There’s a lot of bad customer service out there today. So much so, that when you receive really fantastic service, you’re amazed. This happened to me last week on a cruise with my family.

First off, you should understand that my husband and I aren’t fans of cruises so I didn’t go into this with a positive attitude. We’ve had a few bad experiences in the past but, decided that the kids would have a great time. We chose the Oasis of the Seas for our family summer vacation.

Immediately upon arrival, our statement attendant Renan, greeted us, introduced himself, asked for our names, and also wanted to know a little bit more about each of us. He explained when our luggage would be delivered to our room and when we would set sail. Finally, he wanted to know if there was anything special we’d like during the week.

Okay, so far so good.

We weren’t left to figure things out for ourselves. At dinner, we met our waiters and beverage attendant Marvin, Danny, and Carey. They too asked for our names and were particularly attentive to the children’s interests, likes, and dislikes. This was another plus on the service side.

And it gets better.

Every night, Renan had our beds turned down before we returned from dinner. In the past, we had to call for turn-down services. In addition to the timely service and as a special treat, Renan created animal figures from the towels in our room every night. One evening we had a monkey hanging from the ceiling sporting a pair of the girl’s sunglasses. Another night we were greeted by a frog and there was a bat, elephant, and an alligator during the week. The kids couldn’t wait to see what would be in the room when they returned.

The little things count

Renan greeted us by name every time he saw us in the hallway and he’d take a moment or two to ask the children questions about their adventures. The same was true with Marvin, Danny, and Carey. Even though we changed seats at our designated table every evening, they always got everyone’s name right. Extra appetizers appeared regularly on our table as well as an occasional extra entrée and dessert for sampling. One evening, a huge plate of french fries arrived at our table, which delighted the kids.

With all of the people that cruise ship staff members meet every week, I was impressed by the team’s ability to make us feel as though we were the only people on the entire ship. They had obviously undergone great training and understand how every person who touches the customer adds to the experience. Simple things like remembering our names and personal information made us feel like VIPs.

Although I can’t say with conviction that I’ll be booking another cruise anytime soon, I must admit I have a more favorable opinion now because of the great service we received.

Take time to get to know your customers, especially your best customers. Show an interest in them as people not just customers. If you do that, you’ll be smooth sailing to small business success. All it takes is making your customers feel special.

How do you get to know your customers and make them feel special? Tell me below.

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.