So many companies give lip service to customer service not realizing that it is as important to their branding and bottom line as advertising. Today I want to give a shout out to a company that doesn’t just talk the talk but embodies it. I’m talking Carnival Cruise Lines. My husband, George, and I were to take a Carnival Cruise right before Labor Day. Unfortunately, we had to have an emergency disembarkation after being on the boat only one hour when my husband suffered a medical problem. Carnival’s doctor examined George and deemed that he needed to get to a hospital. We were quickly met by a launch boat, which took us to shore where an ambulance met us. Although everything was a blur as it often is in a crisis, and we somehow soldiered through this, Carnival’s support team called us multiple times over the next few days to be sure everything was properly taken care of. In a virtual sea of discomfort, it was reassuring to have someone there checking in on us. I have no idea what a Carnival Cruise is like since we disembarked after just one hour being on the board, but the company certainly earned our vote with they way they handled our situation. And, no questions asked, we were told we would receive a complete refund. Carnival made what was a horrific experience a little bit better and in the process earned our good will. The company actually acted like a human being rather than a corporation. It obviously has in place a system for dealing with crises (we received a packet with support numbers) and of course our emergency disembarkation was not a first for the company. However, all companies as part of their branding should have a policy, or at least a consumer or customer bill of rights, that dictates how it handles customer problems. Jet Blue, as you recall, famously issued one last year after it’s dastardly delay problem. It’s easy to be a good corporate citizen when things go right. It’s how a company handles problems that separates the worthy company from the lackluster. It’s a tremendous way to get free PR and incalcuable word of mouth.What can you do to make your business – or the company you work for – go the extra mile for its customers? I’d love to hear from you. Wendy Marx, PR and Personal Branding Specialist, Marx Communications Technorati Tags: Public Relations, Carnival Cruise Lines, Branding, Customer Service
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