Latest News From Market Force

Latest News

Service Is Twice As Important Than Price When Customers Are Making Recommendations

Mon 5 March 2012
Monday 5 March, Milton Keynes: Research issued today by Market Force Europe - formally Retail Eyes - shows that customers in the UK are twice as likely to recommend a restaurant because of the service given than the price of food or drinks. That expectation cuts both ways, however.

The survey of more than 5,000 UK consumers also revealed that a huge 77% of people have left a restaurant earlier than they had planned due to receiving poor service. The leading cause of poor service? Not food quality, but slow service and lack of attention—both addressable by focusing on training, employee satisfaction and staffing.

When asked what industry they felt delivered the best service, restaurants were rated second out of 10 industries, with 28.28% of the votes; hotels came first with 31.48%.

“It’s great news for the restaurant industry coming second in the industry customer satisfaction poll,” noted Tim Ogle, CEO Market Force Europe, “but the large proportion of people saying they’ve left a  restaurant due to a poor service should be a wake-up call to the industry.”

Good customer service doesn’t have to be expensive. Small, inexpensive changes can have a big impact on whether someone purchases in your restaurant and how much they spend. Ogle points out, “Our research found that more than eight in 10 people feel that staff appearance affects the overall impression of the service received. It’s these little gems of insight that will have an impact on transactions and repeat visits.”

The key findings from the research are:
  • When asked to rate what is most important in a restaurant, 35% of people said service, compared to just 18% citing price
  • Four out of 10 (45%) people also said the biggest frustration was slow service
  • Three out of 10 (31%) people say that staff showing a lack of interest makes them feel dissatisfied with their experience

There are several operators in the industry who have built their business around the importance customer experience, supporting innovative programmes to ensure they are capturing as much feedback as possible from their customers and taking steps to make improvements no matter how small they are. These brands, as a rule, are out-distancing their peers in growth.

“The results of this survey have clearly shown that while restaurants may look to attract customers in with tempting promotions, the service they deliver will have a more lasting impact to brands and businesses within the industry”, noted Ogle. “As restaurants jockey for more of our precious consumer spend, it’s a lesson these better operators are proving the rule.”