The Service Menu

Menus can tell you a lot about a restaurant.  Some menus have limited choices; some have way too many.  Some have language like “no substitutions,” “salad bar extra,” or “breakfast only served until 10:30 am.”  Some show you pictures of their featured meals; some have crazy entre names like “Whoopee burger” or “Don’s Big Mess.”  There are restaurants that communicate what they think of young guests by the size of their “children’s menu.”  Some laminate their menus giving you the distinct perception choices rarely change.

Customers today evaluate their experience in part by your service menu—the choices and options you provide.  And, they assume all service providers can tailor their experience.  Can you imagine a fast food restaurant flatly refusing to “hold the onions?”  Customers return to service providers that allow them to “have it your way” and avoid those with a “one size fits all” perspective.

Wise service providers base their choices and options on what customers prefer, not on what is organizational convenient.  Granted, they must balance customer preferences and personalization with economic limitations and brand promise.  McDonald’s would not serve you a lobster burger, even if they could get it quickly.  The service providers that create a loyal following continually update their customer intelligence and use it to insure the experience they provide matches the experience their customers prefer.  What can you do to make your “service menu” as memorable as the items on it?

Read what Kasey Wehrum of Fast Company writes about Bill Crutchfield and how he learns from his customers.

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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