4 Steps to Creating Customers for Life
Last updated on April 4th, 2023
Our Franchisee Marketing Strategy and Support
While we’d love to say we’ve created a complex top-secret formula that has contributed to our 28 years of continued growth across North America, that wouldn’t be entirely true. In fact, at Expedia CruiseShipCenters® we believe the simple combination of providing exceptional sales service and outstanding value is the key to helping our Franchise Partners obtain success in their business. For this reason, we’ve developed a comprehensive franchisee marketing strategy based on Our Promise to be navigators of spectacular vacation experiences. This includes providing our customers with advice they can trust, the best choice and prices on a wide variety of cruise and travel options and always being there to help – before, during and after their trip.
Through four key elements, our award-winning marketing program provides our Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants with the resources and training to attract new leads, build lasting relationships and create Customers for Life:
1. Attraction Marketing
We offer our Franchise Partners a wide range of attraction marketing tools that will help them find new customers and build their 7SEAS® Club. With over 1 million subscribers, the 7SEAS Club allows members to opt-in to receive exclusive details and stay informed on upcoming events, latest industry trends, special deals and more. To provide even more incentive to join, all subscribers are automatically entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a free Caribbean Cruise for two, airfare included!
You can also attract new clients with mass mail flyers that feature enticing travel photography and special money-saving offers. We provide tools to help target the best households that fall within the cruiser demographic and all mass-mailers can be personalized with the Franchise Partner’s name, Center information and map. When the time is ready to book, your clients will have no question on who they should contact!
With a strong social media presence, customers can also access Expedia CruiseShipCenters through Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter channels. In addition, we offer a variety of attraction-focused promotions and contests throughout the year to allow our Franchise Partners to continuously grow their database of potential customers.
2. Permission Marketing
While the main goal for attraction marketing is to grow your 7SEAS Club database, it is also important to maintain existing subscribers and provide them with updates that are relevant to their personal interests and keep your services top of mind. This is where our permission marketing strategy takes over. All 7SEAS Club members can choose to opt-in for email newsletters that interest them. Subscribers can choose from a wide range of options including CruiseShipWeekly (destination focused in Caribbean, Europe or Alaska), CruiseShipNews for industry updates, or CruiseShipFlash and Deal of the Week for hot deals and last minute offers.
By allowing members to have complete control of their personal preferences and select the topics that align with their interests, our Consultants build trust, credibility and rapport with their customers over time. Each franchise location and individual Vacation Consultant will also have their own website featuring customizable banners, dedicated promotion pages, 10,000+ detailed cruise itineraries with pricing, information on ports of call and cruise lines, and over 25,000 customer reviews. All links within each newsletter lead the customer back to the Consultant’s website which can be personalized with contact information, Center address and photo. Clients can browse at their own leisure and call, click or book online when they’re ready.
3. Professional Sales
Once you have built up your 7SEAS database and have clients ready to take the next step, we want to make sure the booking process is seamless. Our all-in-one Customer Relationship Management system, CruiseDesk®, will provide your team with everything they need to provide exceptional customer service from anywhere in the world. Consultants can research up-to-date pricing and availability on thousands of cruise itineraries and book directly within the system. Since there can be many months between a customer sale and the actual travel date, CruiseDesk will also help you manage the details from the day they book until the day they return from vacation. That includes invoicing, booking add-ons like air, car or hotel, and follow up reminders such as a final payment message.
While we know that providing the right marketing tools is essential in the sales process, we also emphasize the importance of in-depth sales training that will provide you with the skills to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ exclusive sales training program, The Navigators Approach, will allow you to polish your sales and service skills and gain a better understanding of where your clients are in the buying process so that you and your team can be there to plan when the timing is right for them.
4. Retention Marketing
Like anyone that loves to travel, you may be familiar with the gloominess of coming back home after an amazing holiday. Our Retention Marketing strategy is designed to battle the post-vacation blues and get customers thinking about their next great adventure. It also allows our Consultants to continue building relationships with clients and develop customer loyalty even after their travel is complete. With the click of a button, you can arrange for a welcome home email to be sent with a link to a satisfaction survey to gain insight on how your customer enjoyed their trip, and where they want to go next! Maintaining a good relationship will also lead your clients to refer you to their friends and family, giving you the potential to grow your database even more.
In addition to personal follow-up messages, our Dream Voyages magazine, a 64 page full color publication, is sure to reignite the travel spark in any world explorer. Sent bi-annually to past customers and valued prospects, Dream Voyages features editorials on the hottest destinations, up-to-the-minute cruise trends and travel tips with sheets of stunning travel photography. Like all of our marketing pieces, each magazine is customized with the contact of each franchise location and a personal letter from the Franchise Partner.
As part of Our Promise to provide the best choice and prices, we also offer 5 major promotions throughout the year that will create interest and drive traffic to your Center. Many Franchise Partners also use promotions as an opportunity to host a cruise night or special event in their retail Center.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters invests heavily in training, technology and marketing to support the success of our Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants. The tools and education we provide will allow you provide outstanding service before, during and after your customer’s trip and help you to obtain Customers for Life. For in-depth details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.