Marriott Vacation Club International, Orlando, FL

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Marriott Vacation Club International, Orlando, FL
Company Description: The leader in the timeshare industry for almost 25 years.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Leisure & Tourism

Nomination Title: Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services

Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services customer care centers are responsible for assisting over 417,000 Timeshare Owners around the world by advising them of their different usage options, confirming their vacations, and accepting maintenance fee and loan payments. The largest Owner Services center is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, with approximately 500 associates. Our other centers are located in Puerto Rico; Mexico City; Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand; Cork, Ireland; and Orlando, Florida, totaling more than 600 associates worldwide.

Owner Services supports different types of Timeshare Owners who purchased within our three brands and five product offerings:

• Marriott Vacation Club weeks
• Marriott Vacation Club Points
• Asia-Pacific Club
• Grand Residences by Marriott
• The Ritz-Carlton Destinations Club

Owners of these various brands have different usage options, procedures and deadlines. Vacation options:

• Reserving a vacation at 59 timeshare resorts
• Exchanging a vacation week with external exchange partners to hundreds of resorts in dozens of countries
• Utilizing the Marriott Rewards® program for stays at over 3,800 Marriott hotels
• Cruises, golf, guided group tours, airline flights and more

The Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program continues to evolve as we add more options, including boutique hotel stays, local experience packages and sporting events. This flexibility adds complexity to our products and it is essential that the associates at Owner Services are highly skilled and knowledgeable so that they can offer critical advice and provide reservations services as needed while working within multiple software systems to make the different Owners’ vacation dreams a reality.

We are proud of a number of significant accomplishments including the following:

• The enterprise-wide Owner Services Satisfaction (OSS) score was 90.8%. For our largest center in Salt Lake City, we received over 54,000 responses from our Owners with the average OSS score averaging a record-breaking 96%!

• Measured the percent of Owners who were “Satisfied with their First Choice of Vacation,” or an alternative vacation offered to them. During 2014, the “First Choice” index score was 94%.

• Opened a U.S. satellite Owner Services center staffed with 25 fully-trained associates in Orlando, Florida.

• Launched “Global Services University,” a branded, comprehensive training program including a library of self-service tutorials available to all Owner Services associates worldwide.

• Created a “First Time Buyers” program where the new purchasers’ Sales Executives call a designated group of associates at Owner Services while they are with their new purchasers. The Owner Services associates review Owner Services’ hours of operation, the new purchasers’ vacation desires, and on the same call, connects them with their personal Vacation Ownership Advisor. This interaction is followed up immediately with a personalized email and has led to a 2% reduction in rescissions for new purchasers, making our new Owners very happy and satisfied while saving our company significant revenue.

• The combined Owner Services centers handled nearly 1.5 million calls during 2014. An ongoing goal is balancing customer service while also increasing internet based self-service usage. We have worked hard to avoid increasing fees, and instead focus on targeted email reminders with video tutorials and sweepstakes to drive Owners to transact online whenever possible.

• In 2014, we are proud to have had almost 25% of Owner transactions occurring online and via IVR, resulting in almost 200,000 fewer phone calls coming into our Owner Services’ centers worldwide.

• Challenged with low unemployment in the state of Utah, our largest Owner Services office maintained lower turnover when compared to other call centers in the area; and added ten agents to our work-from-home team -- now totaling 70 associates.

• Managed costs by focusing on electronic communication over printed pieces and postage.

• Produced more than $5 million in sales of vacation insurance.

• Maintained “world class” associate engagement levels as measured by Hewitt.

• Owner Services’ associates demonstrated their “Spirit to Serve” through numerous volunteer and fundraising efforts worldwide for:

- Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- Clean the World
- Local food drives
- Animal shelters
- Cleaning and repairing a local camp that helps children with disabilities

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