Be warned, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post. It started out being about how some people really can find anything to complain about, then turned into a reminder about how communicating with your customer makes for good customer service. I think I still have ‘vacation brain’ with my thoughts flitting around and just ending up on tasty frozen drinks.
Anyways, I was reminded yet again on this year’s cruise that some people are just never going to be happy. You can put someone on a beautiful ship and provide them with tons of delicious food available 24/7, fun entertainment and amazing weather. However, you’ll still have people who are going to find something to complain about.
In our case, there was an obnoxious guy whose complaining caught the attention of one of our new friends. He could figure out ways to complain about anything and wasn’t shy in sharing his thoughts with anyone around. Nothing was good enough for this guy, and one of the things that he was annoyed about was that our ship was late into a port.
Now, everyone was a bit put off that the ship was late, but you are traveling by boat so weather does sometimes play a factor in how long it takes to get places. (There was a rumor going around that we were delayed because the ship waited for a couple who was late coming back from Disney World, but does it really matter why we were late?) Anyways, you can deal with the news by bitching, complaining and stomping your feet because your excursion was cancelled. Or you can accept it and enjoy the rest of the afternoon laying around the pool and drinking fruity drinks. I’m obviously in the fruity drink category.
In fact, most everyone was in the fruity drink category (oh yeah, it’s a thing now). Yes, most excursions were cancelled that day because we were a couple hours late. However, the cruise director noted in his announcements that all money would be refunded automatically so that nobody had to waste their time standing in line at the excursions desk. So, why bother getting all worked up about it? Frankly, it was kind of a bonus that $64 was refunded to our credit card and we got some extra time lazing around in the sun.
Showing that they care about the guest experience**, the cruise line tried to nip any discontent in the bud by not only making refunds painless, but also by offering another [unfortunately more expensive] excursion option. This notably lightened the mood around the pool and everyone seemed fine with the change. I mean, you’re on vacation and not working, that’s pretty much just a whole suitcase full of rainbows and butterflies right there.
However, there is always going to be someone who isn’t happy. And for some reason they tend to be the loud people that we all try to ignore. I’m pretty sure it’s not just me that always seems to know a Debbie Downer-type of person who can turn winning a new car into something to whine about.
I’ve had people complain to me about the fit of their company-provided polo shirt, the menu choices at a free event, their options for a holiday gift, even the venue choice for a tropical company trip to the Bahamas. Yes, people complain about these things. And no matter what you do in life, there is SOMEONE out there that isn’t going to be happy.
It’s really hard for me to just ‘not care’ and go on my way, because as a marketing person I have this innate desire for everyone to be happy with what I’ve worked on. However, I’m trying really hard to stay over here on the positive side of the street. When I hear someone start complaining (and believe me, it can start from anything!) and I want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing “lalalala” at the top of my voice, I just smile at them and listen to what they have to say. Most times they just want someone to listen to them complain. Then I shrug it off, walk away… and take my frozen margarita with me.
* In hindsight, I guess this post is really just me complaining about complainers. lol
**See I told you I’d get around to a whole different point in this blog post…rambling, rambling, rambling…