Written by: Kevin Gardner
As competition steadily increases in the cruise industry, operators are watching as technological advances are transforming businesses, as well as the consumer experience. The new competition is a consequence of the growing popularity of cruise vacations, and anyone considering taking a cruise will be excited to know that operations are improving quickly. Here are six ways technology is changing the cruise industry.
Whether you're going on a Bahamas cruise for the fifth time or thinking about booking your first transatlantic cruise within the next few years, you'll find a more personalized experience. In the past, the varying departments onboard the cruise ship had virtually no way of communicating digitally. Data, including vital customer information, had to be transferred manually, which was time-consuming and costly. Some tried to remedy the problem by programming their own software, which often resulted in malfunction.
Today, systems are much more advanced. The integration process has been significantly simplified, resulting in a better experience for everyone. This means that travelers can expect faster responses and more personalization.
2. Better Cyber Security
With the recent spike in cyber attacks across all industries and countries, all businesses are focusing on ways to improve cyber security. Software providers continue to improve and combat a threat that is increasing in real-time. With the implementation of 5G and new programs designed to decentralize networks, companies are able to provide extra security to protect your private information.
3. Internet Connection
Improved internet connectivity is a given; since the debut of wireless connection, strength and speed have increased consistently. This is a wireless world of convenience, and passengers naturally expect to be able to use the internet efficiently. As cruise lines watch their customer demographics change, they are becoming increasingly aware of the necessity of reliable internet connection, and fortunately, advancements in satellite placement, particularly movement closer to Earth, mean that connectivity is vastly improving.
An important part of the cruise industry is pre and post-cruise communications. Streamlined data mining and analysis tools are improving companies' relationships with consumers. Upselling is an important profit generator for cruise businesses and creating excitement for the next adventure benefits the company and the consumer. Platforms containing customer data are becoming more sophisticated, and companies are better able to present consumers with relevant information rather than sending out generalized spam.
5. Enhancing the Customer Experience
In recent years, the ability to promote individualism and personalization has become the hallmark of a strong company. Consumers pay for personal experiences; they often define a good experience by judging the thoughtfulness and attentiveness of the company and staff. The Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way companies interact with their consumers.
With data-centric technology, companies are able to store personal information such as food allergies, excursion plans and health and safety issues, and use it to create better experiences. The crew can act more quickly to meet the needs of the passengers and even be more proactive. Personalization is how companies can differentiate themselves from one another and nurture the consumer at the same time.
6. Improving Operations
Technology, in general, is improving the way companies operate from the ground up. It even starts with shipbuilding. A cruise ship is a very steep investment, and maintenance is costly and cumbersome. Getting it right from the very start saves time and money and keeps ships in operation, making passengers happy. It's all about keeping things afloat, quite literally.
Testing is the only thing standing in the way of selling tickets and setting sail. Advancements in technology streamline the process and get the ship operational much more efficiently. Because all the programs are now connected virtually, everything can even be tested before a ship is even completed.
With all these technological advancements, the cruise industry can expect to see a continued uptick in popularity. As the world becomes more virtually connected, businesses will be able to address the desires of the consumer with exceeded expectations. For now, it's smooth sailing in the cruise industry.