Crystal Cruises has unveiled a new search tool to encourage customers to book its sailings with their nearest travel agent.
The line’s Find a Travel Advisor function went live last week and ranks trade partners by their postcode’s proximity to potential customers using Google Maps.
It then provides an agency’s distance in miles from the searcher and their address, helping customers to get in touch with their local Crystal agent and arrange a visit to their store.
Agents who have made a booking with Crystal over the past 18 months will be available on the database.
The function is an extension of Crystal’s previous search tool, which listed partner agents but did not have the interactive map function to show their location.
Crystal used a revamp of its website over the Christmas period as an opportunity to expand the tool.
Elaine Gillard, senior sales and marketing manager for the line, told TTG about 400 agents were searchable and said she hoped the platform would “bring even more business through agents’ doors”.
“By adding the map they can really pinpoint which agent would be best for them to get to know and book with,” she explained.
“Well over 95% of our business is through the trade, so it will just help to grow that further.”
Gillard added it was also a useful reference tool for Crystal’s reservations team which, when taking a call from a customer, will be able to direct them to an appropriate agent.
“Clients at [this] level of the market really do value in-person meetings and like to take the time to get to know their agents face-to-face – they don’t want a simple call centre approach,” she said.
“It’s great for agents too, with only one booking needed to be featured. We appreciate every single sale and understand not every agent has loads of Crystal clients – they may just have one or two, but it’s equally as important.”
Helen Beck, vice-president of international sales and marketing, added Crystal was “hugely supportive” of both existing and new [agents], reflected in the line “not encouraging” direct bookings from consumers.