Resort Management Priority Issues Surveyed by Resort Trades

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

!http://customercount.com/images/8.gif (Resort Trades)!
*Resort Management Priority Issues Surveyed by Resort Trades*
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CustomerCount© Online System Employed as Comprehensive Tracking Vehicle
==Crossville, TN – February 2010==

Resort Trades and AskMando.com have launched a CustomerCount© survey to over 18,000 hospitality professionals to ascertain the resort industry’s property management outlook and overall plans in the year to come.
In order to encourage vital responses all timeshare professionals responding to this survey will be given a $150 Vacation Value Card, and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card from TruCash. In order to receive the Vacation Value Card and be entered into the drawing, the questionnaire must be answered by February 15, 2010.
The project is designed to identify opportunities and trends for improvement so resort managers, HOAs and Developers can better meet the needs of their owners and guests. Provided as a service by The Trades publications, the information will provide valuable insights and tools to be used in the management of resorts. This confidential survey will produce industry information that will be published in an article by Georgi Bohrod of GBG & Associates in the March issue of Resort Trades and AskMando.com.

The survey looks at such management issues as Reserve Studies, ADA Requirements and Green Initiatives, to name a few. The CustomerCount Online Feedback process began with Email invitations and reminders and continues through to on-line reporting and analysis 24/7. It has been customized for this survey. Originally designed by Mobius Vendor Partners for its client RCI, the “Online Feedback system”:http://www.customercount.com collects and measures feedback from customers and can be designed, such as in this case, for other market measuring campaigns as well.

The new CustomerCount Survey is available at “The Trades”:http://www.customercountsurveys.com/front/TheTrades.

AskMando.com is a community of resort managers and suppliers linked together to improve communication and profitability in the resort management and operations sector of recreational resorts. The Resort Trades is published monthly as an Industry’s Buyer’s Guide/Reference Source. Its philosophy is to produce the lowest cost advertising available while maintaining a high distribution into every Vacation Ownership, Fractional and PRC resort, campgrounds and all hospitality and recreational resort professionals in the nation. For more information visit www.askmando.com or call 931-484-8819.

Mobius Vendor Partners is a ten year old business process design and management company specializing in servicing the needs of the timeshare industry. Mobius principals are active in ARDA through sponsorships and committee memberships. Robert Kobek RRP is a member of the Board of Trustees of the ARDA International Foundation. For more information visit “mobiusvp.com”:http://www.mobiusvp.com or call 317-816-6000.


Triton Timeshare Software and CustomerCount® Announce Distribution Agreement

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

!http://customercount.com/images/9.png (Triton Timeshare Software)!
*Triton Timeshare Software and CustomerCount® Announce Distribution Agreement*

==Indianapolis, IN – January 2010==

Triton Timeshare Software, the world’s leading innovator of Timeshare Technology and Condotel Software, has announced that it will offer CustomerCount® survey technology to its customers. Triton, which develops award-winning software, customer development and training solutions will now include the online feedback systems component with its extensive menu of software products including Triton Property Management, Triton Sales & Marketing and Triton Condotel Software.
Delaina M. Probus-Staley, President of the Florida-based company said,

== “We are thrilled to offer CustomerCount along with our powerful range of services for our customers. We are seamlessly integrating its customized surveys which measure the quality of the entire customer experience from reservations and sales through to the vacation stay itself. The concept and execution of CustomerCount fits hand in glove with what Triton already offers, including our learning tools & training, 24/7 tech support, and a professional staff.==

==“CustomerCount offers our customers a very important element of property management and is the only survey product designed specifically for the timeshare industry,”== she continues.

Robert A. Kobek, Managing Partner of Mobius Vendor Partners, (MVP) an Indianapolis-based company that provides business process management and market research services to companies, associations and non-profit organizations, says the company’s CustomerCount, an “On-Line Feedback System”:http://www.customercount.com, was more than four years in the making.

==“Now that the technology is operationally robust, we are ready to build the business. Triton becomes our newest distributor and we are grateful that Triton will offer our product to their customers. Triton is a mature company with a substantial product, and deals with absolute integrity. Knowing that CustomerCount will be a part of their product mix is particularly exciting as we deepen our penetration into the timeshare industry.” ==

The CustomerCount program, developed initially by MVP for its client RCI, collects and measures customer feedback. CustomerCount (www.customercount.com) tracks three primary components: the reservation experience, the sales experience and the vacation experience. CustomerCount is fully transparent to members, owners and guests. The process begins with Email invitations and reminders and continues through to on-line reporting and analysis 24/7. It may be customized for use by shared ownership resort developments, as well as other businesses.

