Since 2001, GoCruise Franchise has continued to grow as an independent cruise travel agent. With more than 60 cruise specialists across the country in 2016, our position within the industry is one that is highly regarded and respected. Peter Ruck, who joined GoCruise Franchise just over two years ago, has certainly taken the opportunity and excelled. He has even won awards along the way, having recently received the Pure Luxury Star of Kent award (pictured) from luxury travel company Azure Collection.
This emphasises how much of an impact Peter has had in his local area in such a short period of time. We previously interviewed him about his initial experiences with GoCruise in April 2015 and, nine months later, we decided to chat with Peter once again to find out the secrets behind his success with GoCruise Franchise.
Having worked on the high street for over 40 years, Peter has had the opportunity to learn the industry inside out and gain some very loyal customers. For those starting a new career in the travel industry, Peter’s advice solidified the importance of customer relations. “Ensure you have the ability to build a good database. Get to know the area and the local people. One thing I have started doing is handing out business cards after simply finding out more about people’s interests.”
“I take the time to learn each customer’s needs. I’ll often send them an email if I see something they might like. For example, I know a couple who enjoy travelling to Hard Rock Cafes around the world – so I saw there was one opening up in Tenerife and sent them the details.”
Before continuing, Peter was quick to stress that a background in the travel industry was not a pre-requisite for joining GoCruise Franchise – but building customer relations is essential. “A good background in sales is preferable. But above all, you have to come across trustworthy and knowledgeable.”
Ensuring each customer knows they are acknowledged and cared about is one of the most important factors when it comes to trying to secure repeat bookings. In a digital age which revolves around digital presence and call centres, Cruise Specialists can offer a human approach which remains more refreshing and welcome than ever before.
“I look after them to the best of my ability and how I would like to be looked after. “I contact each customer to ensure they have received their invoice. I’ll offer to check them in and just generally go the extra mile for them.”
“For birthdays or anniversaries, I will send them a card and ensure they are not forgotten about. I will offer to do home visits and spend an afternoon talking through the options available whilst in their conservatory with a tea and a biscuit.”
With regards to the luxury market, in many respects, a higher degree of trust is required. Customers are willing to part with a large sum and it is the duty of a cruise specialist to do the utmost to ensure they make the right decision. A wrong decision could lead to damaged customer relations, or even reluctance to cruise again. Get it right, though, and you will earn higher commission from fewer overall sales.
There are many lines available to choose from when it comes to the luxury product. Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea and Cunard are just a few of the options available when it comes to luxury ocean cruise lines. Many river cruise lines, such as AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways and Viking River Cruises, are renowned for providing a top quality luxury product.
“Sometimes people are not sure of what they want. I take the time to try and find out, whilst ensuring I place each customer on the right ship for them.” Above all, the simplistic advice provided by Peter could be synonymous with all cruise bookings. “Take the time to know your client first, and then ensure you know your product.”
Whether you love cruising or are simply looking for a new career path in the New Year, GoCruise Franchise presents a fantastic and unique business opportunity. Owned by Fred. Olsen Travel, we are a respectable brand with over 15 years of experience.
Upon joining, you will be warmly welcomed by the team at our head office in Ipswich and receive extensive training in business management and the cruising industry. You will also be able to share your passion for cruise and travel with more than 60 cruise specialists from across the country.
If you would like to find out more, contact us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.