Five Tips to Build Loyalty with Cruise Clients
Seabourn Senior Vice President of Global Marketing & Sales, Chris Austin recently spoke at the second annual Travel MarketPlace in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thanks to Travel Market Report writer Daniel McCarthy who captured Chris' presentation in his article "Five Tips to Build Loyalty with Cruise Client's," we can share his insights in the full article with you.
Loyalty is an allegiance. The same way people have loyalty to sports teams, to restaurants, to pets, people will have loyalty to you as an advisor and the most successful advisors are the ones who can make the kind of relationships that will return clients over and over again, according to Seabourn's executive vice president of global sales Chris Austin.
"Attracting a new client will cost you five times as much as keeping an existing one," he told attendees. "Increasing client retention rates by five percent can increase profits by between 25 percent and 95 percent."
Austin joined attendees at the second annual Travel MarketPlace in Vancouver last week to pass along some of his knowledge on what advisors can do to keep clients coming back over and over again. Here are some of Austin's tips for driving that client loyalty:
Keep on surprising and always be willing to do more.
"There's lots of things you can do to surprise clients and maybe it's as simple as if you're home based you offer to take a cruise catalogue to them or meet them for a coffee to learn more about them and then match the right vacation brand to the right client. Doing things for them that they didn't expect you to do," he said.
- Connect with your clients' passion points.
Particularly when trying to court luxury clients from other segments of the travel industry—most notably when converting luxury land lovers—connecting to what drives your clients' travel decisions will help. "When you connect with the passion points of your client it allows you to start a conversation much more meaningfully," he said. Whether they're foodies or interested in wellness, knowing that will give advisors a hint as to what their primary reason behind traveling is. For those foodies share that you can book them with Seabourn where they will enjoy dining experiences with no up charges and experience a Thomas Keller restaurant, from the most highly recognized chef in North America.
- Tell stories.
Along the lines of what another Travel MarketPlace speaker told attendees, Austin stressed the importance of storytelling, calling it a "powerful" tool for advisors. "Maybe have a few stories ready to tell, don't be too rehearsed, speak from your personal knowledge, don't embellish, keep to the facts and have fun sharing your stories too," he said.
- Know your clients' buying habits.
If you know who your most profitable clients are and which stage of the buying cycle they are at, you'll be best positioned to serve them, Austin said. Rank your clients into most profitable and focus on those first. Then identify what lifetime events they will be celebrating now and into the future, think of milestone anniversaries. If you identify a client is going to celebrate their 50th birthday for example in 4 years start sowing the seeds, celebrate with a Seabourn voyage, and propose they start planning and saving.
- Increase your attachment rate for booking additional trip components.
Adding a pre or post hotel on a sailing not only increases an advisor's compensation, but it will also increase the experience for the client and help drive loyalty. "It will drive loyalty beyond reason because it creates a better experience and peace of mind. Putting a pre or post hotel onto a cruise increases your compensation but it also increases the experience for the guests," he said.
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