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Beyond the Vacation: Engage Your Owners

(Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Beyond the Vacation: Engage Your Owners 

By Robert Kobek, President of CustomerCount

October 25, 2012 

Engaging Your Owners 

Many of you focus on loyalty programs, but remember that loyalty programs are just one component of customer loyalty, not the end game. Customer engagement is another.

Developers and HOAs are keen on engagement in three critical areas: collection of fees, referrals, and on-site activities while on a vacation. But what is stopping you from offering products and services to our owners while they are not on vacation, in collections, or being contacted for referrals?

There are five key cornerstones you should consider in your owner engagement:

  1. Relationship. Hear what your owners and members are saying. To do this, you must ask and be willing to listen. Every one of your owners and members has something to say that will help you deliver better service to them as individuals.
  2. Benefits. Offer your customers true benefits that can be used throughout the year—so they have fewer reasons to want to walk away from the product.
  3. Technology. Collecting data is not enough. Collect actionable data and know what to do with it—critical for customer engagement.
  4. Convenience. Use your onsite Wi-Fi to deliver and capture information. Offer convenient methods of making the entire vacation experience a continual one—before, during, and after.
  5. Priorities. Put the preferences and needs of the owners as the highest priority and thus a centerpiece of all sales, marketing, and management programs.


And in the end, remember the real goal is to gain their loyalty, not through loyalty programs alone, but also through intelligently deploying engagement initiatives all throughout the year. Not just when owners are on-site.
 


Note: This blog post is based on a November 2012 Developments magazine article.   

ARDA West Meeting Draws Record Crowd

(Meetings and Events) Permanent link

ARDA West Meeting Draws Record Crowd 

By Bob Craycraft

October 19, 2012 

San Diego

Thanks to members from such far-flung locales as Hawaii and Montana, we recently hosted one of our highest attended ARDA West Regional Meetings. More than 125 industry professionals traveled to San Diego, California, for the October 4-5 meeting, which was held at the beautiful Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina property. 

This year’s program featured interactive and engaging sessions, offering attendees many takeaways and opportunities to network with others.

One of the thematic focal points was “the employee”—from employee management to employee relations, attendees participated in discussions and heard from industry executives about how to get the most out of your employees. 

The industry-specific programming focused on current key issues in the vacation ownership industry and more importantly, what can be done to fix them. Speakers shared what is working at their resorts to keep their owners engaged, and what resorts have done to keep costs down without decreasing the value. 

Other events held during the meeting also broke past records. The regional Supplier Certification Seminar had the highest ever regional attendance records, and the 90-minute Opening Reception and Product Showcase featured 20 leading timeshare industry suppliers.

For information about upcoming meetings or regional conference sponsorships, please contact bcraycraft@arda.org. For more general information on ARDA’s meetings, please contact Alicia Solomon at asolomon@arda.org.  

 

Timeshare is “Going Green”

(Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Timeshare is “Going Green”  

By Lou Ann Burney

October 15, 2012 

Going Green

Our October “Faces of Timeshare” feature takes a look at the important contributions our members are making to create a greener, more environmentally-friendly world—from recycling soap to cleaning up coastlines to using “green” products in resorts.

These efforts go well beyond recycling at an individual resort. They represent major initiatives that can be a real model for other industries.

Here’s a sampling. For full details, see our press release.  

Marriott Vacation Club recently announced a partnership with “Clean the World,” a group that recycles partially used bars of soap and bottled amenities from resorts in the United States and distributes the new soap and hygiene kits to communities that lack access to these essential items. Each day 9,000 children around the world die from diseases such as acute respiratory illness and diarrheal diseases, which can be prevented by washing with soap.

Bluegreen Vacations has been recognized for using supplies made only of recycled materials and equipping their guest rooms with a master switch to cut a unit’s power when not in use. At their Hammocks at Marathon resort, they use non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaners, have a linen reuse program, and discuss environmental policy at monthly employee meetings.

Grand Pacific Resort Management (GPRM) formed a “Going Green Squad”—a group dedicated to a culture fully committed to being environmentally friendly. Several of their resorts are engaged in unique efforts. For example, The Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort collected a thousand plastic bottles destined for landfills and contributed them to artists who crafted a 10’ x 10’ picture of Marilyn Monroe.

The Holiday Inn Club Vacations® flagship Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, FL recently implemented a resort-wide recycling program—a huge undertaking for the 2,478-unit, 1,450-acre property. The program was piloted in one area of the resort in 2011 and introduced resort-wide in June 2012. It’s a simple, easy-to-follow program: green bags in villas designate where guests can place paper, plastic, metal, and glass to be recycled.

Interval International’s Singapore staff recently participated in the 21st International Coastal Cleanup Day on Tanah Merah Beach on Singapore’s East Coast. Despite sweltering heat, the volunteer team gathered 614 pounds of discarded items, clearing a mile stretch of the coastline. The International Coastal Cleanup is an annual event conducted in more than 70 countries, coordinated by The Ocean Conservancy, a U.S.-based non-profit organization. The program aims to collect data on and remove debris from the shorelines, waterways, and beaches of the world's lakes, rivers, and oceans.

As a part of an ongoing commitment to Wyndham Green, Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO) is continuing to support the Arbor Day Foundation by implementing a variety of initiatives at its resorts, including serving Arbor Day Coffee, which is organically grown under the canopy of the rainforest. Each cup preserves one of our most precious resources and ensures indigenous farmers earn a fair wage and have access to healthcare and education. To date, WVO has purchased 280,000 pounds of Arbor Day Coffee for use at its resorts, saving more than 28 million square feet of rainforest.

A great effort by all! Check out our brand new “Going Green” Pinterest board to see these stories in action…and don’t forget to follow our recently-launched Vacation Better account on Pinterest.