"We build tools not just for the sizzle, but to help our agents tackle their business quickly, easily and more efficiently. We do the heavy lifting for the agents, leaving them more time to make the personal connections and close sales," Michelle Fee, CEO & Founder of Cruise Planners.
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (PRWEB) February 08, 2018
Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, rolled out its newest proprietary technology solution, CP Maxx™, a next-generation booking and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system exclusively for its travel agent network.
"I started in this industry 35 years ago as a travel agent so I'm proud to say that I tapped into my understanding of an agent's needs and frustrations and I know time is precious for a home-based agent," said Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder of Cruise Planners. "We build tools not just for the sizzle, but to help our agents tackle their business quickly, easily and more efficiently. We do the heavy lifting for the agents, leaving them more time to make the personal connections and close sales."
Intuitive Technology for Business Efficiency
The new streamlined platform was designed and developed strategically with feedback directly from internal teams and most importantly the Cruise Planners Agent Technology Advisory Board - created by travel agents, for travel agents to help "Maxximize" their efficiencies and profits. In fact, CP Maxx, performs up to eight times faster compared to Cruise Planners' prior platform.
CP Maxx has evolved into a modern and responsive design that works across a variety of digital platforms, including tablets and mobile devices, allowing agents to run their business by accessing the user-friendly site from any device, anywhere and anytime. The system features comprehensive reporting by travel suppliers and supports even more additions to a reservation including events, attraction tickets and visa or passport services.
"CP Maxx is the embodiment of how our franchise owners run their businesses, so great care was taken when creating and rolling out this system," said Brian Shultz, CIO of Cruise Planners. "We give our agents the necessary training to utilize the right tool for each part of their business; helping them be more efficient and freeing up time to close sales."
New User-Friendly Functions Include:
- Global Search: This function searches the entire platform for all topics including clients, sales opportunities, travel reservations, research buckets and even eSource, our extranet which serves as a knowledge center for our agents. This allows travel agents to search by keywords, suppliers, programs, confirmation numbers, dates and more, helping agents move through their workflow more quickly.
- Buckets: Gone are the days of sticky notes and notepads for saving your research. A new feature called, "Buckets," allows agents to save research for a customer, destination, itinerary, etc. and can be easily searched and referred back to at a later date. This is similar to a Pinterest board or a wish list and allows for increased accuracy when quoting a trip and can even be shared with a client during the planning process.
A Travel Franchise First: Skills for Amazon's Alexa
CP Maxx also connects with the industry-first, voice-activated, artificial intelligence Cruise Planners Alexa skills. The company designed two skills; one for Cruise Planners agents and the other for their customers. Developed in-house by Cruise Planners' award-winning technology team, the Alexa skills are designed to be yet another great benefit of working with a Cruise Planners travel agent
- Consumer Alexa Skill called "Cruise Planners"
o Travelers can ask Alexa about details of their upcoming trips, cruise line information, ships and more
o Video: Travelers can ask Alexa about their upcoming trip, final payment and more.
- Agent Alexa Skill called "CP Maxx"
o Video: Cruise Planners travel agents can exclusively run their business with a voice-activated virtual assistant.
"Just as our franchise owners rely on technology to run their business, we know that technology is essential to how their clients book travel and if we can think of it, our IT team can build it," Fee said. "We are proud to say Cruise Planners has kept up with the fast-paced world of technology and we are not slowing down. We want to be the high-tech solution, so our Cruise Planners agents can be the high-touch ingredient to better serve their customers."
About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation's largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners is a lost cost franchise and operates a network of more than 1,800 franchise owners who independently book vacation and travel experiences for their clients. Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. since 1994, Cruise Planners supports its network of franchise owners with innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, professional development and training with the industry's top executives, making it one of the most profitable franchises. Cruise Planners and has been named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 15 consecutive years and was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology. Consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, Cruise Planners is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 6 years and is recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel.
Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line including Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Viking Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, as well as many land vendors such as Travel Impressions, Sandals and Beaches Resorts and Globus Family of Brands. As an American Express Travel Representative, Cruise Planners maintains a reputation for quality and offers exclusive American Express Travel benefits such as Pay with Points. Cruise Planners has earned the American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award since 2004, as well as numerous marketing, technology, franchise and philanthropy awards including an International Franchise Association FranTech award for innovation, Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly and Travvy Awards from travAlliance media. Cruise Planners celebrates supports our troops and celebrates diversity as one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Visit our website, http://www.cruiseplanners.com, for more information or to view the complete list of awards and honors.
Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room or Socially Yours page for social media updates and handles. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. How to start a travel agency: visit the Cruise Planners franchise website to learn about one of the best franchises to own.
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Caitlin Gardner, Director of Public Relations
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative