Raising the BaristaRaising the Barista
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By Justin McGurgan

Six Steps To Feedback Success

1. Accept responsibility – ‘Take the opportunity’

This is an opportunity to rectify a service fault that may not have otherwise been brought to your attention. From the moment that you are aware that the guest has some negative feedback, accept responsibility for the outcome of the issue. That means that no matter what your role is within the business you are going to see it through to a successful outcome.

2. Listen (empathy) – ‘Put yourself in their shoes’

While you are listening to the guest ask yourself this How would I feel if I was in the same situation as this guest?”

Show the guest that you are taking in what they are saying; you can do this by:

  • eye contact
  • nodding your head
  • verbally acknowledging the guest
  • showing a look of concern (genuine)
  • if necessary, taking notes.

3. Respond – ‘Show your concern’

When responding to the guest’s feedback, never be flippant. No matter what the nature of the feedback is, it should be treated as the most important thing in the guest’s life. When responding to the guest’s feedback we should show genuine concern. In order to show the guest that you are serious about resolving their issue repeat the information back to the guest, to ensure that you have the facts straight. Only when you are confident that you have all the information you require from the guest, should you move on to the next step.

4. Decide on action – ‘Make a decision’

The action you will need to take will depend on a number of different variables.

  • Can you solve it yourself or should you pass it on to your superior?
  • Have you been empowered to deal with some issues but not with others?
  • What is the nature of the feedback, is it service related, attitudinal, mechanical or other?

5. Take action – ‘Do it now!’

Don’t delay in speaking to whomever you need to, so as to resolve the issue.

    • Don’t get caught up with other phone calls or any other issues until you have taken whatever action you are empowered to take.
    • Don’t serve anyone else until you have taken action on this issue.
    • Do whatever is necessary to solve the problem.
    • Do tell the guest what you are doing to address their feedback.
    • Do inform all relevant team members of all necessary action that has been taken.

6. Follow up – ‘It’s not over yet’

At the start of this process you agreed to take responsibility for the outcome of this issue.

No matter what action you took you still have an obligation to follow-up. If back at the ‘Take action’ stage the only action you could take was to pass on the feedback to your manager, you still have a role to play now.

Follow-up could mean any or all of the following:

  • going up to the guest and asking them if they are happy with the outcome
  • asking your manager what he/she did to rectify the situation
  • putting systems into place to prevent the same negative feedback from being given again
  • increasing training to minimise a reoccurrence of the incident
  • making sure all relevant team members are aware of the outcome of the issue.

If the guest, for whatever reason is still not happy with the outcome from the action taken, you must go back to step two and follow the procedure through again. It is not necessary to go all the way back to step one as you have already taken responsibility.

About justin-mcgurgan
About Justin - author of Raising The BARista Justin McGurgan is a hospitality industry ‘tragic’ (veteran) who foresees possibilities and sets the pace. He is passionate about the hospitality industry, loves awesome customer service and helping hospitality venues unlock their true potential. His enduring passion is to show industry friends that an outstanding culture is absolutely profitable and energises the hospitality industry making it a powerful source of truly fantastic experiences for everyone it touches. Justin has spent his entire working life from the age of 16 working in and with hospitality venues around Australia. His industry knowledge combined with management skills gained from front line, management and development roles in clubs, casinos, and hotels, provides the depth of expertise required to remain at the forefront of the hospitality industry’s evolution and progress. After 30 years in hospitality Justin is still 101% driven to build a superlative service culture.

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