Fast, but Not Fast Food

Customer service is not all about the eye contact, the smile, and the “soft” aspects of the personal interaction. They are very important, but process is also important.

The restaurant world is a tough business from a customer service perspective, because it has many characteristics of a manufacturing environment as you’re processing the food and getting it out, and timeliness is of the essence. One restaurant chain seems to get it when it comes to process. At least the particular location that I frequent of Monterray’s Mexican restaurant is excellent in their service delivery process.

You walk in and you immediately see where to check-in.  You get waited on quickly; typically within 30 seconds, somebody is leading you to your table. As you are being seated, a second employee is walking up behind the host or hostess with chips and salsa, so that the minute the hostess walks away, you are already eating free chips. The drink orders come quickly, the server frequently comes to you in a non-pushy way to check on your readiness to order. No matter what you order, the food comes out fast — all the time it comes out fast. It’s hot, it’s fresh, and it’s very very good. But this blog is about process, not food quality.

When the chip basket looks nearly empty, the next thing you know it’s been refilled. The water is constantly getting refilled. The check comes quickly, and it’s convenient to pay as well.

We never ask about the training, the processes, the systems, or the internal communications that happen over and over and over again between employees during a typical night at the restaurant. But we know they must be standardized, because the service is so consistent. We know they must work, because the service is so quick. We know employees must be confident in understanding their roles, because the flows between encounters with the servers and other employees in the discussions we have are always seamless.

Monterray’s is a great example of how big an impact an effective customer service process can have on the customer’s experience.

Do your processes help or hinder your customer’s satisfaction?

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/

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