How to Handle Difficult Customers as a Food Truck Owner
When the sun is shining, and your food truck is surrounded by happy customers, signing up with Truckster, the leading food truck finder, might seem like the best idea you ever had.
How about when you get those inevitable demanding customers, though?
Are you able to keep your cool and resolve the problem, or do you end up flying off the handle?
The Customer IS Always Right
The old maxim that the customer is always right might stick in the craw when you know they’re not right. But you should cut your customers some slack any time they have a complaint.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if their complaint is valid or not. Food trucks rely so heavily on word-of-mouth and user reviews to boost business that you don’t want negative feedback if you can avoid it.
Much better for you to go home at night talking about that grumpy customer than for your customer to be talking about you and your food truck in a negative light.
With that principle uppermost, you can help yourself to field common complaints with a little planning and problem-solving in place.
Be Prepared For Difficult Questions
“I paid less last time I came here.”
“Why the hell haven’t you got your most popular item in stock? Why?”
“I want my money back.”
Hopefully, these are not questions you’ll have fired at you regularly but be prepared to explain why you’ve run out of a particular menu item rather than making a snide comment out of anger.
Train any staff you have working your food truck to field questions like these. Make sure you’ve got fixed procedures in place for dealing with refund requests and stick to them.
With challenging questions, preparation is not as much about what you say as how you say it.
In the course of any interaction with a customer, present your best and most professional front. Be prepared for the worst, and it won’t unsettle you on that rare day it crops up. And don’t get angry yourself, no matter what. That will inflame the situation.
Take Feedback Onboard
You should listen carefully any time a customer complains.
With so many food trucks out there and platforms like Truckster giving customers a wealth of choice, you should always bear in mind that pleasing your customers is key to your business not just surviving but thriving.
Think about those times when you’ve raised a legitimate complaint against a business. How did you feel if the employee didn’t appear to listen to what you were saying and bristled when you raised a thorny issue? Chances are you didn’t go back there again to spend your hard-earned money.
By actively listening to what your customer is telling you, even if they’re extremely angry for some reason, you can show them that you care.
Learn From Your Mistakes
In all aspects of life, it’s crucial to learn from your mistakes. It’s no different when you’re running a food truck and listening to customer complains.
If someone moans about long lines, there’s not too much you can do to prevent that happening again. If, on the other hand, they raise a particular food-centered complaint, use this as a valuable opportunity to fix the problem so that you don’t get the same issue rearing its head again.
It’s All About Resolution
Whatever the nature of the complaint, and however difficult the customer, all that ultimately counts is resolving the problem.
You don’t want to start handing out free food as standard any time someone suggests the fries were a little cold or their burger wasn’t cooked precisely to their liking. At the same time, a refund or promise of a free meal the next time they visit can work wonders if used occasionally.
Here at Truckster, we’re not about to tell you how to run your business. However, when you resolve common complaints, stick firmly to this procedure. The last thing you want is a reputation as a food truck owner that will hand out free food at the faintest whiff of a complaint so be sparing with the refunds.
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