Creating Unique and Valuable Customer Experiences
3 Min Read By Tal Postelnik Baum
Bellina Alimentari offers several different dining options to give guests exactly what they want, when they want – whether that’s eating at the wine bar, picking up a panini to enjoy on the patio or buying authentic Italian ingredients to make fresh pasta at home. Whatever the scenario, it’s important to keep customer service top of mind, knowing that you can always change a negative experience into a positive one. We follow these three guidelines to keep our guests happy:
Listen to the Customer
Get to know your guests. Ask for feedback and listen to their needs. Do they want healthier menu options? Faster service? Find out exactly what they are looking for and make adjustments. At Bellina, we are always coming up with new ideas for our Culinary Club cooking classes. We realized that talking to our customers is the best place to find inspiration. They tell us the types of classes they want to take, we create the curriculum and then see the classes sell out time and time again. Not only does customer feedback improve their guest experience, it also builds a relationship between the guest and the business owner, which leads to loyalty and repeat visits. Remember, your customers will always be your loudest cheerleaders.
Your employees are your brand ambassadors and should be delivering your vision in everything they do – from cleaning tables to explaining that night’s special. You want your team to be excited to be part of your business, and as a result, make the guest excited about their experience. Every guest experience will not be perfect. We’re human. But it is up to us to correct those negative situations quickly and professionally.
Think about how you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. For example, we recently had a guest wait too long for their food. To “sweeten” their meal we offered a complimentary dessert. It’s all about taking responsibility for your own errors and making it up to the guest in a way that is memorable and acceptable.
Pay Attention to Details
Consider every detail of the customer experience. How do they feel the moment they enter your business and the moment they leave? We always try to go above and beyond for our clients – so that their experience is outstanding. We refuse to take shortcuts to eliminate costs that take away from our services. We source our ingredients from local farms and serveware from a local pottery studio. Even the tiniest of details adds to the customer service we provide.
Offer Payment Choice
We accept all credit cards as forms of payment to make this part of the customer experience as convenient as possible. Some of our customers are very loyal with their card choices – especially American Express – and limiting payment options would be potentially frustrating for our patrons. This is especially true for our lunch crowd, where our customers use a full variety of cards. If we were specific about not accepting one card or another, we would undoubtedly lose business.
The most rewarding part of my job is hearing customers say they had the best dining experience at my restaurant. We founded Bellina Alimentari on the belief that every meal should be an amazing experience, and quality and ethics never need to be compromised in the pursuit of value. We strive to achieve this vision every day to provide our customers with a unique experience. By listening to our guests, educating our employees and paying attention to the details, we are able to deliver.