Every cruise organisation has the same objective; to maximize your value. This value is changed from product-oriented to customer-oriented. The ideal situation is to build long-term customer-supplier relationships. Building these desired relationships becomes the company’s main goal. (Marketo, 2015) You, as a cruise organisation, have the tools to help the customer in becoming a so called client according to the ‘’Pyramid of Relationships’’. These clients have a long term orientation which extends further than one booking. (Beltman & Peelen, 2013)
One well working tool to increase the number of repeat visitors is a Customer Loyalty Program. The most effective programs offer rewards based on the basic principle; the higher the amount which was spend, the higher the amount which was received. This principle encourages your customer to book more in terms of the number of bookings and in terms of the total spending. (Gordon, 2004) Nowadays nothing is more important than experiences; customers are searching for new experiences all the time. A cruise organisation has to deliver a valuable experience otherwise the customer books at one of their comparable competitors. (Chetwynd, 2016)
A best practice of how you can use a Customer Loyalty Program to create valuable experiences is the Loyalty Program of TUI Cruises. From the third booked cruise on the loyal customers receive small benefits and exclusive experiences. How more cruises you book as a loyal customer how more valuable the benefits and experiences become. Furthermore, the loyalty card ‘’remembers’’ what the customer bought during a cruise, with this knowledge TUI Cruises can give their loyal customers special offers. (TUICruises, 2016)
Due to the Customer Loyalty Program of TUI Cruises the number of repeat visitors will increase. The loyalty card ensures that it is interesting to book another cruise with TUI Cruises. And besides that the personal offers increase the valuable experience because they make the customer feel special.
Another example is the Customer Loyalty Program of the Italian cruise company Costa Cruises; their program is divided in six classes. These classes are designed according a point system. Each passenger receives points for the number of days spend on the cruise ship, for the kind of cabin, for each spending on the cruise ship and so forth. The benefits difference between the diverse levels. So for example the highest class within the Loyalty Program receives exclusive extras such as a delivery service of their luggage at home. (van Dijk, 2016)
As stated by Gordon (2004), a loyalty card encourages customers to book extras such as a more luxury cabin or to spend more in the shops on board. Moreover, the loyalty card encourages the customers to book again with Costa Cruises to receive more points and climb to a higher level.
To conclude, loyalty cards are a good tool for cruise organisations to increase the number of repeat visitors. By using for example the customer gets pushed to spend more money and to book again for the goodies and exclusive, personalised experiences.
Beltman, R., & Peelen, E. (2013). Customer Relationship Management (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Chetwynd, C. (2016). How to measure customer experience. Retrieved from http://raconteur.net/business/how-to-measure-customer-experience
Dijk van, N. (2016). Loyaliteitsprogramma van Costa Cruises uitgebreid. Retrieved from http://decruisegids.nl/loyaliteitsprogramma-van-costa-cruises-uitgebreid/
Gordon, K. T. (2004). 7 Relationship-Building Strategies for Your Business. Try these tactics to get customers to think of your company first. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/66228
Marketo. (2015). The 5 Principles of Engagement Marketing. Retrieved from https://uk.marketo.com/ebooks/elements-of-engagement-marketing/
TUICruises. (2016). Mein Wohlfühlclub – unsere Vorteile für Stammgäste. Retrieved from https://tuicruises.com/kreuzfahrten-mein-schiff/Gaeste/stammgaeste/vorteilefuerstammgaeste/