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Last year Carnival Cruise Lines experienced an unfortunate string of mishaps hurting their brand greatly. This year, Royal Caribbean recently was hit with an onboard virus leaving close to 700 passengers and crew members extremely sick and quarantined to their rooms. In an effort to quell dissonance, the cruise line excelled its customer service, offering partial refunds, discounts on future voyages, credits to spend on-board as well as additional perks. Was it enough?
We may never know if the industry as a whole made a serious attempt to learn from past mistakes and develop contingency plans for crisis situations, but frequent stories like this can provide insight to any type of business that is looking to excel when under pressure. Providing an exceptional customer experience can make all the difference for a company, brand and its customers, even in a time of crisis. With that in mind, here are some strategies that could help turn a crisis into a positive situation:
Despite the severity of any situation, there are lessons to be learned that can improve the customer experience during a time of crisis. Understanding where key areas can be improved will instill confidence in the company and employees while making a significant impact on customer loyalty.
Brad Smith, has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the web consumer, enterprise software, and communication service provider industries, spanning sales and marketing, product management and development, service architecture, and service/support delivery roles. As executive vice president, customer experience, for Sage North America, he is responsible for developing all aspects of the Sage commitment to the customer experience, from product design and customer support, to the invoice experience and all touch points in between. Smith was most recently vice president of customer experience for Yahoo! He also previously held senior leadership roles with Symantec, Openwave, and Verisign. He is a member of the Forrester Customer Experience Leadership Council and the Support Services Advisory Board of the Technology Services Industry Association, and on the board of directors of the Consortium for Service Innovation. Smith holds a BSBA degree in General Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.
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