Cruise Holidays' 2012 Annual Convention continues with a focus on its CruiseWeb technology and Platinum Program.
At the Convention the Cruise Holidays leadership team reveiwed some of CruiseWeb's latest enhancements and outlined a vision for the platform's future.
CruiseWeb is Cruise Holidays’ proprietary technology system, serving as a customer relationship management tool completely integrated with booking and accounting, Cruise Holidays reports. The program enables agents to search all inventory, book via Sabre Cruises and handle all accounting aspects of their guests’ bookings in one convenient place.
“While Apple computer’s founder routinely used the catch phrase, ‘One More Thing,’ when rolling out major products, this is an attitude our technology team has embraced on a day to day, hour by hour basis, always striving to make CruiseWeb more effective and efficient for our franchise owners and agents,” said Mark Schiffner, vice president and chief operating officer, Cruise Holidays International. “We have invested more than 20,000 enhancement hours into CruiseWeb over the past four years, and we’re not stopping there,” added Schiffner.
Schiffner says that Cruise Holidays has developed CruiseWeb, “with the mindset that franchise owners and agents want less technology that does more.”
Earlier this year, Cruise Holidays launched a program that delves into CruiseWeb data to provide a series of well-timed, highly customized emails based on the client’s itinerary, date of sailing and other key trip information. This program is now expanding to include new pieces that can be mailed directly to clients’ homes, such as birthday cards, bon voyage or welcome home cards and other greetings for various holidays. “Staying in touch is about to get a whole lot easier,” said Schiffner. “We’re making it as streamlined as possible – no more uploading or downloading client lists – with just a few clicks our agents can opt-in the clients to whom they want to send the pieces,” added Schiffner.
In CruiseWeb, each franchise owner can set up basic communications rules that serve as the default for all clients. Agents can also make changes to these communications rules tailored to individual clients. CruiseWeb then pulls the necessary client information to send the emails and greeting cards on the desired dates. As long as the agent has opted-in so the client is set to receive communications, it all happens automatically.
At the Convention the Cruise Holidays leadership team also announced that the Platinum Program, which helps Cruise Holidays luxury-focused agents identify and cater to luxury clients, will soon open up to additional luxury-focused agents.
The most notable initiative of the Platinum Program for many members was the Luxury Travel Training Seminar, which was offered on three dates in late summer. Held in the offices of Cruise Holidays’ luxury-focused sister company, Cruise Specialists, participants met with top Cruise Specialists’ personnel and learned about luxury marketing techniques. They also saw how a luxury office operates on a day-to-day basis. Representatives from Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Yachts of Seabourn, as well as Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages and World Cruises, also had in-depth discussions with the agents about their luxury products.
“The opportunity for luxury agents across our company to meet with some of the industry’s top luxury cruise agents was a distinctive learning experience,” said Schiffner. “We look forward to designing similarly creative and productive luxury-focused opportunities in the years ahead.”
Throughout the past year, Platinum Program members have participated in monthly networking calls. They discuss challenges and solutions that might arise in the competitive luxury sales environment and share sales and marketing strategies.
The entire Cruise Holidays network also benefits from the Platinum Program during monthly vendor conference calls. These calls are open to all Cruise Holidays agents, whether completely luxury focused or not.
Additionally, registered members of the Platinum Program benefit from luxury marketing vehicles designed and distributed by Cruise Holidays headquarters, again, in partnership with the selected luxury vendors. Cruise Holidays franchise owners can opt in clients for special luxury-focused email and direct mail offers. The offers link back to luxury-focused landing pages on their agency websites.
Finally, later this month, all members of the program are invited as fully-hosted guests to the Luxury Travel Exchange International at the Palazzo® Las Vegas, where they will further enhance their luxury knowledge and network with luxury travel suppliers.
Cruise Holidays plans to add a limited number of openings for new members in the year ahead. Interested franchise owners and agents will go through an application process to ascertain their current luxury sales as well as future luxury sales potential.