How customer feedback fuels our innovation

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By Yuri Duncan, WRAP Partner and CEO, Buchanan Creative Solutions

The dictionary provides a simple and succinct definition of the word “innovation”: a new method, idea, or device.”

Here at CustomerCount®, your feedback is our roadmap for providing you a customer feedback platform that evolves and adapts to your needs. After all, what kind of a customer feedback company would we be if we didn’t listen to our customers?

We value our client feedback so much that we use it to guide our innovations and enhancements. 

Unlike many companies where customer requests for service are seemingly lost in a sea of bureaucracy and red tape, we respond to your needs immediately and treat every customer request as an opportunity for improvement and enhancement.  

Our innovation efforts across the last few years have embraced the definition of Innovation in virtually every way. 

Starting with a “new method”, we enhanced our Text Search capabilities through Keatext v2.0.  If you aren’t using our Text Search capabilities, you’ve not armed yourself with one of the greatest customer feedback tools available today. 

We partnered with Keatext because they are the leader in Artificial Intelligence driven analytics, and their recent enhancements are now available to our CustomerCount clients.  Our shared desire to provide you with the latest features and benefits of text analytics drove us to upgrade to their greatest platform yet.  Innovating with an eye on new methods allows us to deliver the state-of-the-art features you’ve come to expect from the CustomerCount platform. 

how feedback fules our innovation
Feedback from our clients fuels our innovation

Innovation comes directly from our customers

New “Ideas” are also a key destination along our roadmap to innovation. 

Not content to simply be the leader in feedback management, we also work to introduce new ideas into your conception of how effective feedback management can benefit your entire organization. 

For example, we’ve teamed up with Noble Systems and introduced “gamification” into our arsenal of tools.  Gamification is the application of elements typically found in video games (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity.  Finding it difficult to keep your customer service staff engaged and motivated? Try applying gamification features to your workplace and watch your employees compete to provide superior customer service with a new sense of fun and excitement!

Being a cloud-based platform, you may not associate CustomerCount as being an innovator in the area of “devices”. 

If so, then you may not be aware of our innovations towards putting real-time feedback tools literally in your customer’s hands.  The Onsite Service Request tool does just that.  By combining smart phone technology with our CustomerCount feedback management platform, customers can not only communicate with you in real-time, their comments and requests are immediately routed to the person within your organization best suited to fulfill the customer’s needs.

These three examples are but a small sample of the innovations under constant development here at CustomerCount.  Our days begin and end with the simple question “how can we make CustomerCount the valuable feedback management tool our clients deserve?”. 

If you have an idea or feature that you’d like to see incorporated into the CustomerCount system, simply reach out. After all, your feedback fuels our innovation. 

To find out more about our recent innovations in text analytics, gamification and our Onsite Service Request tool and how they can help your product and service innovation, contact Bob Kobek on 317-816-6000 or bobkobek@customercount.com

About Yuri Duncan

Yuri Duncan is an award winning filmmaker and president of Buchanan Creative Solutions, LLC – a video production company specializing in producing affordable and effective videos. His skills and accomplishments as an artist and leader are what drive him to provide high quality services through Buchanan Creative Solutions.

With a proven record in design, illustration, animation, editing, and management, Yuri oversees all projects, no matter how large or small, to ensure the end-result fulfills your vision.

About CustomerCount

CustomerCount is a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution providing intuitive real-time reporting and detailed dynamic data gathering capabilities. It supports process improvement efforts, builds customer loyalty and improves ROI. CustomerCount was initially designed for the hospitality and contact center industries and is now used by organizations across numerous different vertical markets and industries. Follow them on LinkedIn or Facebook.  


Cyber security: how prepared are you?

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By Emily Collins, WRAP partner and CEO of EVC Marketing

You may have noticed that October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. It’s an annual campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats. It’s hoped awareness will empower the public and business to be safer and more secure online.

You may also have thought to yourself, so what? Well, cyber security statistics make for worrying reading*:

  • Half of all cyber attacks are targeted at small business yet small businesses invest less than $500 in cyber security;
  • It is estimated cyber attacks will cost $6 trillion in damages by 2021;
  • Only 10 per cent of cybercrimes are reported each year in the US;
  • There is a ransom ware attack every 14 seconds;
  • Everyone is vulnerable. Major brands like Yahoo!, Marriott, Equifax, Ebay, Target and LinkedIn have been attacked costing millions of dollars;
  • You can become a hacker by buying software and tool kits that start from just $1;
  • Public administration organizations receive one malicious email per 302 emails; and
  • It takes five minutes to hack an IoT device.
cyber security
Follow our top tips this Cyber Security Awareness Month

The 2019 theme, produced by CISA, for the US Department of Homeland Security, emphasizes personal accountability for cyber security. It stresses the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance security at home and in the workplace.

The message is clear. Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. But how can YOU do this? Here are their top tops for making cyber security part of your daily routine.

