A bartender to plays multiple hats. Customer service is very important in any industry, especially in the bar industry. Sometimes you will be a chaperone, a coach, a server and even a soundboard. There are two important things to remember as a bartender:
- Always make sure your customers are safe.
- Always make sure your customers are satisfied.
There will be times when there is conflict. For example, if you are trying to protect customers safety and it requires for them to be dissatisfied, safety should always come first.
Always make sure your customers are satisfied. Here are some ways to help guarantee you have happy guests..
Always be prepared.
Make sure to always prepare before your shift and after your shift. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer then to hear that a bar is out of stock on their favorite drink. Make sure to cut all your garnishes ahead of time. Always be well-stocked on drinks and glassware.
Learn your drinks.
- When your customers come into a bar, they will expect you to know your drinks. Make sure you take time out to learn all the popular drinks your bar serves, even if you have to write them down.
- Always have a smile upon your face when serving your customers. Take note of the atmosphere. For example, if it seems as though your customers are in the mood to chat, don’t be afraid to engage in conversation.
- Take note of the rooms atmosphere. For example, if it seems as though your customers are in the mood to chat, engage in conversation. However, if your customer seems as though he/she wants to be left alone, avoid conversation.
Take note of your surroundings.
- This includes the music volume, heating or air conditioning levels. It also involves customer behavior. If a customer seems as though he/she it’s getting out of hand, remember, safety comes first.
- Keeping organized will help you to keep track of your transactions. That way, a customer cannot say that he or she did pay for a bill when reality they did not and vice-versa.
Always be available to your customers.
- Make sure you are ‘always’ available to your customers. A customer should not have to walk around the bar in order to find someone to help him/her. You should always be in close proximity of your customer.
Stay away from touchy subjects.
- Avoid giving your opinion on certain subjects, especially if you do not agree with the customer’s beliefs. In other words, stay clear of any subject matter that may cause a rift between you and your customer or a subject matter that may offend your customer.
Don’t be afraid to give samples.
- If your customer seems like he/she cannot make up his/her mind on what drink to purchase, it doesn’t hurt to give samples.
- Always be prepared, you never know when a challenging situation will arise. The key is to make sure your customers are safe and satisfied at all times when they are in your presence.
Handling Unhappy Guests
Regardless of how hard you try, there will be times that you have angry customers. The key is to keep your cool and remain professional. And, never argue with a customer. Here are a few tips to do when your customer is upset:
- Make sure you’re listening to the customer. In fact, show that you are listening to the customer by stopping what you’re doing to listen.
- Take the time out to make sure you understand why they’re upset. Then repeat what they are upset about, this shows that you’re actually listening and you care about their complaint.
- Never match your customers emotions, especially when they’re upset. Make sure you always remain calm.
- Always show your customer that you care. Express that you are also upset that they are displeased. Make sure you express to them that you will do whatever it takes to make sure that the problem is solved.
- If a customer is unruly or violent, you have a right to ask them to leave. This should always be a last resort. Whenever you feel that your safety or the safety of others are in jeopardy that is a sign that it’s time for him/her to leave.
- Whenever a customer comes up to you for a refund, give him her a refund. Just make sure that he/she did not consume the entire drink. You want to avoid customers who take advantage of bartenders by consuming drinks and then asking for refunds when they really enjoyed the drink. Help the customer within reason.
- If a customer complains that there is a problem; for example, if they complain that the taste is too strong or week, offer to mix the drink in front of them.
Always present yourself in a professional manner. Make sure to always show your customers that you care. However, you don’t want to be taken advantage of when a customer is being unruly or unreasonable.