Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

95 Photo: credit Italian firm GNV operates 25 vessels on routes to Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, France and Albania health and safety onboard our ships, so we have stricter protocols to be in place,” says Della Valle. “In addition, we’ve noticed that they expect more flexibility, for example if they need to reschedule their trip, so that has become a key aspect of ticket sales.” Typically, GNV considers several factors when prioritising future customer experience investments and deciding how best to implement corrective measures to overcome customer service issues. “We mainly evaluate the likely return on investment, the level of improvement in operational efficiency and the possible impact on the environment,” says Della Valle. “Plus, we’re always focused on following market trends to ensure we bring something innovative to the industry.” In keeping with its goal to constantly innovate, GNV is currently exploring how it can capitalise on new technologies to deliver better and more efficient customer services at all stages of the ferry journey. “People now expect to remain connected throughout their trip, so we’re working hard to use technology to enable them to do this and also to make travelling with GNV as effortless as possible,” says Della Valle. “We’re also improving both our digital and traditional customer service channels. For example, we’re providing more pre-departure information through our website, direct marketing and contact centre, but also through more flexible and digital customer service options such as live chat, email and social media.” GNV is also using technology to make operations more efficient. “We are investing in improving the punctuality and efficiency of our ships with the help of our maritime support centre department, which uses advanced technology to monitor and provide constant support to the entire fleet,” says Della Valle. “Another goal is to consolidate our role as a leading service provider for specific target markets that need to travel by ferry, such as families and people journeying with their pets.” In addition, GNV is preparing to take delivery of four new ro-pax vessels, which will be built by China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International and start service from 2024 onwards. The 1,500-passenger newbuilds will have 3,100 lane metre capacity and will likely be deployed on the routes to the Balearic Islands and either Sardinia or Sicily. GNV aims to deliver an equally compelling customer experience on these ships too. “The way people view ferry travel has changed, and our understanding of the latest trends and new customer needs will ensure that our new ships offer passengers a better experience,” says Della Valle. “ Ferry operators must provide a seamless experience that makes passengers feel valued and understood”