Customer service lessons from Princess Cruises

Yes, I am on vacation, but it is hard to tell that from all the email I am answering! At least I can’t use my phone since I’m on a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska in Yukon Country.

Here’s a great lesson from Princess. They have issued a “Customer Awareness Program” that they print in the welcoming book (about 3 inches thick, filled with just about every answer to every question you might have). Rule #10, the last rule, is quite intriguing: “We never say no. We say “I will be pleased to check.” We suggest alternatives. We call our supervisor or manager if we feel we cannot satisfy our passenger’s needs.”

Lots of companies have similar instructions to employees. But here’s the difference — on Princess, it works!

Here’s the case study.

Monday night was formal night. I brought my tux but forget to bring a shirt. Sure enough, they had a good supply of tuxedo shirts in the gift shop. A clerk came over to ask if she could help. I said, “Do you have a tape measure” so I could figure out the right size. She said she didn’t have one. So I said, “Then I guess you can’t help.” She said, “Well, I could use a strip of plastic to measure, or I could take the shirt to my room.” She mentioned a third way, but I was so amazed that she had two good solutions that I couldn’t keep up with her!

Now that’s customer service! She thought on her feet and she made a sale (and got some good PR for her company as well!)

Today’s chipping point: use the words in the Princess pledge. They are quite empowering for you and your employees and re-frame the entire customer service angle.