Enhancing Customer Experiences and Improving Customer Satisfaction
Over the past two weeks we have been sharing some important customer service lessons from our personal customer experience fail with Flagship Cruises & Events while on a family holiday in San Diego last month.
Here are our final two lessons in improving the customer experience and increase the satisfaction of your customers from this incident. You may need to read these three blog posts to get a full background on these lessons:
Lesson #5: Learn From Industry Best Practitioners
As I have written before, every customer interaction is an opportunity to build long-term loyalty. The best organizations in every industry know and understand this.
For instance, Disneyland has Disney characters roaming their theme parks offering to take photos of customers with the customer’s own cameras. There are even photo stations around each park where Disney characters are scheduled to appear.
Yes, Disneyland has employees also taking photos for families in the hopes of selling these later. But they are also willing to assist in having photos taken with their guests’ own phones and cameras.
The last thing a Disneyland theme park employee would ever do is attempt to physically block a customer from taking a photo with their own phone or camera (as the Flagship Cruise’s staff member did to us).
The same is true at the famed San Diego Zoo and their sister location Safari Park. At both venues employees were gracious and more than willing to take photos of us using our own equipment.
The key lesson here is that customer expectations are set not only by the communications and policies of your organization, but also by the actions and policies of other suppliers in your industry (and other industries as well quite frankly).
Lesson #6: Be Proactive In Handling Customer Complaints
In our Keeping Good Customers Blog last year we explained why Customer Complaints Are Good.
Of course, they are only good if you act upon them! Properly. Service recovery starts with how you react to a customer complaint.
In this case, the only reaction to date from Flagship Cruises to my publicly announced complaint on their facebook page was a reply from “email@example.com” saying:
“Thanks for reaching out Steven. We’d like to hear more about what happened.
Could you please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org?”
Apparently this staff member of Flagship Cruises believes that I need to proactively seek him or her out to further explain my dissatisfaction with their service. And here I was thinking that I am the customer!
When I bought our tickets for their whale watching cruise, I supplied both by email address and my mobile phone number. In fact, I get a weekly marketing email from Flagship Cruises attempting to solicit further business from me.
So there is no excuse for their failure to contact me to “hear more about what happened.” Passivity in reacting to a customer complaint, particularly one shared through social media, is unacceptable in today’s world.
It has now been over a month since our unfortunate and unacceptable customer experience with Flagship Cruises, and yet no one has contacted us. Not even after others replied to my post on their Facebook page. And not even after three weeks of using this customer experience fail as a customer service lesson for all.
The customer should not have to write you or call you after having voiced a public complaint. Organizations that excel at customer service know the importance of Making It Easy For Customers To Complain. Handling customer complaints properly impacts all current and future customers ─ and starts with processes, procedures, and systems that make it easy for such complaints to be communicated to your organization.
So, there you have it. Six important customer service lessons from one single customer experience fail. I hope these lessons will help you and your organization enhance the customer experiences you are providing and increase your customer satisfaction levels.