10 Cruise Booking Software Features to Secure More Sales
Cruise lines are some of the wealthiest and most luxurious entities in the hospitality industry. So, it’s only right that they utilize innovative cruise booking software to maximize revenue. As cruise lines become more technologically advanced, hospitality software companies are creating suitable solutions. So, we’re going to cover the top ten features that should be a part of all cruise booking software options.
10 Best Cruise Booking Software Features
If you’re operating a high tech cruise ship, it makes perfect sense to use an innovative cruise booking software. From backend abilities to customer-facing features, we’re about to cover it all. Read on for the details:
1. Search Filter Options
Utilize cloud computing features to build a custom eCommerce website. When booking a cruise vacation, there are dozens of variables, from the destinations to the number of nights. To secure the highest number of bookings possible, make it super easier for consumers to navigate the site.
Implement filters to narrow down their search. If people are able to find a cruise vacation that works for them in record time, it’ll be that much sooner that the sale will take place.
2. Cruise Ship Food Menu Options
Cruise ship food consists of some of the most diverse and delicious options you’ll ever find in one place. So, allow passengers to book restaurant reservations outside the main dining room upon booking their cruise. This is also when the cruise booking software can promote things like in room dining and alcoholic drink packages.
Allowing reservations in advance will also allow the staff to plan accordingly. From employing a large enough wait staff to perfecting their inventory management techniques, planning earlier is a win-win for everyone. Make sure to also send follow-up reminders about such amenities shortly before the sailing date. That's if there are any available spots, of course.
3. Upselling and Cross Selling Elements
One of the best things about a cruise is that everything you could possibly need is in one place. This idea also makes it very easy to upsell and cross-sell various amenities. And as you can imagine, these two concepts are essential when you want to maximize profits.
There are many ways that a cruise booking software can upsell these features. One way would be to show room upgrade options. Another way would be to promote add-ons at checkout like unlimited drink packages, spa amenities, and exclusive restaurants.
As for cross-selling, the cruise booking software can do this too. Third-party excursions and other travel arrangements to and from the ship can be sold to passengers. These are just a handful of many examples.
4. Real-Time Availability
Ensure that you have a cruise booking software that operates in real time. What this means, is that as people book staterooms and purchase other amenities, the inventory levels will automatically drop. This feature is essential for two reasons.
One, it will help avoid the risk of overbooking staterooms. Think about when this happens at the airport. Though it’s a major pain and an inconvenience, at least travelers are free to leave and can get on another plane. But when you’re dealing with cruise ships, this issue could lead to disasters and extremely unhappy guests.
Second, keeping availability in real time will eliminate the need for a waitlist. Even though waitlists are beneficial in places like restaurants, it can be difficult to manage. There are a ton of unique requests and preferences that come along with booking a cruise. So, it’s better to just keep everything available or out of stock–no in between.
5. Itinerary Displays
Allow the cruise booking software to show a carousel of the trip’s itinerary. This is a foolproof way to have an interactive website that heavily promotes vacations. While guests scroll through cruise options or their trip’s dashboard, you can display various room types, amenities, and destinations to stir up the excitement.
6. Online Payment Processing Options
Use a cruise booking software that provides passengers with a selection of payment methods. Cruise vacations can be quite expensive. Plus, many customers opt for payment plans. It’s vital that there are flexible options, where each one abides by PCI regulations.
It's also ideal if the cards can remain on file. This way, as passengers board the ship, their credit or debit card can be linked to their room key or sea pass. With this type of connection, all on-ship transactions will be secure and seamless.
If there’s one thing that you should build into your cruise booking software it’s a customer rewards program. For one, the cruising industry is a niche market where it’s a favorable way to travel. Secondly, there are many expenses that can add up rather quickly.
By supplying her most loyal cruisers with her awards they’ll be able to maximize all the features and amenities of their vacation. But most importantly, point redemption will become a constant incentive for them to keep cruising with your company. The more cruises they go on and money they spend, the more perks that they will be eligible for, and the higher tiers they can reach.
8. Customer Service Hotlines
Want to ensure stellar customer service at all times? Incorporate customer service hotlines throughout the cruise booking software. On the employee’s end, this will probably look something like a phone and messaging app. On the customer’s side, this will likely appear as a virtual chatbot.
When booking a cruise, it’s completely normal for the customer to have an endless amount of questions. By having a customer service representative or travel agent available at all times, you can completely change the customer experience. Eventually, this will lead to better customer reviews.
9. CRM System Features
A CRM system connected in the backend is essential for sales management. Within this solution, each department will be able to track customer interactions, transactions, and other relevant data points. These abilities are vital to booking more vacations.
Circling back to upselling, a CRM system can serve as the central location for all sales-oriented initiatives. In fact, it will also help nurture relationships between customers and the cruise line. Without one, such processes could get a bit chaotic and difficult to track.
10. Reporting and Data Analytics
Data reports and analytics dashboards will tell you everything you need to know about your business. From restaurant inventory counts to consumer data trends, there are also many ways to leverage this information. The way in which you use data will differ from one business entity to the next, so ensure that you have goals or objectives in mind.
A lot of data collections will trace back to the POS system. With this in mind, we circle back to the idea to have an all-inclusive payment processing platform. This way, anything that can produce metrics will be together in one place.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cruise Booking Software
As you can tell, cruise booking software is a critical part of the vacation experience. Considering that all travelers need it to plan their trip, it’s a no-brainer to make it as innovative as possible. Want to learn more about this tech solution? Read on for extra details:
What Is a Cruise Booking System?
A cruise booking system is a software that allows consumers to book cruise vacations. They’re also responsible for letting people customize their trips and pay for them. In this day and age, it’s practically impossible to book a cruise without such a system.
How Do I Get the Best Deal On a Cruise Booking?
You’ll most likely get the best deal on a cruise by working with a travel agent. Or, you might do so by working directly with the cruise line. These are the groups who will have access to the best discount codes and arrangements.
What Day of the Week Do Cruise Prices Drop?
Cruises tend to be a bit cheaper on Thursday. After extensive studies and attention to fluctuations, it seems as though prices are lowest toward the end of the week. However, such rates are always subject to change.
How Do Travel Agents Make Money Booking Cruises?
Travel agents make a living by earning a commission from every cruise they book. This figure is a percentage of the total price. With this said, they typically get paid shortly after the final payment is due.
Is It Cheaper to Call and Book a Cruise?
Sometimes, yes, it’s cheaper to book a cruise by calling a travel agent. If anyone has the ability to grant discount codes, it’s going to be travel companies. It’s also possible to negotiate rates for large groups of people.
These Solutions Will Have You Smooth Sailing
It’s pretty obvious that every cruise line needs an all-inclusive booking system. Without it, it would be nearly impossible to secure sales. We encourage you to invest in innovative tech solutions that integrate with your booking software. This way, you’ll be set for smooth sailing and the utmost success.