Cruise Lines

J.D. Power Ranks Cruise Lines

Although nearly one in five customers (18 percent) experience a problem during their cruise, customer satisfaction with cruise lines is high, according to consumer rankings giant J.D. Power, which last week published its inaugural “J.D. Power 2013 Cruise Line Satisfaction Report.”

The report measures cruise line customer satisfaction based on the following seven key factors, in descending order of importance: service; stateroom; food; embark/debark; entertainment; cost; and excursions.

Based on those criteria, Disney Cruise Line ranks highest in customer satisfaction, with a score of 871 on a 1,000-point scale, driven by particularly high scores in entertainment and food.

Although customer service, stateroom and food comprise more than 50 percent of cruise lines’ overall satisfaction score, the number of problems passengers experience during their cruise also has a significant impact on loyalty and advocacy.

While customers who experience just one problem on their cruise are very likely to book another cruise with the same cruise line, it found, those who experience two or three problems are much less likely to do so.

“Many cruise lines in the report have very high levels of passenger satisfaction, well above the report average; however, for more than a year, the overall industry has been dealing with a lot of negative news affecting customer perceptions, expectations and trust,” says Ramez Faza, senior account manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power.

“To raise the bar, the industry must focus on meeting the needs of the nearly 20 percent of passengers who experience a problem with their cruise line experience.

Cruise lines need to understand the causes of customer dissatisfaction and determine what will motivate them to come back.”

Notably, the primary reason passengers choose one cruise line over another is price (53 percent). Among the most satisfied customers, however — those who say they “definitely will” return for another cruise with the same cruise line — service is the No. 1 reason they say they’ll return.

“To retain existing customers or acquire new customers, cruise lines need to be extremely sensitive to the price point that is most comfortable for customers, while providing the highest level of service possible,” Faza says.

“It’s all about perceived value for customers. Did they get their money’s worth? Was the service better than expected? Simply put, cruise lines need to work harder to create an enjoyable experience in which customers feel they are getting a great value for the price.

Cruise lines that satisfy their customers and provide them with a reason to cruise again are rewarded with loyal customers.”

Source : Matt Alderton : http://www.successfulmeetings.com

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