiting:” Having a busy bar is a good thing for owners. One downside, however, is that your customers sometimes have to wait for service or a drink because of the crowd. Believe it or not, something as simple as saying “Thanks for waiting” to each of your customers when it gets busy can go a long way. Acknowledging their feelings like this shows that you care, and it might even make them feel sympathetic toward your busy staff. Saying this is an easy way to make a great impression.
- Last Call Etiquette: While you and your staff love shouting “last call” at the end of the night. (Everyone wants to get home after a long day at work.) Hearing those words can be a huge disappointment to your customers. As far as they’re concerned, the party is just getting started. Sometimes, people become angry and refuse to leave. This is why it’s a good idea to give customers at least half an hour notice before you stop serving. This helps them ease into the reality of closing time.
Bonus Tip – Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Bars:
Having good cell phone connectivity in your bar helps your business. How many times has someone texted their friends, “I’m at this bar! Come and see me.” Think about every time someone uses their phone to put a band on Facebook live. This is free promotion for your bar… as long as you have the connectivity. A cell booster helps you do that by reducing dropped calls, missed texts, and slow or interrupted data.
Cell signal boosters consist of an outdoor antenna, booster, and indoor antenna, and work like this:
- The outdoor antenna accesses voice and 3G, 4G, and LTE data signal and delivers it to the booster.
- The booster receives the signal, amplifies it, and sends it to the indoor antenna.
- The indoor antenna broadcasts the signal throughout your bar.
- This process works in reverse each time customers make a call or send data.
Cellular phones are not a fad, they’re a way of life for many people. This is why bar owners must have a business that’s cell phone friendly. Simply put, it’s a small investment that will pay big in plenty of free advertising for your bar or pub.
Signal Connect is your Cell Booster Source
Are you interested in putting a cellular signal booster in your bar? Signal Connect can help! The online electronics retail division of our company carries a variety of these devices from SureCall, weBoost, and WilsonPro. We can match your bar with the ideal cell signal booster. Our reps can also offer plenty of installation advice if you need it, or match you with a local installation professional. If you have any questions about cell phone boosters for bars and restaurants, just call us at 866-726-4182.