I just got off a wonderful cruise. My family played for a week and I wrote for a week. It's what I needed to get into the zone to birth my new book Rhythm. I know… its a tough life, but someone has to live it :)
So after a wonderful week, the experience leaving the ship was terribly poor. In previous cruise experiences, the ships I was on called customers by group numbers, giving a good amount of space between the groups, so there was not a long line at the bottleneck leaving the ship. Unfortunately, today we did not have that experience.
As we were stuck in a long line squeezing through the two exit points, I over heard a number of people comment that they had a great week, but that they probably will not be back on this cruise line because of this painful disembarkation experience. My family felt the same way, and my wife decided right there that we would cruise with a different line next time. We had a great time. This cruise line gave us a full week of great memories, and then lost us as a repeat customer on the last touch as we left the ship.
Key Lesson: You can provide a fantastic customer experience, and still lose your customer to a competitor with a poor goodbye. Review your customer process and make sure that you provide a fantastic final experience for your customer. Don't crack the door open for your competition!