Your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) could be your most valuable tool in identifying the customers that represent the most value to your resort. Data and analytics help you determine your CLV metric. According to Forbes Insights, your CLV can be used "to identify the customers that promise to return the highest future value, and position marketing activities to appeal to them. It can also aid in balancing the costs of acquisition and retention against future spending."
Research supports it, and we see it happening in timeshare, that in the current market repeat and lifetime customers are driving sales. They are the customers that give your resort the good reviews and their recommendations aid in bringing in new customers. Lifetime customers are also more likely to continue to buy from you. Marketing Metrics says, "The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. Selling to a new prospect is 5-20%."
Data collection helps to identify how to attract and retain customers by aiding in gathering information at the individual level. Once you know what your customer wants and needs, you can use that information in providing the best possible customer experience. "Analyst firms forecast that by 2020, customer experience is expected to surpass product and pricing as the key business differentiator."
Creating Loyalty Through Memorable Customer Experiences
Though metrics and data-gathering systems are great for getting customer information, it's really about the personal experience and personal contact in gaining and keeping lifetime customers. The timeshare concept offers the perfect opportunity for this. Timeshare resorts are family oriented - repeat visits (often during special personal occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) provide opportunities for staff and owners to interact on a personal level. Resorts located in prime vacation spots with multiple activities and amenities provide unique, memorable experiences.
Gallup’s Four Levels of Customer Experience
In the book, First, Break All the Rules from the Gallup Organization, authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman determined four levels of customer experience through an extensive survey of businesses. The authors found that successful businesses build relationships with their customers founded on four types of customer expectations that need to be nurtured and developed over time. Companies that measure these levels gain a better understanding of what their customers really want.
- Accuracy – Give your customer what they want when they want it.
- Availability – After the sale, your customer wants to know you are still there. In the timeshare industry, that means listening to customers. Face-to-face contact, surveys, analytics, and social media are all ways to gather feedback on what your customers want and like, and don’t like.
- Partnership – Beyond service and delivery, customers want to feel like you understand their needs. How are you helping them? Are you proactively reaching out to see how you can help? Show your customer you care and they’ll think of the relationship as more of a collaboration and not just one-sided.
- Advice – Your customers want to learn from you. Do you have resources in place to educate them? Are you able to provide recommendations to improve their lives? If this last expectation is met, it can create the closest bond with your customers.
Customer Experience Key to Remaining Competitive
Competition is fierce in the vacation timeshare resort industry. In order to remain competitive, resorts must focus on the customer experience and on creating and keeping customers for life. This focus should start the moment a potential customer walks in the door for the pre-sale and continue for a lifetime.