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Is Your Restaurant Being Robbed By The Busy Signal Bandit?

Copyright (c) 2007-2021

It is Friday night, the busiest evening of the week and your phone is ringing off the hook. Your dining room is full. Your counter is three deep and there is a line extending out your door. Your staff is frantically trying to keep up with demand and the sound of cash flowing into your register tells you that all is well with your business.

But is it?

The constant ringing of your phone can send another message besides the popularity of your food. If you haven't taken the proper steps, it can mean that some of your customers are hearing a busy signal.

Suppose that Joe Smith is one of your customers who decided to order a pizza from you tonight. At 6pm he called your shop and got a busy signal. Unluckily for Joe, Sally Jones had dialed just seconds earlier and she was on the last available phone line giving her own order.

Joe waited a few minutes and tried once more. He heard a busy signal again. This time it is Sam Peterson who is talking to you. At first, Sam got a busy signal too, but Sam immediately began hitting his redial button every 15 seconds and got through just seconds after another customer hung up.

Meanwhile, Jake Kelly tried calling you and he heard busy signals as well.

Now it is a race between Jake and Joe. Jake wins, which is unfortunate since while Jake was only mildly annoyed, Joe was becoming increasingly upset.

Finally, after 15 minutes of trying to get through to you, Joe gave up and called one of your competitors.

If scenarios like this happen over your phones, you are losing business. Let's take a look at what the above events mean to you.

First, you have three irritated customers, from the mildly annoyed Jake to the extremely upset Joe.

No one likes to sit in front of their phone hitting redial. No one likes to hear repeated busy signals. No one likes to call their favorite pizza restaurant and repeatedly fail to get through.

Second you lost business. Tonight at any rate, Joe went elsewhere for his pizza. Maybe he'll be back, maybe not. But if it happens to him again, will he keep returning?

No business owner wants to annoy his or her customers. I know how hard it is to keep up with the Friday evening rush, but there are some actions you can take to manage the crush of calls during your peak hours.

The simplest and most obvious solution is to get more phone lines. Your phone company can set it up so everyone dials the same number, but the calls will come in on whichever phone line is available. if all your phones are busy, the phone company can give callers your recorded message.

If you are a very small operation, this is probably the least expensive option to keep up with peak hour calls.

If you are a larger and busier shop, you may want your own phone system. This is a box that has several telephone lines coming into it from the phone company. It manages delivering incoming calls to your telephones. If you have 3 telephones but 5 lines from the phone company coming into your telephone system, the fourth and fifth callers will still have to wait on hold, but they don't have to hear busy signals or dead silence.

Your telephone system can give waiting customers music or better yet, a sequence of announcements such as descriptions of your specials and offers. When one of your phones becomes available a waiting customer's call will then ring at that phone.

One problem with adding more phones is that this requires more of your staff people to answer them, usually when they are already trying to handle several other tasks at the same time. It creates more work without giving them additional resources to manage it.

Fortunately, there is a tool that can actually help reduce the workload on your staff. Send your overflow customers to online ordering. Either your recorded announcement from the phone company or one of your phone system sequenced messages can tell waiting customers to visit your website and order online.

Online orders are entered by the customers themselves and sent directly to your fax machine, ready for your kitchen to prepare. This can be a tremendous relief on Friday and Saturday nights, when your employees are already at their busiest.

It is also a tremendous convenience for your customers. They can browse your online menu at leisure and not have to deal with stressed out employees over the phone.

The importance of giving your customers easy and convenient ordering options cannot be overstated. If you eliminate busy signals, avoid leaving customers on hold listening to dead air and provide an online ordering option, you will certainly increase your revenue and keep your customers happy and coming back for more.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Rudy Vener is the president and founder of Pizza Galaxy. Pizza galaxy's services delight restaurant owners and their customers alike by making it fun and easy for a restaurant's customers to order online and helping restaurant owners build close relationships with customers. Visit rudy's website at http://www.pizzagalaxy.com to learn how he can help your restaurant and to read other articles, such as one on how to fuel your delivery vehicle for free.

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Last Distribution Date:
2007-07-20 14:12:00

Internal ID: #5106





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