Probus-Staley continues

==“our Property Management Solution integrated suite of tools will be greatly enhanced by the addition of Customer Count’s timely and consistent process that supports management in its identification of problem trends and needs. It will also be of great support to our clients who utilize Triton Sales and Marketing software as it pinpoints challenges most significant to prospects, customers and/or guests.”==

Mobius Vendor Partners is a ten year old business process design and management company specializing in servicing the needs of the timeshare industry. Mobius principals are active in ARDA through sponsorships and committee memberships. Robert Kobek RRP is a member of the Board of Trustees of the ARDA International Foundation.

For more information visit www.mobiusvp.com or call 317-816-6000.


Breckenridge Grand Vacations Selects MVP’s CustomerCount©

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

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!http://customercount.com/images/10.png (Breckenridge Grand Vacations)!
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*Breckenridge Grand Vacations Selects MVP’s CustomerCount©*
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==December 18, 2009 by Perspective Magazine | Timeshare & Fractional Reviews==

Brings Flexibility to Measuring “Net Promoter Score” says GM

Bill Morris, Managing Partner of Mobius Vendor Partners, (MVP) an Indianapolis-based company that provides business process management and market research services to companies, associations and non-profit organizations, has announced that CustomerCount,© an “On-Line Feedback System”:http://customercount.com/casestudies.php has been selected by Breckenridge Grand Vacations as a instrument for monitoring and measuring guest and resort experiences.

Located in Breckenridge, Colorado, Breckenridge Grand Vacations was formed in 2007, serving as the developer, owner and operator of three Breckenridge Resorts; Gold Point Condominiums, Grand Timber Lodge, and its newest resort, the Grand Lodge on Peak 7. Breckenridge Grand Vacations has also been recognized as one of the most successful independent developers in the industry.

Kit Armour, General Manager at Breckenridge Grand Vacations says

==“CustomerCount® was selected to use for immediate customer feedback to provide summary data to help establish our ‘net promoter score.’ “==

The Net Promoter® score allows you to categorize customers into three groups based on their willingness to recommend your company or product to a friend or colleague:

• Promoters (score 9–10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
• Passives (score 7–8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
• Detractors (score 0–6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Kit Armour says

==“Mobius Vendor Partners (developers of CustomerCount®) developed the on-line feedback system with a thorough knowledge of timesharing and its various components. For instance, our Director of Guest Relations uses the real-time response of CustomerCount® to address any guest concerns immediately. We also can follow up post timeshare tour to zone in on positive and negatives that allow us to make our sales experience better for our guests. The bottom line is that MVP has been around our industry for more than a decade and its inherent understanding of the timeshare model gives developers like us the ability to be flexible in using this tool. “==

The CustomerCount® program, developed initially by MVP for its client RCI, collects and measures customer feedback through branded, customized surveys formulated to measure the quality of the entire customer experience from reservations and sales through to the vacation stay itself. CustomerCount tracks three primary components: the reservation experience, the sales experience and the vacation experience.

CustomerCount® is fully transparent to members, owners and guests. The process begins with Email invitations and reminders and continues through to on-line reporting and analysis 24/7. It may be customized for use by shared ownership resort developments, as well as other businesses.

Morris says “the timely consistency of the process allows management to identify problem trends and needs; pinpoint challenges most significant to prospects, customers and/or guests; target improvement efforts and increase customer satisfaction levels by creating benchmarks and monitoring improvement.”

Mobius Vendor Partners is a ten year old business process design and management company specializing in servicing the needs of the timeshare industry. Mobius principals are active in ARDA through sponsorships and committee memberships. Robert Kobek RRP is a member of the Board of Trustees of the ARDA International Foundation.
For more information visit www.mobiusvp.com or call 317-816-6000.


SFX Preferred Resorts Uses CustomerCount© Online Feedback Survey

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

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“!http://customercount.com/images/11.jpg (SFX Preferred Resorts)!”:http://www.sfx-resorts.com
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Cory Phelps, Senior VP of The San Francisco Exchange Company (SFX) says the recent selection of CustomerCount© is influential in providing

==“Great customer service and aided in helping customers with their travel needs.”==

The CustomerCount© program, developed initially by Mobius Vendor Partners for its client RCI, collects and measures “customer feedback”:http://www.customercount.com/features.php through branded, customized surveys formulated to measure the quality of the entire customer experience from reservations and sales through to the vacation stay itself. CustomerCount tracks three primary components: the reservation experience, the contact sales experience and the vacation experience.

