Marriott Timeshare and the Value of Communicating with Timeshare Owners
Monday, July 25, 2011
When Marriott timeshare rolled out its new timeshare points ownership plan last year, it was met with mixed emotions from current timeshare owners. But Marriott clearly committed to take a very important step in this matter. As Marriott Vacation Club President Stephen Weisz explain when Marriott launched its new timeshare points-based system last June, it committed to, “… get in front of every single one” of its current Marriott timeshare owners to share with them the merits of the new club.
The Orlando Sentinel quoted Weisz as saying, “So as we have allocated tour flow, and trying to, in fact, take advantage of talking to people while they’re on vacation at our resorts, we have squeezed out tours to first-time buyers. That was very deliberate.”
How well is Marriott timeshare’s plan working?
In the second quarter of 2011, 61 percent of Marriott timeshare sales were to people who already own a Marriott timeshare. That is an increase from 50 percent in the past, or depending on how you look at it, a 11 percent drop in the number of sales being made to first-time buyers, a figure Marriott says they expect to see rebound over time.
Customer-centric Move by Marriott Timeshare
We all have heard that it is harder to get a new client or customer than it is to keep a current one. Some people say three times harder; other say seven times; some even quote that it takes eleven times more effort to find and win a new client than to continue your relationship with an existing one.
Whatever the number is (which no doubt varies by industry), it is harder, costlier, and more time intensive.
Marriott Vacation Club made a strategic decision not to treat their existing clients like disposable consumers, but instead to communicate, listen to, educate, and no doubt engage in sales-directed conversations with them. Marriott timeshare’s quarterly report indicates this was a good plan. More importantly, Marriott’s long-term business results will reflect this as well.
Clients and customers are not disposable. Their opinions matter—in fact, they are the only thing that matters when it comes to business. And as this example shows, listening to them yields not only better informed timeshare owners, but clearly, timeshare sales as well.