After the judges reviewed the nominations for the 4th Annual CustomerCount® Customer Engagement Professional Resort Trades Award (CEP Award), they were faced with an enviable dilemma. So many of the candidates were not just good, but exceptional. In an effort to honor the greatness of the customer engagement professionals in the timeshare industry who are dedicated to excellence, the panel of judges named the top three candidates (1st place: William Mitchell/GM Atrium Resort by VSA Resorts; 2nd place: Veta Dimmick/Exploria Resorts and 3rd place: Kendall Dean/MarBrisa at Hilton Grand Vacations) and then recommended recognition for all those ranked in the top ten. In order to appropriately honor the others on the CEP short list, Resort Trades is profiling each one of these candidates along with their companies throughout the year.
This issue’s CEP honoree is Roger Bennett, Area General Manager of La Tour Hotels & Resorts. As Bob Kobek, President of CustomerCount® and founder of the CEP Award reflected “the company sets the tone and foundation for good customer service people to excel.”
La Tour Resorts & Hotels is such a place
In today’s increasingly competitive hospitality industry, it’s more important than ever for vacation resorts to operate efficiently while still delivering superior service and guest experience. This is the mission of LaTour Resorts & Hotels. With properties in Canada, The Caribbean, and the USA, the company offers a wide range of vacation options encompassing mixed- use development involving hotels and resorts, condominiums, fractionals and timeshares.
CEP finalist Roger Bennett is a prime example of the LaTour’s extraordinary service. As they say “We-re Ready! Anything…Anytime…Anywhere. Nothing less.”
Roger leads a beautiful 60-unit The Cabins at Green Mountain. He is an expert at providing great service and exceeding guest and owner expectations.
Roger’s genuine warmth shines through all he touches. Perhaps the most evident example of the brightness and joy he brings to owners, guests and fellow employees surrounds his love of the Christmas season.
Home for the Holidays
For the past several years, Roger has decorated the exterior and interior of his home for the Christmas holidays. Recently he created a resort ‘Journey’, for guests and owners at the Cabins at Green Mountain. Holiday visitors may board the resort van to experience the Branson Holiday Lightshow. First stop is at the resort clubhouse for hot cocoa; second stop is a drive through the Zoo – to see the Christmas lights; third stop is a drive through a light-up park with myriad twinkling and blinking lights set to music.
The fourth and best stop aboard this holiday journey is Roger’s house. Roger’s home—which has been featured on local TV–has more than a million LED lights that are all programmed individually to holiday songs. In addition to the general manager’s lightshow, Roger and his wife Kathi collect pet item donations which appreciative folks leave at their doorstep after viewing the display . The Bennett’s then deliver trunk full(s) weekly to the local shelter during the holiday season.
Leadership during Covid-19
According to Kristin Ingram, Corporate Director of Resort Experience for LaTour, who nominated him, “Roger is a genuine, hard-working resort leader – not only has he displayed these continued characteristics doing ‘business as usual,’ he also continues to adapt throughout these ‘unprecedented times.’”
His leadership during the COVID 19 crisis continued to shine brightly. Roger’s primary resort – Cabins at Green Mountain Resort, Branson, Missouri –closed late March. It opened in late May. During this closure, all LaTour resorts programmed their auto attendant to inform guests and owners to visit the resort website(s) for additional information as they were all at a reduced employee base.
Roger’s resort scaled back to just Roger and Loucinda Carroll covering AM/PM shifts, 7 days a week. They would perform night audit, resort inspections, sanitize common areas, take inventory, handle the invoices, whatever needed to be done.
Roger did not want any auto attendant on – while he and Loucinda were on-site. He insisted in answering every phone call possible to ensure his owners and in return, guests – in such trying times, felt comfort in hearing his voice – helping with their current and/or future bookings.
This is the kind of exemplary customer service recognized by the CEP Award. Good service is not a fantasy when genuine people-persons are in charge, give their best and connect with members and guests on a human level. They all deserve a heartfelt thumbs-up.
Georgi Bohrod, RRP is Principal of GBG & Associates, Inc., a Marcomm company located in San Diego, California.