Customer Service at Sea
May01

Customer Service at Sea

Customer experience lessons enhanced by the open ocean. With all the trouble in the “friendly skies” lately, many travelers are considering vacation transportation alternatives.  One such creative option is to take to the water aboard Carnival Cruise Lines.  Having just disembarked from our families’ third cruise vacation, I can safely say that Customer Service is alive and well on the emerald seas.  It’s mind-blowing to consider all the work that goes in behind the scenes to create an effort-free vacation for the guests aboard.  Carnival has a bit of a reputation in the industry as being the “party boat,” however from my experience they are simply very good at accommodating all types of passengers (spring-breakers included). When you’re stuck on a ship for seven days, there’s bound to be at least one moment when you find yourself at guest services.  Mine came as we were waiting for dinner and I noticed someone had left their purse in a public area.  I returned the purse to guest services where an exceptionally kind gentleman named Chaimongkon showed a great deal of gratitude for the action performed.  As I was filling out a form, an older gentleman abruptly grabbed the purse off the desk, muttered something about it being his wife’s, and scowled at both of us.  The rudeness of the man left Chaimongkon and I in momentary shock.  Later that evening, I returned to my room to find a handwritten note from Chaimongkon thanking me for returning the purse and a gift of two drink vouchers.  His kindness turned a sour moment into a memorable service experience.  This highlights just a few examples of what makes Carnival agents so good at their uniquely challenging jobs: The emotional intelligence of the agent to witness the rudeness of another guest, and then putting forth the effort to make it right   The ability of a front-line agent to make an executive decision, and provide a monetary gift as an extension of goodwill The timeliness and logistics by which he made these things happen One of the most powerful things about the guest experience is the consistency.  Chaimongkon fit right in with his shipmates – all of whom held themselves to this same standard.  And it was not just at the guest services desk either….both my daughters favorite crew member was “Waterslide Walter” who made their time in the water playground an absolute blast.  The entire dining team blew us away.  Despite a grueling all day and most of the night schedule, they went above and beyond on every detail. By this point, the service professional in me came out and I had to...

Read More
A Promise of Positivity
Mar20

A Promise of Positivity

  I took my promise of positivity on January 30th, 2014.  No, I don’t wear a special promise ring like the Jonas Brothers.  I do, however, require a “mind check” coming in the door each morning. If you were to leave your work environment today, would it be a better or worse place tomorrow?  So many of us detract from our environments in ways we don’t even realize.  It’s easy to take a “victim” mentality to the things around us we don’t like.  We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our coworkers to do better. There will always be frustrations at work.  This is the constant….your  reaction is the variable.  You can either choose to make the situation better and build up those around you – or you can fade into the ever popular realm of negativity and mediocrity.  Don’t settle for the later.  If you feel truly incapable of bringing positive change to your work environment, it’s time to move on.  If, however, you can be an agent for positive change then it is time to commit to making a difference.  Here are some recommendations from my “promise of positivity.”  You will need to customize yours depending on yourself and your environment: I will value relationships over results.  There is no metric or revenue goal that is worth dehumanizing another person. Providing it is not in conflict with my integrity and values, I will support the leadership of our organization. I will pursue excellence in everything I do.  I will take great pride in my work. I will find solutions to problems to make the work experience more meaningful for everyone. I will not cause harm to my co-workers through conversation that tears them down, whether they are present or not. As Kevin and Jackie Freiberg describe in their book BOOM!, your most powerful attribute is the freedom to choose.  I have not been perfect on keeping my promise, but it reminds me that I am not a victim of any situation.  To take your commitment to the next level, have a signed document between you and your mentor holding you accountable to the change.  I would love to hear your own “promise of positivity” in the comments.  Let’s make each other better!  Return to Customer Centric Support   Share...

Read More