Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali

I just returned from a 3 day cruise and what stands out in my mind is how well trained the staff was in their desire to make the experience outstanding.  In just 3 days we were asked no less than 10 times, “Have we exceeded your expectations? Is there anything else that we can do?”  The key to the questions was that it was never asked in a hurried manner, but they sincerely were looking for feedback. Clearly this is part of their Branding Strategy and you walk away feeling their desire is to exceed your expectations.

The first time you hear it, it sounds nice, but after the 3rd time you realize they really want to know.  The 1st time it catches you off guard, but eventually you are prepared because you feel they mean it.  I say this because asking once is a courtesy, but asking at different times of the day, during different occasions shows a clear indication that they really want to know.  The fact that it came from personnel in different positions, performing different functions even more punctuates the fact that it is something that is drilled into the staff until it becomes second nature.

As a final means of gauging your overall experience, they provide a survey form on the last day of the cruise.  The cruise addresses all aspects of the amenities, from food, dining venues, music, excursions, staff responsiveness, embarkation, disembarkation, on board shops etc..  They recognize that all passengers don’t partake in all activities so are most interested in what we thought of the ones we did.  So what metrics are you gathering? What metric analysis are you doing?  It can span everything from how your “customers” feel you are doing in key business areas, to how your marketing and advertising are doing to where are your leads coming from.  Given all advertising is an expense, you need to know what is working, is it your  Trade show? Print advertising? your web site, your participation in community organizations? Professional organizations?  How do you know if you don’t ask?

So how are you doing?

It’s easy to occasionally ask your customer for feedback, but it takes a concerted effort on your part to implement it as part of doing business – part of your Strategic Planning.  Clearly, due to the competitiveness, the cruise industry has taken it to a whole new level, because the best customers are repeat customers.  They have made obtaining customer feedback part of doing business.  This shows a genuine interest and can have your customer open up and tell you some things you might not want to hear, but need to hear.  Asking once seems like polite talk, but when you regularly ask, the perception is that you actually want to know, and you may learn some useful things that ultimately make you better.

I would enjoy hearing some of the things you may have successfully done to gain customer feedback and improve your performance in your business.

DAVNA Enterprises, LLC is a marketing solutions firm dedicated to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry to improve the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives and keeping marketing professionals apprised of new and upcoming marketing tools and resources.


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