1 Protect your login

Double your login protection with multi-factor authentication to ensure the only person who has access to your account is you. Importantly, use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in.

2 Protect your password

Shake up your password protocol. Use the longest password permissible and customize your standard password for different sites. This prevents cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts. Above all, it also protects you in the event of a breach. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords.

3 Update your software

If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices. The best defense against viruses and malware, for instance, is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software.

4 Be wary at all times

Play hard to get with strangers. Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate— or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond. And do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.

5 Don’t over share your details

Never click and tell. Limit what information you post on social media. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your belongings. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are.

6 Check your apps

Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. As a result, your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background using permissions you never realized you approved. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege”. Then delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.

7 Be wary of wi-fi hotspots

Stay protected while connected. Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures to ensure the network is legitimate. Moreover, if you do use an unsecured public access point, avoid sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot is often a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking.

If you’re concerned about cyber security in your business, then CustomerCount WRAP partner EVC Marketing offers a cyber security risk assessment. Our network of technicians can provide a range of services including penetration testing, red team assessments, ethical hacking assessments, regulation audits and IT security and back up solutions. Don’t leave it to chance. Take responsibility for your online security and contact EVC Marketing today to arrange your assessment.

About EVC Marketing

Emily Collins and John Heffernan of EVC Marketing are WRAP’s digital marketing experts. With over 25 years in the travel/timeshare market working with developers and service providers such as RCI, Interval International, CLC World, DaE, RDO, EURoc and TATOC, the EVC team understands the very specific issues facing developers, resorts and exchange companies. EVC Marketing’s deep background in all aspects of the digital marketing spectrum puts them at the cutting edge of business to business market development.


How to write a great CEP nomination

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By Yuri Duncan, WRAP Partner and CEO, Buchanan Creative Solutions

In a previous blog, I talked about the power of a well-written nomination, and how meaningful it can be to the recipient.  Today, I’d like to revisit this subject from the perspective of how to write a meaningful nomination.  These concepts are more about creating thoughtful documentation regarding a moment in time that an employee was deserving of recognition. 

Be prepared

It isn’t uncommon to find yourself sitting down to compose a thoughtful and effective nomination, only to suddenly draw a blank as to what to say.  One practice to start immediately is creating a small tickler file for each of your staff.  Use this file to quickly record dates and activities that you’d like to consider when writing a nomination, performance review, and so on. 

With these details in hand, you’ll find the nomination process much easier to write, and the employee will always appreciate your attention to detail. Especially when it comes to their performance. 

Accuracy

This brings us to our first concept related to writing a great nomination: accuracy.  You cannot expect an employee to respect your opinions related to their personal attention to detail and accuracy on the job if you are unable to provide accurate details as well.

It’s all about the deadlines

Another area to focus on is your employee’s ability to meet deadlines and achieve goals.  Achieving a mutual understanding of shared team goals and working together to meet those goals and their associated deadlines is critical to the success of any project.  Missing a deadline or misunderstanding the end-goal is often the difference between the ultimate success or failure of a project. 

To that end, make sure that you yourself meet the deadlines related to a nomination or performance review.  As a manager of human resources, holding yourself responsible for the same qualities expected from your staff is necessary to avoid undermining the integrity of your message.

How to write a CEP customer engagement professional award nomination

Detailed examples are key

Telling a specific story about how the nominee was able to positively impact a customer, for example, is one of the most powerful tools in your nomination arsenal. 

When you set out to tell their story, take the time to gather feedback from their peers and even the customer themselves. Crafting a story from various angles is highly effective and details are critical.  When done correctly, a story can chart your employee’s path from identifying a need, rising to the task to fulfill that need, doing so with a positive attitude, and ultimately having a positive impact on the customer. 

This path not only demonstrates an employee’s inner drive to make a difference. It provides an example of how they put that drive into action and supported the company’s goals in the process. 

The downstream impacts of their actions benefit the company overall, so make sure to connect the dots between motivation, inspiration, action, and how these qualities benefit the organization and its customers.  Focus on what the nominee did, how they accomplished that task, and the impacts resulting from that task. Details make a difference.

Don’t forget to add personality

The act of composing a nomination isn’t enough. You must strive to inject details, character, and meaning into your story, as well as leading the judges down the path of truly understanding how the nominee made an impact at both a customer and organization level.  A well written nomination not only provides the best means for publicly recognizing your most deserving employees, but it also provides a direct reflection on the level of care and commitment you, the leader, bring to the table.     

Ready to put your nomination skills to the test?

Here’s your chance: CustomerCount® and Resort Trades are looking for the most valuable customer engagement professional within the timeshare resort/hospitality industry.

Qualified people most likely will be resort managers, assistant managers, front desk folks and customer service team members who are in daily contact with members and guests. These outstanding team members exemplify the highest standards in customer engagement and service. Their interaction with members and guests shapes the entire guest experience, paving the way and opening the doors to happy smiles and memorable vacations.

