Tuesday, 14 January 2014 23:37

Interview Question for Waiters/Waitresses: How to Handle Dissatisfied Customers

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Interview Question for Waiters and WaitressesNo matter how hard you try, if you’re a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, you’re going to have to deal with dissatisfied customers sometimes. After all, you can’t control certain factors such as the quality of the food. Therefore, as an applicant for a waiter or waitress position, you should expect this question from your interviewer: “How would you handle a guest who is upset with their meal?” The interviewer wants to know if you have a good attitude and right amount of patience to do this job.

 

To help you answer this question, consider these ways to handle this kind of situation:

  • Learn to listen.

Whatever the customer has to say, listen to it carefully. You need to show that you’re listening even if you can’t solve the problem. In many cases, the customer just needs to vent.

  • Use body language.

Actions speak louder than words, and the way you stand and look at a complaining customer can make a big difference. Maintain eye contact and don’t cross your arms or put your hands on your waist. Also, refrain from rolling your eyes. Nod and smile instead, no matter how annoyed you feel.

  • Make an apology.

Say you’re sorry, and make it sincere. Tell the customer that you understand and you’d like to resolve the situation. It will also help if you keep a smile on your face while you say these things.

  • Offer some freebies.

After apologizing, you can offer them some sort of compensation such as a freebie that won’t cost the restaurant much money but will go a long way toward keeping the customer happy. These freebies may be free round of drinks, a free dessert, a gift certificate for their next visit, merchandise (beer glass, T-shirt, etc.), or a percentage off of their bill.

You have to keep in mind that in this line of business, customers will always be right. So show the interviewer how you value this principle by following the tips mentioned above. The way you handle customer complaints will determine whether the customer will come back to the restaurant. Knowing this, and being able to explain it to the interviewer, is what will get you hired.

No matter how hard you try, if you’re a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, you’re going to have to deal with dissatisfied customers sometimes. After all, you can’t control certain factors such as the quality of the food. Therefore, as an applicant for a waiter or waitress position, you should expect this question from your interviewer: “How would you handle a guest who is upset with their meal?” The interviewer wants to know if you have a good attitude and right amount of patience to do this job.

To help you answer this question, consider these ways to handle this kind of situation:

  • Learn to listen.

Whatever the customer has to say, listen to it carefully. You need to show that you’re listening even if you can’t solve the problem. In many cases, the customer just needs to vent.

  • Use body language.

Actions speak louder than words, and the way you stand and look at a complaining customer can make a big difference. Maintain eye contact and don’t cross your arms or put your hands on your waist. Also, refrain from rolling your eyes. Nod and smile instead, no matter how annoyed you feel.

  • Make an apology.

Say you’re sorry, and make it sincere. Tell the customer that you understand and you’d like to resolve the situation. It will also help if you keep a smile on your face while you say these things.

  • Offer some freebies.

After apologizing, you can offer them some sort of compensation such as a freebie that won’t cost the restaurant much money but will go a long way toward keeping the customer happy. These freebies may be free round of drinks, a free dessert, a gift certificate for their next visit, merchandise (beer glass, T-shirt, etc.), or a percentage off of their bill.

You have to keep in mind that in this line of business, customers will always be right. So show the interviewer how you value this principle by following the tips mentioned above. The way you handle customer complaints will determine whether the customer will come back to the restaurant. Knowing this, and being able to explain it to the interviewer, is what will get you hired.

 

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