To address the growing demographic of travelers who dream of seeing the world, the tourism sector has presented countless options to make travel easier, convenient, and more accessible as travelers’ destination checklists get longer over time. In a time when technology is capable of building solutions that can benefit the tourism industry and its customers, we see one sector gaining significant growth and interest: the global cruise sector.
For starters, the FCCA stated a 6% increase in the number of guests cruising globally in 2018—up to 28.2 million, from last year’s 19 million. In addition, studies showed how industry capacity is currently at a 100% utilization rate.
A new study conducted at the Customer Experience Lab (CX Lab) focused on the cruise market in order to measure CX perceptions of cruisers from the United States who went on a cruise within the last year. In their study, the CX Lab reported the current cruise experiences companies are offering: skydiving, go-karts, rollercoasters, spas, and celebrity chefs, to name a few. In terms of utilizing digitization and innovation, cruise lines allow their customers to customize and track their experiences via an app, expedite their check-in and check-out procedures, as well as stay connected to social media and the outside world. In the survey, the CX Lab reported that 50% of cruisers used the apps on a recent trip, with 31% unaware of the app’s existence.
The study also reported that millennials and Gen Z individuals represent 40% of cruisers, both having different expectations and behaviors. The CX Lab study showed that the results for satisfaction for key items such as quality of entertainment and leisure programs for Gen Z is at a very low 6.9 (on a scale of 0-10) compared to Baby Boomers at 8.3. This is an area of opportunity, as they prefer innovative approaches to entertainment such as music festivals, themed trips, and new activities. For younger generations, social media is important—they fill their social media profiles with travel pictures from around the world, many of them wanting to post their experiences in real time on social media. The CX Lab reported that 53% of cruisers in the USA posted on social media about their customer experience, and 15% of customers used social media to resolve issues.
Agent’s empathy, quality of food, and reliability of the brand are the top three issues that highly affect brand advocacy. The three most important items to focus on for improving customer service satisfaction are wait times, consistency of information provided, and an agent’s ability to listen, which sums more than 50% of the impact on this key metric.
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