It is no secret that many small business owners are struggling after the pandemic.

After Covid restrictions were lifted in California, we explored the restaurant scene with our friends in Los Angeles.

We all worked in the hospitality industry and have worked in food service. So, we understand everyone is usually doing their best.

We had a great time being out in the world and catching up, but the level of service and overall experience didn’t come close to matching the prices we were paying.

We couldn’t help comparing it to staying at home.

Home is the new competition for businesses.

Over the past year, many people learned how to take their cooking to a whole new level. They ordered a sous vide, upgraded their kitchens, and outfitted their backyards with pizza ovens and built-in wine refrigerators.

In the post-pandemic world, businesses must focus on providing excellent service and an experience that exceeds the comfort of their own homes.

If your business has been feeling the effects of declining traffic, now is the time to reassess your approach and focus on providing an experience that can’t be found at home.

Here are some no-cost ways to level up your service and experience to stay ahead of the competition.

Service Basics

Go back to service basics. Give a little more than what they expected and make it personal. Here’s how:

  • Warmly welcome and greet customers with a smile immediately, showing you are glad they selected your business.
  • Each newly seated table should be welcomed within minutes. Take a moment during that welcome to explain any new service practices that are in place.
  • If your kitchen is backed up or you’re short-staffed, let the customer know. They’ll appreciate it if you’re upfront about the situation.
  • End the experience by sincerely thanking customers for their visit and invite them to return soon.

Customer Experience

Walk around your location with a customer’s eyes and think about ways you can improve the experience.

Here are some ways you can quickly level up your experience and show you are back in business.

  • Are there chairs, tables, or supplies stacked in a corner from when the restrictions were different?
  • Were there signs put up letting customers know how to do business with you, and are they no longer relevant?
  • Are remaining required signs in good condition and do they reflect your brand?
  • Has your website been updated with information customers might be interested in knowing?
  • Are there temporary tents on site that can be taken down or upgraded to become permanent structures?

Employee Experience

With everything that has happened, taking care of your employees has never been more important.

When employees are happy and feel appreciated, they’ll do their best work which benefits your business in the end!

Here are some ways to show your employees you care and are excited to have them on your team.

  • Welcome employees to work every day. Show gratitude that they are there and that they are needed.
  • Recognize and thank employees for their efforts. This will help them feel appreciated and valued.
  • Ask them if they have everything they need to do their job? For example, is their work area clean, comfortable, well lit, or equipped with necessary resources? Is there anything they need to be more successful?
  • Conduct pre-shift meetings and share reminders about the importance of service, teamwork, and customer experience. Ask them to be your eyes throughout their time on shift to make it a memorable experience for all involved parties.
  • Hold post-shift staff meetings, where you can reflect on the day’s successes and be open about what needs to be improved.

In the end, it’s all about great service and experience.

Ultimately, the customer experience and service are more important than ever. How you treat your customers and employees speaks louder than anything else does, so make sure to put in the extra effort!

You may have a new competitor: a customer’s own home.

A place that is less money, with fewer hassles, and better parking.

However, if you provide a great customer experience and an inviting atmosphere, people will likely come back and tell others about it.

It’s time to focus on service and experiences they can’t find at home.

If you’re looking to learn how to better leverage the power of your experience, let us know. Our team is ready and waiting to partner with you with a Reimagine Session, leaving you with insights and ideas you can immediately apply to your business.

Let’s get started today

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