ResortCom provides a full range of specialized financial services—such as managing timeshare payments, servicing loans, and handling credit card transactions—as well as resort operations and customer care services for companies that develop and own resort properties. In addition, ResortCom empowers resort operators to generate substantial additional revenue from their customers through the sale of related services such as air travel and leisure activities. Approximately 60% of the company’s members are located in the US and Canada, 15% in Latin America and Mexico, and the remaining 25% in Europe.
By outsourcing these functions to ResortCom, resort operators gain multiple benefits. First, they don’t have to implement the IT systems required to support these functions. They can also take advantage of ResortCom’s proven expertise in maximizing yield. “It’s a very complex business,” explains Alex Marxer, ResortCom’s president. “Resort space is sold and packaged in many different ways. To be successful, we have to deliver superior financial performance to our clients and superb vacation experiences to their customers. So we need to be very smart, very fast, and very efficient.”
Prior to RightNow, ResortCom lacked visibility across departments. Issues—such as an loan payment adjustments —were passed from the support representatives to the back office via paper, making it impossible to track incidents. Unless the issue was resolved, agents couldn’t see where it was in the process, making it impossible to update customers when they called. In addition, ResortCom’s management team couldn’t tell how long processes were taking or where there might be bottlenecks. The result was that departments became antagonistic toward one another rather than cooperative. ResortCom also lacked workflow processes to manage interactions between the front and back offices.
As the company’s global contact center solution, RightNow ensures that ResortCom provides excellent care for more than one million of its clients’ traveling customers no matter how customers communicate with the company—via phone, email, or on the web. ResortCom’s Mexico call center staffs between 60 and 110 agents, depending on seasonal volumes, who use the RightNow solution as do the company’s 12 Tier 2 escalation agents in their San Diego headquarters. With RightNow, ResortCom agents handle over $500 million in transactions every year. More impressive, the company has been able to provide support with the same number of agents despite a tenfold increase in their business since introducing RightNow.
In addition to standard inbound call handling, ResortCom is also using RightNow to log a customer’s preferred communication channel and the best time to reach them. This is information the company will utilize as they move from what Marxer calls “reactive inbound customer contact” toward “proactive outbound communications.” He explains, “Rather than waiting for customers to contact us, we are using predictive algorithms and reaching out to them first. This enables us to manage the volumes to our benefit and provide a superior experience.” The result is that ResortCom can better manage their peak volumes. Marxer estimates that this results in a 10% call reduction, with translates to approximately $200 thousand in cost savings.
The RightNow knowledge base provides ResortCom with a single knowledge repository that agents can use to help answer customer and member questions. “The knowledge base is an absolutely crucial piece of our business,” explains Marxer. “The rules for usage are extremely complicated and vary from property to property. Keeping that information up-to-date provides us with a great challenge that RightNow helps us manage.” ResortCom’s RightNow knowledge base is populated with approximately 3000 answers some of which are viewable to customers and members so that they can answer their own questions via the website.
With RightNow’s agent scripting, agents use pre-written, standardized text to respond to customers, enabling them to provide accurate, clear information to customers quickly and efficiently. Average incident response times which had been approximately 48 hours before RightNow are now closer to 8 hours. In addition, RightNow helps accelerate business processes, since everyone is individually accountable for when they received an incident, what they did with it, and when they moved it along toward resolution. Because anyone can check the status of an incident in the system, ResortCom’s internal email traffic has gone down by 30% percent since implementing the system—even as communication between the front and back office teams has substantially improved.
Like many companies, ResortCom recognizes the growing importance of social media. The company uses RightNow Cloud Monitor to scan for references to its client resorts across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. ResortCom can then respond where it sees fit, helping turn unhappy customers into satisfied and loyal ones. “Everything is transparent now. If someone is talking about one of our properties, anywhere on the web, we need to be listening and responding,” says Marxer.
Because RightNow gives ResortCom end-to-end visibility into the issues it handles for its clients’ customers, it provides a whole new level of insight into those customers’ needs and behaviors. The company can then act on those insights with RightNow’s marketing tools, which make it easy to generate a variety of targeted campaigns and personalized emails driven by specific attributes or events—such as a special promotion or an upcoming vacation.
Because RightNow is integrated with their Oracle data warehouse, recipients for any specific mailing can be drawn from that database based on any combination of attributes—including planned travel dates, past travel dates, locations, and previous ancillary purchases. ResortCom uses the RightNow solution to drive revenue with lead generation campaigns for their properties and vacation clubs as well as a monthly newsletter. With RightNow, ResortCom sends upwards of 100,000 mailings a month. “RightNow’s marketing functionality allows us to grow our clients’ businesses in significant and measurable ways,” says Marxer. “It has radically transformed the economics of marketing for us and for them.”
RightNow also helps ResortCom capture key data and feedback from customers to help the company continually improve the customer experience and drive efficiencies in their processes. RightNow’s analytics tool give the company a clear view of how each department is working, the expediency of front office and back office interactions, where bottlenecks exist as well as key metrics around email volumes and response times to gauge how quickly customers are being serviced. “With RightNow, we can instantly deliver accurate, up-to- date information wherever it’s needed across our company and beyond,” Marxer observes. “That makes us an extremely efficient and reliable business partner for the resort operators we serve.”
In addition, analytics offer Marxer visibility into individual agent performance—giving him the ability to offer incentives based on incident handling times. This has increased awareness around the need to quickly and accurately respond to member incidents, and has halved response times. A survey is automatically generated after every incident to gauge customer satisfaction with the resolution of their issue. ResortCom puts a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and they consistently maintain a CSAT score of 88% or above.
Because RightNow helps ResortCom provides customers with a superlative experience as they plan and enjoy their vacations, those customers remain happy and loyal to ResortCom’s clients. ResortCom’s clients, in turn, are happy and loyal to ResortCom. RightNow even helps ResortCom win over new clients. “When we show property managers what we can do for them using RightNow, they’re amazed,” he says. “It is a tangible competitive differentiator that gives us substantial advantages over other companies trying to service the resort market.”
Marxer adds that RightNow’s strong culture of service complements the power of its technology. “RightNow has always been a highly responsive business partner,” he says. “That responsiveness is especially important to us because we’re using RightNow in such a strategic way—and because we’re constantly pushing the envelope.”
ResortCom International provides comprehensive services to the vacation ownership and resort industry, enabling property developers to maximize profitability, customer satisfaction, and overall business performance. Those services include financial management, onsite hotel operations and reservations, club and loyalty program management, and cross-sell/up-sell programs. The company is based in San Diego and has a dominant share of the Mexican resort market.