True Story About the Customer Service Difference

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This is a true story on how exceptional customer service can affect business brand and loyalty from customers. My wife and I enjoy traveling and in particular cruises that go all over the world. When we took our first cruise about 6 years ago we chose Royal Caribbean based on price and reputation after looking at several others. We had a great staff, pleasant experience and the whole cruise was fantastic.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B00334OXC6″ alt=”A Close View of a Handshake Photographic Poster Print, 18×24″ src=”” align=”center” width=”400″ height=”300″]

For our 2nd cruise a year later we decided to try Carnival Cruise lines, and the cruise was also good and there were more activities that were aboard the ship that catered to people who like games or party activities. There was just one thing that was missing, exceptional customer service.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B00563KR7M” alt=”‘Cruise Ship In Caribbean Sea’ Wall Decal – 18″W x 12″H Removable Graphic” src=”” align=”left” width=”160″ height=”106″]Royal Caribbean wait staff at the dining set the bar when it came to serving, and for a few years my wife talked about Ian from Jamaica and how amazing he was at providing the best service possible. When my wife took her mother on another Royal Caribbean cruise a year later she happened to luckly have Ian again as her waiter and this made her experience even better.

Fast forward to our next cruise which was out of Orlando, Florida and sailed through Haiti, Jamaica and the Grand Caymans and my wife who previously thought she had seen the best in wait service was blown away by the outstanding service by a waiter named Gede from Indonesia. This person knew all of our dining habits and drink preferences, so that by day 2 on the cruise we literally had to ask for nothing but only tell him what we wanted off the menu for dinner that night. Glasses were never empty, plates were brought out and he even brought an extra here and there guestimating what we may want to sample and being correct on many occasions. I mean when he saw the shrimp cocktail plate was consumed in 20 seconds he didn’t ask, just set a 2nd one down without even being asked. His attention to detail was amazing and to this day two years later my wife still compares all hosts, servers to Gede and the amazing service he provided. He set the bar so high in fact that it is hard for any others to measure up.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B00421A6WA” alt=”Phuket Ocean Scene, Photography Door Poster Print, 21 by 62-Inch” src=”” align=”right” width=”250″]Now, we have been on 6 cruises and 4 of them were with Royal Caribbean as we have seen nothing but the friendliest service. Not just in wait staff at the restaurant but even on our most recent cruise the stateroom attendants are the most pleasant and friendly people to associate with. Literally, the customer service of Royal Caribbean staff keeps us coming back to where we prefer to look at Royal Caribbean before all other cruise companies.

We did take a Disney Cruise and can speak about how incredible that was, the kids loved it, the shows were the best out of any cruise. But even the Disney cruise ship staff which provided great service didn’t leave the same kind of “WOW” impression that Royal Caribbean staff has left us. Now don’t get me wrong, Disney is fantastic too. When our 2 year old had a melt down at the Animator’s Palette restaurant, it was the Disney staff who helped carry all of our food to our hotel room for us so we can finish it there.

So, this is a lesson that years later the outstanding customer service is something we talk about regularly and always is associated with our experience with Royal Caribbean. Bad customer service is always remembered as well, it is imperative to make sure in any business that customer service is the absolute best. “Average” is forgetable and doesn’t leave an impression, “Bad” is of course the worst as it leaves a permanent negative impression but if you can demand and make sure your employees go above and beyond every time. This will only help your business spread by word of mouth and reputation.

After all, Royal Caribbean has received repeat business from us 5 times in the last 8 years as a result of their exceptional service.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: July 13, 2011 — 9:29 am