From Customer… To Member… To Family

One of the things that attracted me to the Vacation Ownership Industry was the ability to create lasting memories on customers and building relationships that expand beyond the normal limits of a regular customer.   When a customer becomes a member, they are telling you that they willing to give you their most precious time, their vacation time, so that you can create experiences for them for their next 30 to 50 years.

For me, the memories that I have from my childhood are the times that I went on vacation with my family.  I remember the first time my parents took me to Walt Disney World, when we went on weekend getaways and when we went to an all-inclusive resort as if it was today.  Those are the memories that we have the power to create for our members and their families.  These memories will last a lifetime and will make your member base continually increase and continue from generation to generation.

In order to be able to create these memories, it is important for Timeshare and Vacation Clubs to take into consideration some key points.

First of all, you have to invest in getting to know your members.  When I say getting to know your members, this has to be more than knowing their age, where they are from and the number of times they have visited you.  All of the information that the Liner was able to gather during the discovery phase has to be input into your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This includes the places that your customer wants to travel to, the number of times they will like to vacation, their hobbies and what they like to do during their vacation time.  We are very good at using this information for the sales process, but most of us fail to use this information for building relationships with our members.  This information will help you to generate specific ideas and suggestions to share with your members based on their interests, helping them to reach those experiences that they want to share with you.  With this information, you can create target emails, personalized for them, which will immediately generate their interest and will maintain they’re recognizing the need of using their membership.

Second, establish a Member Service area in your resort that will anticipate your customers’ needs.  Now that you have identified all of the interest of your member before they arrive at your timeshare resort have your Member Service personnel create a list of suggested activities for your member’s stay.  Assign one of your Member Service team members to them and make sure they call them before arriving, tell them that you are waiting for them and that you would like to know what can you do for them so that they will accomplish their vacation plans.  Once they arrive, try to give them a personalized gift. For example, if they like coffee have ready for them a cup of coffee with their names on their mugs, personalized bathrobes with their names or maybe give them a photo or an album of their last vacation at your resort.  Make sure to do follow-up during their stay without being too invasive, and make sure to say goodbye when they leave.  It is very important to do this on a personalized level.  At the end, your members will continue to visit you when they are able to create and share these experiences with you and when you create memories for them.

Last but not least, make sure you call them after their stay.  Don’t do a survey, just call them to know how they are doing, how was their experience with you and what do they think you can do better for them for their next vacation.  Ask them where they want to go on their next trip and when.  Use this information for a personalized newsletter and emails. Schedule an alert to remind yourself to call them for that next vacation so that you can help them on their travel plan process.

When your member decided to become part of your Vacation Club, they were telling you that they want to be part of your family.  This is why it is so important to treat them as family, remembering that you are responsible for creating those lifetime memories for them.  The beauty of our industry is that we do not have customers, we have members, we have fans, we have a family.