I personally own a lot of time shares and use RCI to bank them and trade them for other units across the world. RCI is the global leader in vacation exchange. Founded as Resort Condominiums International in 1974 to facilitate exchanges among condominium owners, RCI quickly became a driving force for growth within the industry and has been at the forefront ever since. I think they have lost their focus and act more like a monopoly.
The following is from their web site. All hype. Very little reality to these next two paragraphs. It is easy to put stuff on a web site. Walking the talk is more difficult. Frankly they do not seem to care about the customer experience.
RCI’s core business is exchange vacations, providing its global community of 3.7 million timeshare owners worldwide with quality vacation experiences at more than 4,000 resorts in 100 countries through week-for-week and points-based timeshare exchange networks. RCI subscribing members are passionate about how they choose to spend their hard earned leisure time. They demand flexibility, quality and freedom of choice. They crave variety and adventure, and that’s why they choose RCI to help them get more out of their vacation ownership.
In addition, RCI is known for being a trusted partner to its affiliated resorts. RCI is the largest exchange network in existence – offering a vast selection of high quality choices, a sizeable and established membership base, marketing support and lead-generation capabilities, and extensive rental and distribution channels. RCI strives to make dream vacations a reality for its subscribing members and to help developers grow their business by expanding the benefit and enjoyment of vacation ownership.
BUT… here’s what drives me crazy.
Sometimes large companies like RCI don’t pay attention to their customers and figure they need to invest more money into technology more than they do personal interaction…(like a telephone system that handles incoming calls where you can avoid talking to the customers. Anything to hold down costs. Evidently keeping customers is not important). They need to listen to their customers and ask them what they need to make it a more positive customer experience.
1. They have hours convenient to RCI not customers. Open Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM. Saturdays from 8 AM – 6 PM and closed on Sundays and holidays. Saturdays is the biggest day in the time share business. When people are checking in, RCI is closed. (They should be open until at least 10:00 PM everyday. They should be open by 7:00 AM. If they were customer driven, they would be available 24/7. When do you want to check on vacations? During the working day or evenings weekends and holidays. RCI believes it is better to have banker hours).Crazy!
2. When you call the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) their “Go to Hell Phone System” asks for your home phone number. (What they should say is we would like you to give us your phone number which will not be used any further on this call but we wanted to waste your time). Crazy!
3. Firms that use IVR instead of a live person save money on equipment but lose a ton of money from a bad customer experience. (If your company is too large to answer the phone with a live person, make the new customer option first on your list and second should be existing customer. Don’t lose customers because they think they cannot speak to a live person). Crazy!
4. While they have software that tracks your home address they require you to give all the details again on every call. (they need to update their programs to make it simpler and faster for customers). Crazy!
5. They almost never have the week or location you want available. It will take at least 10 minutes to get to a live person and then you will find that your efforts are probably wasted. (Frustration should not be part of the experience anyone has when trying to deal with a company this large). Crazy
NOTE: Keep in mind very few firms want to grow as fast as Amazon and very few owners want to increase their net worth $1-2 billion a month like Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon. In the next newsletter I will share Amazon’s financial results for 2013.
With very little effort or expense, RCI could take care of all of these points and let their people know they are encouraged and empowered to do whatever it takes to take care of and handle customers the right way.
Mercedes Benz (another “Crazy” to add to the list)
I just had to change the automatic auto payment plan from my checking account for my wife’s car. I just went through hell. I think RCI has been giving them coaching lessons on how to deliver really bad customer service. I would rate their customer service a one out of ten. Mercedes Benz have very expensive cars. (They just NEVER want to talk to a human if you have to contact the manufacturer). Crazy