Three Stellar Service Steps from Sailing the Seas

July 13, 2016

Despite dozens of deranged cruise ship stories—from crashing into a giant rock to dozens of onboard illnesses, millions of Americans continue to cruise.  In fact, the number of passengers carried by the cruise industry has grown year-on-year and is expected to exceed 24 million in 2018.  If you’ve cruised before, you most likely have experienced stellar service and as long as you weren’t seasick, plan to cruise again.


If you’ve never cruised, or it’s been a while, here are three simple service tips from cruising you can use to exceed your clients’ expectations. 

‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ which is Dale Carnegie’s third Human Relations principle.  From the second you board a cruise ship, you are enticed with a plethora of food and drinks; activities abound before the ship even sets sail and a teeming itinerary with fabulous places to see and things to do.  Each person with whom you come into contact is excited to see you!  The entire staff and crew understand that they are there to serve, and are eager to do so.

When you meet with an existing customer or new prospect, are you excited to see them?  Instead of being inwardly nervous, set your sight on the person in front of you.  Asking questions and speaking with enthusiasm will enable you to arouse in them an eager want.

‘Smile,’ is Mr. Carnegie’s fifth Human Relations principle, because it says, “I’m happy to see you.  Things are under control.  I care about you.”  On a cruise ship, everyone from the housekeeping attendant to your super server usually smiles.  Even when a guest is continuously disgruntled—as was the case on my last European River cruise, the waiter in this case resumed his smile after listening to the umpteenth complaint and offering another satisfying solution.  Sometimes it feels unnatural to smile when you are frustrated, but the result of smiling is worth the little investment of two lips and one, strong positive attitude. 

Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  No matter what happens, remember that challenging customers are not a problem.  Rather, they present an opportunity for you to problem-solve, smile and learn!

‘Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language,’ the 6th principle.  Why should the hospitality industry be one of the few in which it is common to hear a salutation with our names?  Hearing our names makes us feel important because it means the other person took the time to first learn and remember them.  If you struggle with remembering names, there is a simple formula for remembering names taught in the Dale Carnegie Course for Effective Communications and Human Relations Skills—along with a boatload of other stellar customer service and sales tips.

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