The nomination process includes completing an online nomination survey to measure the nominee’s qualifications and qualities. The survey is powered by CustomerCount’s software.

The winning customer engagement professional and their company/resort will be profiled in the March issue of Resort Trades magazine. Two trophies will be presented; one for the company and one for the individual CEP. To submit a nomination, visit CustomerCount or Resort Trades for a link to the entry form. Or fill out the online form.

About Yuri Duncan

Yuri Duncan is an award winning filmmaker and president of Buchanan Creative Solutions, LLC – a video production company specializing in producing affordable and effective videos. His skills and accomplishments as an artist and leader are what drive him to provide high quality services through Buchanan Creative Solutions.

With a proven record in design, illustration, animation, editing, and management, Yuri oversees all projects, no matter how large or small, to ensure the end-result fulfills your vision.

About CustomerCount

CustomerCount is a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution providing intuitive real-time reporting, fast turnaround on requested updates, and detailed and dynamic data gathering capabilities to support process improvement efforts, build customer loyalty and improve your bottom line.

Developed and managed by Mobius Vendor Partners, CustomerCount was initially designed for the timeshare and contact center industries and is now used by organizations across numerous different vertical markets and industries. For more information call Bob Kobek on 317-816-6000 or request a demo of the software. Follow their regularly updated blog, or on Twitter and Facebook.


What does it take to win the CEP Award?

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By Georgi Bohrod, RRP and WRAP member

Merriam-Webster defines a winner as “one that is successful especially through praiseworthy ability and hard work.” This is also a great definition of the attributes of the recipient of the Annual CustomerCount® Customer Engagement Professional Resort Trades (CEP) Award which will be awarded at the end of the year.

More specifically, the five judges reviewing the nomination applications have carefully detailed guidelines to establish the winners of the CEP Award.

With two components, a numerical rating portion and a narrative section to support the nomination, our judges will look to the narrative to provide detailed insight regarding the team member’s performance and contribution. Their goal is to establish the ways in which the candidate’s contribution has impacted the team, company, and/or community.

Nomination for Customer Engagement Professional CEP Award

Nominations for the CEP Award will be judged using a rating rubric to ensure objectivity. Yet, as clearly defined some categories on the judging matrix may be, the narrative may end up being the deciding factor as to who is the overall winner.

Areas of contribution may be extraordinary interactions with members/guests; remarkable improvements in on-site ratings of the resort; innovative training techniques and outstanding social media mentions and reviews.

Nominations should focus on the performance of Resort Managers, General Managers, Assistant Managers and consumer facing team members such as Front Desk and Contact Center employees.  The candidates should exemplify contributions to the success of the company in an exceptional manner.  As with any blind judging process, the more detail provided the better.

The winning customer engagement professional and their company/resort will be profiled in the March 2020  issue of Resort Trades. Two trophies will be presented; one for the company and one for the individual CEP Award winner.

To submit a nomination fill out the online form.

About CustomerCount

To find out more about CustomerCount and our feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution, contact Bob Kobek now by email or by telephone on 317-816-6000 for further information.


The importance of customer feedback management

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Collecting customer feedback is critical for the long-term success of your business. Top performing companies understand the important role customer feedback plays in business. And yet, so many others choose to ignore it, believing instead that returning customers must be happy customers (or at least paying customers).

At CustomerCount® we know finding out what your customers really think, what their experiences are with your company, and what they’re saying about you can:

  • Increase customer retention;
  • Improve customer loyalty;
  • Tackle negative sentiment;
  • Help you develop better products and services; and
  • Improve and measure customer satisfaction levels

Business today can only stay ahead of the competition by asking the opinions and views of their clients, listening to feedback (both prompted and unprompted) and then acting on what they’re told. Putting your clients and their feedback at the heart of your business and across all departments is key to business success today.

feedback management system
Customer Feedback Management is crucial for customer satisfaction

Of course, customers can still use your product or service and be unhappy about it. They come back to your resort year after year, use a certain exchange service or fly with a particular airline. But how many do so grudgingly, complaining on sites like TripAdvisor, social media and review sites? How much damage is that doing to your brand?

Without regular customer feedback as part of your reputation marketing plan, you’ll never know how satisfied or not, your customers are. This not only leaves you wide open if, and when, a business crisis arises, but means you are making business decisions in the dark. How can you adjust and develop product and services if you don’t know what the customer needs?

The enterprise feedback management system from CustomerCount will help you do just that. Working with our team, we will develop a program that gives you tangible data and insights you can use every day in your business.

About CustomerCount’s Feedback Management

If you’re looking to find out what your guests think about your brand, then CustomerCount offers a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution. With detailed and dynamic data gathering capabilities, CustomerCount’s feedback management identifies the issues, builds customer loyalty, and improves your bottom line. Contact Bob Kobek now by email or by telephone on 317-816-6000 for further information.