SFX has over 100,000 members and operates a worldwide exchange network of the industry’s highest rated resorts, aligning itself with the most strategic and respected brand name resorts in the timeshare industry. Regardless of any resorts exchange company affiliation, individual timeshare Owners own the rights to their time and may request the service of any exchange company willing to accept their weeks for exchange. SFX allows owners to exercise this right to its fullest.

In fact, it is SFX’s affiliation with numerous properties and networks that make the CustomerCount© survey extremely important as a real time monitoring system. Phelps says

==“the system helps us stay consistent and give our members all the information they need to enjoy their vacations. Several times, it has helped in finding out about things happening at a specific resort, such as closure of amenities due to construction or weather. In one instance, it also alerted us to new fees that we needed to make our guests aware of. “==

CustomerCount© is fully transparent to members, owners and guests. The process begins with Email invitations and reminders and continues through to on-line reporting and analysis 24/7. It may be customized for use by shared ownership resort developments, as well as other businesses.

Bill Morris, Managing Partner of Mobius Vendor Partners, says “it took four years for us to develop a core system with sound software. That allows us to customize the product according to the needs of the client. In the case of SFX, they are primarily based on the vacation and reservation experience. Other clients focus more on the sales experience. The web based, real time reporting helps management keep flexible, which is more than important in today’s business climate.”

Mobius Vendor Partners is a ten year old business process design and management company specializing in servicing the needs of the timeshare industry. Mobius principals are active in ARDA through sponsorships and committee memberships. Robert Kobek RRP is a member of the Board of Trustees of the ARDA International Foundation.
For more information visit “mobiusvp.com”:http://www.mobiusvp.com or call 317-816-6000.


The Care and Feeding of a Customer

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

It is very hard for me to imagine a discussion surrounding customer care is really necessary. But for some reason all businesses swat at the issue as if it is a breaking story on a major news network.

Concentrating on what it takes to ensure a pleasant customer vacation experience is a natural part of business, at least I think it is. But there are other areas we touch, or should touch, our owners and guests.

Often “care” is confused with service, which is, no doubt, a part of caring for a customer. Caring for a customer goes beyond customer service. Customers are assets that should be protected with every fiber of the company’s being.
First, the definition of a customer lies in the attitude of the beholder.

Dictionary.com defines it as;
cus⋅tom⋅er
kstəmərShow Spelled Pronunciation [kuhs‐tuh‐mer]
–noun
1.
a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.
2.
Informal. a person one has to deal with: a tough customer; a cool customer.

I will throw in a 3rd definition:
Those who provide goods or services on behalf of others. syn. Employees.
For the intellectuals among us, how hard is this to understand?

Adam Smith conjured up the notion of supply and demand in his 1776 publication The Wealth of Nations and Theodore Levitt bolstered the argument in his 1960 Harvard Business Review manifesto (Marketing Myopia) “that companies should stop defining themselves by what they produced and instead reorient themselves toward customer needs”.

Adam Smith’s premise was that increasing revenues and decreasing expenses results in a profit. It was Benjamin Franklin that took that premise and installed it into what we know as capitalism in the United States.

If the premise that it takes five times the resources to gain a new customer than it does to keep one is correct, the following information is meant to establish a new or renewed attitude toward timeshare owners, guests and employees.

If a timeshare tour hovers around $500 then it seems logical to point at least $100 per customer to take care of their needs. Add to that the cost of the sale and a light bulb should go off in the head of every property manager in timeshare that the budget dedicated to the care and feeding of an existing customer is most likely far too low.

And, there are efficient tools that can be used to continue to touch customers who cost nothing, or very little at all. Most fall into the category of communications. Talk to them, and let them talk back. Ask questions and respond to the answers, provide information, good information, not “so what” stuff.

The vehicles are there; mail, phone, internet, and on site interaction should all meld with the vacation experience to create the warm fuzzy for our customers that will decrease default rates, increase visits, decrease complaints and increase compliments. What could be wrong with intelligent and planned efforts to find out what they are thinking instead of talking to ourselves about what will and won’t work?

As a matter of respect for this forum, a commercial about a product we offer is inappropriate; however, it is a great example. Our product can touch every owner, guest and exchanger that visits your property, and is a proven profit center that has its focus on customer care and experiences.

