A survey shows timeshare can help hospitality companies in achieving greater consumer loyalty
In a society where customer loyalty is harder than ever to achieve, research released today by Interval International and De Vere Resort Ownership (DVRO) shows that timeshare can help hospitality companies come closer than ever to that elusive loyalty “X” factor.
The survey, which was polled throughout November 2005, takes a look at the phenomenal growth of timeshare and why, once people have bought into the concept, they frequently opt to purchase again and again.Ê
DVRO, the UK’s leading luxury timeshare operator, has benefited greatly from its loyal customer base.
With a portfolio of three five-star resorts in the UK, soon to be four with the advent of The Carrick by Cameron House on Loch Lomond, DVRO has sold some 8,000 weeks to 6,400 individuals, giving an average ownership of 1.25 weeks.Ê
Whilst most owners buy only one week to start with, Cameron House and The Carrick have proved the most popular destinations for multiple purchases with some families owning up to eight weeks.
Interval International and DVRO’s “X Factor Survey” takes a look at just what timeshare brands do to make happy customers into loyal ones, and how this loyalty can have a strong ricochet effect onto other associated products.Ê
It seems that the sense of belonging is key to the cracking the loyalty factor, with respondents giving high scores to issues such as “feeling like part of an exclusive club” (63% agreeing or strongly agreeing); “feeling like a second home” (57% agreeing or strongly agreeing) and “I get treated like a friend not a customer” (62%).Ê
This sense of ownership amongst DVRO owners translates into advocacy of the brand in all its manifestations, as well as into associated brands, such as Interval International, which has an exclusive relationship with DVRO.
Of those surveyed nearly 80% of respondents stated that they would seek out De Vere branded hotels and resorts in preference to other brands for non-timeshare related purposes. Indeed, 68% preferred to use De Vere hotels wherever possible for pleasure, 33% used De Vere mixed-use amenities such as spas/golf, even when not holidaying at their home resort and 14% opted to use De Vere hotels for business.
Reasons for loyalty to the De Vere Brand are manifold, but “getting the mix right” is critical to success.Ê
Customer service (73% rating as highly important or more); luxury surroundings (66% agreeing or strongly agreeing), exceeding expectations (77% agree), the flexibility to exchange to other resorts around the world (51% agree) all demonstrate just how much the extras add loyalty value.Ê
The other part of the picture for owners is the attention to detail De Vere puts into the resort.ÊÊ 83% think the architectural values are very good or excellent; 87% think the fixtures and fittings are very good or above and 89% think the resort surroundings and environment are very good (with 27% of this figure rating them unbeatable).
Whilst most owners buy only one week to start with, for De Vere all of these have translated into happy, and more importantly, loyal customers. With 68% using De Vere’s mainstream hospitality brands out of preference; 37% hoping to purchase further timeshare and 22% already having purchased further timeshare, De Vere has the holy trinity of quality, location and detail exactly right.Ê
Craig Mitchell, managing director of De Vere Resort Ownership Ltd, says: “I would say that from the off the De Vere association engenders a greater confidence among consumers in terms of the expected quality of the surroundings and the overall holiday experience.Ê De Vere is a credible brand with a reputation for luxury accommodation and service.
“Most of our staff know the owners on first name terms having dealt with them from day one and, because we make it our business to deliver a five-star holiday experience, our owners have a five-star holiday experience ... to the point that so many feel a great sense of belonging to the resorts and the De Vere brand.”
Loyalty for the De Vere brand has not only had a ricochet effect onto other De Vere brands, but onto its other timeshare partners.Ê
Interval International, which is the exclusive timeshare exchange partner to De Vere, has exceptionally high ratings amongst De Vere owners, with 52% using the exchange facility and 70% positively looking to renew their membership.
“We expected a good response to the survey, however the response has exceeded our expectations. I think this just goes to demonstrate the pride in ownership that timeshare owners feel, especially with high-quality resorts such as De Vere’s.
This pride has a fantastic knock on effect to our own brand, and as such we will continue to support brands such as De Vere which add so much to our industry,” comments David Clifton, managing director, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.