Helping cruise lines sail their way to dramatic revenue increases, and more

cruise line call center sales growthOne of RCDA’s specialties is helping cruise lines grow revenue dramatically by creating and implementing customized training and coaching programs in their contact centers based on our exclusive Quality Conversation methodology. Our work for cruise lines centers primarily on agents and supervisors who deal directly with customers rather than travel agents. It has proven to add millions of dollars to a cruise line’s bottom line. And it has provided a world-class customer experience, improving voice of the customer (VOC) survey results.

What is The Quality Conversation?

As with all of our client work across multiple industries, our methodology and call flows are based on our definition of The Quality Conversation:

A meaningful and mutually rewarding dialog that occurs when a person takes and clearly conveys a genuine interest in another individual’s wants, interests, and needs. It goes beyond building rapport to make an emotional connection and establish real trust. Practicing The Quality Conversation with authenticity and proper skills shows others that you truly care and are genuinely interested in them. Learn more

Based upon The Quality Conversation methodology, we modify the cruise line’s inbound and outbound call flows to include several key components:

  • A warm, enthusiastic greeting
  • Assurance of help and name exchange
  • Full discovery during which the agent shows genuine interest, makes an emotional connection, establishes real trust and uncovers the customer’s true wants, interests and needs (WINs) and motivations to cruise
  • Use of features, bridges and benefits to present the solution (a cruise ideally suited to the customer’s WINs and motivations to cruise)
  • A proven process for overcoming objections
  • An assumptive approach to closing

What our programs include

After a complementary site visit, consultation and presentation of a detailed insights and proposal document, we develop our programs for cruise lines to include:

  • Intensive training classes and practice sessions for agents followed by on-the-floor application with coaching
  • Coaching training for supervisors that teach them proven tactics for coaching their agents
  • Close alignment with leadership and quality assurance teams
  • Integration of existing best practices
  • Customized training materials and job guides for use in production
  • Follow-up coaching for sustainability of improved results

What’s a better measure to incent agents: Revenue or close ratio?

First, let’s look at some of our findings:

  • Industry-wide, it is common for agents producing the highest revenue in cruise line contact centers to have a much lower close ratio (approximately 20%) than agents who produce less revenue (approximately 50%).
  • For example, the top-producing agents at one major cruise line went through approximately 900 calls per month at the lower close ratio, while the lower producing agents went through approximately 200 calls per month at higher close ratio.
  • It is far better to incent agents based on their close ratio and coach to revenue generation. This eliminates the agents’ tendency to cherry-pick the easiest calls to close—instead of seeking the sales opportunity in every call. This approach results in a significant improvement in close ratios. It is common for our Quality Conversation approach to raise the average close ratio center wide to approximately 40%, and this drives revenue dramatically higher.

The value of every call

The fact is, the number of calls is finite. Every call costs money, has value and represents a sales opportunity. When agents aren’t having Quality Conversations, they don’t establish real trust or show genuine interest. They don’t engage in full discovery or overcome objections effectively. They end calls when customers say they’ll call back. They miss real sales opportunities and give customers the chance to call the competition.

In addition to improving performance on inbound calls, we’ve done the same on outbound calls. We ensure that agents follow-up on leads quickly enough, are persistent enough in calling back several times, are organized to make call backs as requested, and make enough outbound calls.

The facts show that RCDA has been exceptionally successful in the cruise industry by:

  • Implementing consulting, training and coaching programs based upon The Quality Conversation.
  • Working with cruise lines to base agent incentives on close ratio instead of revenue generated.

Again, our approach improved close ratios dramatically, has added millions of dollars to our clients’ bottom lines and improved their VOC results. What’s more, supervisors and agents enthusiastically embrace our training and coaching because we help them become more successful in their work.

What would it mean to your cruise line to achieve comparable results? Request a complimentary site visit, or simply contact RCDA president Bob Davis to explore how well The Quality Conversation can work for you. E-mail bob@robertcdavis.net or call direct at (678) 548-1775.

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