The quality of your customer service could make or break a sale, aid or ruin your online presence, and establish or deter a repeat customer. So making it count makes all the difference.

Customer service is paramount in all businesses especially in the hospitality sector. I have gained this view after six years of experience in the hospitality industry, two of those years as a manager or in a senior role.

When I was younger my dad said to me ‘first impressions last’, and after working in hospitality for six years I can safely say his statement rings true.

If someone walks into a café where the employees are looking disinterested in the service, it is can be an automatic downfall of any positive connotations the customer may have had.

If a simple mistake, like a negative first impression is not corrected immediately, it can be very difficult to please the customer and ensure their experience with your business is a positive one. When a regular customer comes in, the customer service shouldn’t waiver. Your regular customers should be treated with the same high level of customer service that a first time customer would receive. This kind of consistency ensures your regular customers return to enjoy the remarkable service you provide. At the end of the day those regular customers are the main reason you can open your doors, providing an exceptional experience for the community.

To earn yourself a good name in business you need to provide a quality product, whether it is a pizza, burger or a winning cocktail. Once you have a product that attracts customers to your business, you will need to back it up with remarkable customer service to draw an audience, creating a buzz for your product and in turn, your business. This process will appeal to customers, attracting them to your venue. If the correct measures are taken then customers will return, again, and again creating your business a regular, satisfied customer.

In my current role as manager at a restaurant, I aim to provide the highest quality standard of customer service in an effort to increase repeat customers. Due to the restaurant being a new business venture, I encourage myself to go the extra mile to really enforce a high standard of customer service. So much so that when I see customers returning I am filled with joy and pride in the knowledge that the customer service and product we provide is favourable enough to come back for seconds.

In this day and age with apps and websites like Trip Advisor, receiving a bad review from one negative interaction can lead to a significant loss in customers. And with the use of social media on the rise, one negative post or review can lead to a loss of returning, or potential customers.

Numerous businesses may even avoid creating a Trip Advisor account to escape any possible negative feedback linked to their account or business. While not everyone who visits the business will post on a Trip Advisor account, those who do, have generally had a negative experience and are keen to post, expressing their disappointment.

So the next time you serve a customer, or are served by someone in the hospitality industry, keep in mind that a positive first impression is what will have customers returning to experience your remarkable service again, and again.

By Matt McNally