How important is customer knowledge to provide great customer experiences in the cruise industry?

Knowing your potential customer is of major importance as it gives businesses the opportunity to approach them in the right way; with the right offer at the right time. Having a good customer database increases the response rate, the effectiveness of acquisition, customer retention and could make it easier to develop a relationship (Peelen and Beltman, 2013). Therefore, information about the customer is a deciding aspect of Customer Relation Management. Without this knowledge, the relationship will lack substance, customisation and focused communication based on customer profiles will be impossible.

At the core of any good customer experience is knowledge. This means that any effective customer experience strategy will focus on facilitating the fast, consistent, and accurate delivery of knowledge where and when it is needed (Oracle, 2012). Designing such resources costs money and time, and needs continuously investments. It is a complicated process and many problems can occur, such as  too many data with no value, or employees with no access to the information they are seeking.

The cruise industry has known a dramatic growth and is still rapidly growing. This mainly happened because of growth strategies, new ships, more local ports, more destinations and on board activities matching the demand of consumers. Nowadays it can be said that the ship is the destination. They offer designer shops and Broadway productions, to golf courses, water slides an bumper cars, delicious food and exceptional service. In these times of high competition, one can make a difference by offering a unique customer experience, and exceeding customer’s expectations. Therefore the cruise industry does extensive customer research in order to be able to satisfy all of their clients. It has shown that the desire for luxury continues to grow, and more and more young people are interested in going on a cruise. Cruise companies are now designing to satisfy every age, and to appeal and customize all cultures. Customisation has become possible and staff tries to engage connect with people, as an individual, and how that particular customer wants to be treated. Other aspects that help to satisfy customers are the way staff handles complaints, and the speed of doing this. As well their attitude is of major importance.

If you want to develop a bond with a customer, you must be  interested in the story behind the event and person (Magazine for Marketing, 2001) Yet, in order to make conclusions, they should understand the environment in which that customer operates, as human behaviour is often context driven. A previous survey has revealed that some biggest-spending customers wanted a more premium experience, and were willing to pay for it. The industry could focus on giving them what they want, but should find a balance with the those who do not like to spend that much.

 

Customers knowledge is necessary to provide a good customer experience, and customer Experience is key to lasting success.

Peelen, E. and Beltman, R. (2013) Customer Relationship Management. 2nd edn. Pearson Education Limited. (Customer Knowledge Strategy, pp. 93-116)

Huizingh, K. R. E. (2001). Customer Knowledge: the story behind the data. Tijdschrift voor marketing (CRM Illustration, pp. 102)

An oracle white paper. Eight steps to great customer experiences for government agencies. (2012). . Retrieved on October 5, from: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/8-steps-cust-exp-gov-wp-1560471.pdf

Testa, M., & Sullivan, K. (2002). Customer Satisfaction, Quality in Cruise Industry. Hospitality Review20(2),

 

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