Yet at times we are informed, “It is not in our budget”. Since I am no rookie to sales, the “budget” objection is a very weak objection and every sales professional knows that is a blow off.

Or, if it is a real issue, it is more often than not the musing of that person who only looks at expenses and forgets there is revenue opportunity associated with caring for a customer. In caring for a customer the budget issue is a weak excuse for not wanting to change, alter or delete a process that most of us inherited and figure that since it is a legacy, it has some place of honor. We get bolted to outdated processes and it just seems like too much hassle to change them. There is so much affinity to the old ball and chain that we continue our old ways of treating customers with policy rather than service.

A result is a surprise issue that could have been resolved for very little money and becomes a larger problem with a non‐budget price tag attached that costs far, far more. I know about this phenomenon because we provide other services to fix things that could have been avoided.

However, think about the question and answer. Why would you not want to take every opportunity to touch your customers? Each time you do, you gain loyalty, and every time they come back, they make you money. As a possible unintended consequence, the more pleasant the experience, the greater the likelihood they will refer a friend or family member.

In the marketing and sales of timeshare today, the collapse of end loan financing forced us to kick up, “owner referral” programs. Offer the owner something of perceived value and they will inundate us with the names, addresses, phone numbers and email information of all kinds of relationships.

More importantly, the success of an owner referral program is wholly dependent on the owners start to finish experiences. If they love it, they will refer, if they like it, they might refer, if they hate it, they won’t refer. (The same is true in ensuring maintenance fees and other payments are made in timely fashion).

Today the acquisition cost for new business is the same. There is no decrease in the per tour expense, just fewer tours. The decrease in the variable side of the ledger is because we are selling less, but the cost per sale is the same. There is no increase in profit, just holding our own until things get better and the bankers tell us it’s ok to go back to the old ways of marketing and selling.

And, the owner (customer) is getting creamed with offers that will eventually lead to a dry well. While somewhat valuable today, there are a finite number of owners (4 million +/‐ depending on who you ask).

The proper care and feeding of a customer will produce referrals, increase traffic at a resort, and cause money to flow. It minimizes complaints and creates efficiencies in areas you may never have thought of (like savings on your toll free lines).

Try these “rules of thumb” as a guide and add them to what you already have to ensure the proper care and feeding of your customers.
* Treat employees like customers. There is a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and service delivery. Employees who like their jobs will better serve customers and stay on the job longer thereby decreasing cost and increasing revenue.
* Satisfied customers are not necessarily loyal customers.
* The vacation experience begins before check in. The tone of the experience starts in your call center when the owner, exchanger or guest calls to inquire and/or make a reservation. If your mandate is to “save on seconds”, the caller knows and will leave the experience with a lukewarm perception, at best.
* Dress well, everywhere, everyone, every time. The next person to call you or walk in the door is a VIP. Get rid of clutter, expect everyone to have shined or new shoes regardless of their function and there is never an acceptable time when property and personal hygiene should not be impeccable. Be mindful of language and grammar.
* It is the little things. The devil is not in the details, the answers are in the details.
* Quality is a path, not a result. Only you can define the quality standards and only you can insist they be met and only you can decide on the commitment you make to maintain and grow on the quality path.
* Document all your processes. If you don’t know how, find someone who does. Just as you can’t tell the players without a program, you can’t know what needs fixing unless you identify the gaps in service.
* Measure, consistently, constantly and regularly. Do more of what pops up as being good and less of what is bad. Ask genuine questions regularly and consistently. Act on the answers.
* Customers and employees are the center of your universe. All good things sprout from them and all bad things fester from them.
* The speed of light is 442,000,000 miles an hour. Coincidently that is the same speed bad new travels. Good news moves at the speed of a snail relaxing.
* There are no shortcuts to care. Every time you think there is, you end up breaking a rule and you will be reminded why it was a rule in the first place.
* Mind your etiquette. Answer every email and return every call. Be responsive. Learn to write in business speak. Teach your employees to write in business speak. Please and thank you go a very long way.

And, finally, none of us knows it all. Keep learning, keep caring and stop talking to yourself. Instead of swatting at the issue do something. Stop trying and take action.
In the words of Charlie Weis, head football coach of Notre Dame, “yesterday is over, tomorrow may not come, there is only today”.

_About Robert A. Kobek, RRP_
_Kobek is the President of Mobius Vendor Partners and a long time member and supporter of ARDA. He serves on several committees and is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the ARDA International Foundation. Mobius is the provider of CustomerCount, an online continuous survey system designed for the timeshare industry._