Celebrity Helps Others Understand The Agent Role

Cruise Week

One of Cruise Week’s key takeaways from Celebrity’s recent executive road trip visiting top agencies and agency groups in North America was how President &CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo made sure it wasn’t only the people regularly interacting with agents who participated.
Celebrity brought along team members representing areas from finance to web marketing – people who stood to benefit from better understanding agent contributions to the business.
At the end of the trip Cruise Week asked one such participant, Michael Delgado - who joined Celebrity earlier this year as V.P. Digital/Web - what he learned from interacting with the agents and agent leaders during the meetings.
“This trip exposed me to some of the best minds in the travel agency community,” he responded. “As one example, we were speaking to Alex Sharpe of Signature about all the different pieces that go into building a vacation package and got me thinking of ways we can get together at the starting point of the customer’s journey.”
That starting point is crucial, he says, because a big part of the success of a website comes from better identifying the customers who visit.
Both retailer and supplier benefit by knowing more about the consumer from the get-go, Delgado says. “The more we know about them, the better we can tailor the beginning of their journey. So if we see the demographic and household income we know they have a budget for a $10,000 to $15,000 cruise.”
The next step is to use the website to increase the chance of an overall booking. As Delgado says, “I don’t want to market Alaska to someone who has 2 kids and wants to go to the Caribbean.”
In this vein, he references the videos on Celebrity’s YouTube channel. “Before I started at Celebrity, we had these beautiful videos on YouTube, and they talked about the destination, they talked about the ship, etc. But once the video would end, you’d be done.”
That wasn’t enough. “We put links on all of our YouTube videos, and once the video ends you can ‘click here to learn more,’” he says. “It takes you back to a landing page on our site that is in line with the topics covered on the video.”  That’s smart thinking, as it makes the entire experience more targeted and interactive.

Delgado says it’s part of the bigger picture of creating loyalty.

“So it’s all about starting the customer on the journey by giving them a best in class tour. If we give them the best cruise experience from the start to finish, they are going to come back and they are going to cruise with us again.”

Loyalty is crucial to long term success, and helps steer the conversation away from a price focus.

“In this industry, the customer is comparatively very loyal to a brand, a destination, a core product. The customer has a relationship with the crew, and they have a relationship with the agent.”

(will not be published)