RCI, Celebrity and Azamara sales teams have just completed a six-city seminar and online webinar series to train more than 6,000 agents across the US and Canada to prepare for the transition to the system.
Agents can now apply their learnings when booking a cruise on www.cruisingpower.com. Agents who have not been trained on ESPRESSO can contact their business development manager to schedule a personal session or use the virtual training tool at www.espressocbt.com that simulates the system. More information can be found at www.bookespresso.com.
ESPRESSO replaces CruiseMatch. Agents will have access to CruiseMatch until Aug. 3, when it will be discontinued.
The new system gives agents the freedom to engage their clients wherever they are, according to Vicki Freed, svp sales, trade support and service for RCI.
Dondra Ritzenthaler, svp sales, trade support and services for Celebrity, added that ESPRESSO was designed from travel partners' feedback and makes it easy for them to 'instantly access the resources and information they need.'
All inventory is centralized and agents can select up to four stateroom categories at once for comparison. They also can use the new interactive deck plans, which highlight the best available staterooms and filter specific criteria, such as connecting, closest-to or accessible staterooms. They can select one or multiple staterooms by clicking on them to view photos, layouts and other details.
'We’ve significantly cut down the number of steps for travel professionals to find, compare and book a voyage, which gives them more time to connect with their clients,' said Ellen Bettridge, vp sales and marketing for Azamara.
Another new ESPRESSO feature provides side-by-side comparison views of selected itineraries. When agents make a selection, the system’s search engine zeroes in on the best available price and applicable promotional offers.
Further, ESPRESSO provides a side-by-side view of groups and individual inventory at point of sale, or ‘single view.’ Agents can use single view to compare individual pricing against their reserved group space to determine the best value and price for their clients.
And, a predictive search function can help agents find an existing reservation from a single identifier, while also identifying past customers and displaying recent promotions sent to them and their accommodation preferences. ESPRESSO automatically populates their information when a new reservation is made.
Agents can seek support from the 'live chat' or 'request a call' function.