My son Jack has just been in New Zealand for a couple of weeks doing, amongst other things, white water rafting, clay target shooting, horse riding, kayaking, sailing and 9 day mountaineering course.
He finished up last Friday and my wife (Mel) decided to fly over to NZ, grab a hire car and pick him up from Mt Cook. They then went off sight-seeing and enjoying a few different activities.
On Saturday it was sailing for afternoon cruise on a yacht and they were set for a great time.
Set For A Great Time…….Except Mel Hated It
Except Mel hated the sailing.
Really hated it.
The only other guests on the yacht was a guy who had done plenty of competitive sailing before, and his wife – and he hammered that yacht to be sailing as fast as she would go.
Instead of a gentle cruise around the harbour, Mel found herself clinging on for dear life as the yacht keeled over to 45 degrees and hating every second of it.
Then Things Got Interesting
And then things got interesting.
I’d booked the cruise from Australia and so the yacht’s skipper and owner emailed me afterwards.
He said whilst Jack loved every moment, he wasn’t so sure about Mel.
He’d reassured her that they weren’t about to end up in the water, he wasn’t convinced she believed him.
I Told Him The Truth – Mel Hated His Cruise
So I told him the truth – nothing like a bit of honest feedback, right?
- Told him Mel hated every second of it.
- That Mel had vowed never to go sailing again.
- That she’d advised everyone at home never to go sailing.
- That she was setting up an anti-sailing group to lobby against sailing (made that up for dramatic effect – clever, huh??)
People Usually Get Pissed Off
What generally happens when you give a bit of honest feedback that ain’t so positive is that people get pissed off.
They take the criticism personally and get angry.
Which is kind of stupid, because surely you’d want to know the perception of every customers – good or bad?
Only then can you improve your business through a better product offering, better communication and better service.
Perfect Customer Service From The Captain
But the Captain of this cruise is smart – he didn’t take the criticism personally.
He saw it as a chance to improve his business and demonstrate further the quality of his service.
And then he took action that 99% of businesses receiving a complaint don’t take.
- He kept in contact to find out exactly what Mel didn’t like.
- He acknowledged Mel’s concerns as legitimate: “I’m sure I have had other people aboard who didn’t feel happy about the heeling, but I’ve never had such honest feedback.”
- He empathised with her via his own personal story and experience: “I did my best to reassure Mel that she was safe, but I understand her feelings. My own wife sailed with me on Auckland harbour for 5 years, …………..however has subsequently developed fear of heeling.”
- He asked how he could improve: “….Was (there) anything I could have said or done to make her feel better about the experience?”
Then the Captain offered some compensation – it wasn’t free beer so we turned him down ;o)
Perfect Customer Complaint Resolution
Brilliant work by the Captain to show some genuine concern, recognise the feelings of his customer and try and make things right.
So the next time a customer complains to you, think “What would the Captain do?”
Then do that.
If you wear an eye patch, have a parrot on your shoulder and talk like a pirate you get extra points!