New Service Lessons from One of the Oldest Restaurants in the Country

New Service Lessons from One of the Oldest Restaurants in the Country

exceptional customer service is timelessThe longevity of exceptional customer service

I recently had dinner in what is possibly my favorite restaurant in the world. It is a place I don’t get to very often but is truly special. The Maître d’ has been there for about 60 years which means he has done that for, literally, my entire life. I remember him from when I was a kid. And while I doubt he remembers me, he always makes me feel like we are daily friends.

Make memorable customer service your culture

That is what service is all about. No matter what the reality, make the customer feel like they are not only the most important thing in your life— but the only thing. This restaurant does that, and they keep teaching that culture over and over and over again. That might be the most amazing thing about the experience they create.

The most traditional and historic of businesses goes all-in on technology

I was telling this story to a friend, and they asked me to think about how technology has changed the service world. That gave me some pause but the next night we ate there, the technology question was answered, too. We were chatting with our waiter and were singing their praises. And he looked at me and asked for a high rating on the post-dinner survey that we would get in a week or so. He said their ratings (which I presume means something in terms of how the fixed gratuity charge is shared) are almost exclusively determined by customer comments via email survey responses.

New Technology can take service furtherEven historic businesses are tech-savvy— shouldn’t yours be too?

Wow. A business established before the Declaration of Independence with service longevity beyond my life years is totally relying on social media and web sources for feedback. They’ve fully infused new technology into the attentive service they’ve become known for (over centuries). It’s a great example of adaptation, leveraging new tools to further advance a long-standing tradition that has set them apart. And they’ve done so without damaging the personal, “customer first” experience. 

That is a lesson all retail businesses should pay attention to. It also means we should pay attention to the infrastructure necessary to support those processes. Which means POS. Which means —at the least— an iPad-based system. The days of being able to do customer service without electronics are gone. Even in places that have been around longer than the Declaration of Independence. 

How can you use technology in pursuit of exceptional customer service? Share your ideas and let us know what "new service" tactics are working for you in the comments.

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Image credits: First ©Canva, Second © stokkete / 123RF Stock Photo; both modified by filter, resizing and text overlay.

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