CRUISE LINE LOYALTY PROGRAMS
It often seems to me that cruise lines are far more willing to offer me much greater inducements, discounts, and amenities as first time customers, more so than they are for me to repeat a cruise (as a satisfied customer) on one of their ships/sailings.
What happened to the days when the cruise lines really knew their “market or niche”, who their customers were, and how to keep them coming back? What about “Brand Loyalty” and the principles of repeat customers? It would appear that Cruise Lines in general have made a serious oversight and “abandoned ship” with the first rule of sustaining a business. In their zeal for going after new customers, they have somehow truly lost their focus on keeping these newbie’s, while failing at making a “warm fuzzy” feeling of contentment available for their returning and repeat clientele.
The short answer (at least in my mind) is that I’m not seeing ANY cruise line loyalty program out there today,that is really offering and satisfying the needs of their returning passengers. Their loyalty program “perks” are merely tired old remnants of how they did things in many cases more than a decade ago. In reality if it weren’t for the baby boomer generation that is the last bastion of loyalty minded people, they most likely wouldn’t have what they do in the way of loyal customers. Well here is one category they may well have forgotten to plan properly to make changes for, and in my book it is a big mistake.
While I continually look for new and inventive ways to find and create new business, but at the core of my business success are my loyal bands of merry customers. Who well know (and so do I) that if I am going to continue to be able to call them customers, that I have to ensure that I do my very best to service them in ways that makes them feel that I am their best choice. My target market is seeking out those who would make “Customers for a Lifetime”, not merely “the next cruise customers”.
While I do understand that the mere numbers of people who are in the category of want to take a cruise (first timers), are far greater than is the market segment of those who have cruised before (repeat cruisers), but they certainly represent a very large populous in their own right, and continue to grow with each passing year. Not to mention that they represent a pool of qualified candidates (both financially, and lifestyle capable)from which to farm for cruise customer prospects.
Come on Cruise Giants, on behalf of all who are avid cruisers, and whose favorite cruise is (at least thinking wise) their next cruise. Please step up to the helm and re-plot your course and your incentive policies for your repeat customers. This particular refurbishment is way overdue! Your ships are getting bigger, while our wallets are continually shrinking. Bravo for your ingenuity in figuring more ways to enhance your non cruise fare revenues, while thinking of new enhancements to your service offerings. The bold fact remains, that there are going to be many more rooms and suites to fill. On (not only your present fleet of ships, but) the 24 additional ships still to come by year 2013. You may wish to revisit your Loyalty Programs, before they arrive for service. Hopefully before what is happening in the public starts happening to the cruise lines too!!
For more information on Cruise Line Loyalty Programs, you may contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . To “Join” our Travel Club go to http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspapaer called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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1) How do you feel about loyalty perks and rewards for being a returning customer to a specific cruise line. 2) Do you feel they adequately reward your loyalty? 3) What do you think the Cruise Lines as a whole could do better to thank you as a returning customer? Please leave your comments for us below!! Thanks………………………