The cruise industry has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and is projected to grow even faster in the years ahead.
Much of this is attributable to Baby Boomers and their substantial savings.
Boomers Demand More
As more and more Boomers retire, according to Forbes, their overall good health is allowing them to stay active. Simply being on a cruise ship for 3, 7 or 10 days sailing through the Caribbean or up the west coast to Alaska is just not what they want any longer.
River cruising is hugely popular; cruises to exotic destinations in Asia or elsewhere in the southern hemisphere are also sought after; ecology cruising is another destination subset enjoying substantial growth.
The cruise lines have stepped up to serve – and service – the ballistic growth in the number of people cruising today.
For the more affluent and discerning water-borne travellers, there are high end and high cost cruises to satisfy every taste.
The Battle for the High End Customer
Here, the competition is especially fierce and cruise lines fight to ensure that every aspect of on-board service is exceptional; a satisfied cruising traveller will not only spend more on board but in all likelihood will be a returning customer in the future.
So, it’s vital for cruise companies to know how to reach those customers to offer them what they want and how to reach potential new customers, as well.
Gerent was approached by one cruise company that is in the top echelon of the high-end cruising market.
The company had recently been acquired by a Hong Kong firm that was implementing an aggressive growth strategy that demanded enhanced sales and administration efforts.
Because of the nature of marketing in the cruise industry, the company dealt with a number of travel agencies worldwide as well as engaging in direct marketing efforts online.
Disjointed Data Means Lost Opportunities
What was lacking was a digitized and unified customer relationship management system that could generate and analyze valuable data from various sources. This data could create a complete picture of the cruise company’s customers and allow the company to fine-tune its sales and marketing efforts.
When Gerent conducted its investigation, it became apparent that any data the company was gleaning through its affiliated travel agencies around the world was coming via email and manually processed reports.
Customer information was often siloed, making it difficult to get a complete picture of who their customers were and leaving many great sales and marketing initiatives on the table, as a result.
Knowing the Customer is Critical
Gerent explained that the cruise line needed to be able to define its customers, from their past travel experiences and on-board activities to what they liked to eat and drink, as well as where they lived before the company could capitalize fully.
Gerent’s Salesforce solution implemented both Sales and Service cloud, two powerful solutions for the agency sales and direct sales teams.
As a result, the client was able to integrate all sales efforts for revenue and account management purposes, route all lead traffic from the online forms directly into Salesforce and provide all sales teams with mobile access in real time.
Gerent also explained how the client could integrate data from existing reservation and lead generation platforms directly into Salesforce; there was no need to jettison technology the client had already paid for.
Data in a Single Database
A total of 4 million legacy guest records were migrated into Salesforce and Gerent also mobilized Chatter so that all sales teams were able to communicate directly with each other using just one, standardized platform.
Now, the client has unprecedented visibility into its sales and lead pipelines, greater collaboration with its global partners and enhanced relationships as a result.
Sales agents have become more productive with the elimination of manual reporting processes and the client’s new, far more complete, view of its customers has already led to different and more effective marketing initiatives that are driving sales forward.