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Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines places the highest priority on keeping its customers happy. In order to assure that it has met or surpassed its passengers' expectations as well as to solicit complaints and suggestions, the company has its passengers fill out customer comment cards, at an average response rate of 93 percent. With a passenger list of nearly 15,000 per week, Royal Caribbean's data processing department kept a staff of 45 part-time data processors busy entering card data. When the decision was made to increase the number of questions to 65 on the comment cards, an automated solution had to be found, and the company turned to optical mark recognition.

Now customers simply fill in a circle next to their chosen response, the 8-1/2 by 11-inch cards are scanned, and the data automatically input into the company's AS/400 computer. Royal Caribbean is now processing substantially more information with far fewer people, and the flexibility of the system allows for quick and cost-effective revisions of the cards. Cards can be processed and reports sent to the ships in the same day, consequently, Royal Caribbean can address immediately any problem - from inattentive bartenders to a too-salty soup. The company follows up on any complaints with a phone call, assuring customers that their comments are heard and acted upon.

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