Intervention by Frédéric Le Guen, president Belambra Clubs. What approach does Belambra Club take to digital? Digital at the service of the client.
The resort market is booming in France
We are France's vacation resort leader, both on the shoreline and in the mountains, with 40,000 beds. While there is much talk about digital, and everyone wants to work with it, participate in it: it remains costly, complex…. At Belambra we take a pragmatic approach, starting with the principle that tourism is above all about service. Digital must remain at the service of the service. Our leitmotiv: is digital truly useful to the client?
A word about the vacation club market. When you ask the French about vacation clubs, their goal is first and foremost to have a good time, not worry about daily chores and escape routine. That's perfect, since at Belambra clubs we take care of everything: children, meals, customer well-being. Thus a real adjustment to demand by vacation clubs. Another point, one can see that 14% of French people prefer to stay at vacation clubs. And yet, only 5% of the hotel industry operates on this segment.
These data make us very optimistic about the development of our market, we have a lot of potential for finding this perfect match. At Belambra we seek growth by two means: development with one or two clubs per year, in Avoriaz for example, and then through digital with customer service. The response rate of our very satisfied clients is 35% higher than the average, with an appreciation score of 9 or 10 to the question: "did you have a pleasant stay?". Thus, a better stay means better loyalty and thus better turnover and organic growth. We invested in a growth strategy based on customer service, first of all it is necessary to involve staff who work daily to improve customer service. It is through them that we can make a real difference.
Digital at the service of the customer and collaborators
We are at the service of our clients to offer them an unforgettable moment. Digital makes it possible to deliver the promise, to eliminate aggravations. For example: speed up check-in, which often takes place simultaneously at vacation clubs: all on Saturday, with pre-booking systems and automatic key delivery. The third element on the digital roadmap: measure. Digital makes it possible to measure and take the right decisions; digital must be at the service of our decision making. With a dozen or so start-ups, we are developing an ecosystem. We launched iDAY which is a day when each of our collaborators offers suggestions for improving the business. This horizontal management system allowed us to highlight 3,500 new ideas on the last iDAY in order to create our digital road map. For example, our new brainchild is an application that allows our staff to collaborate and communicate with one another, to circulate information among the clubs; staff are also able to recommend candidates, colleagues, etc. They are also able to share company business news. Another example of digital: Belambra Check, which makes it possible to control quality and is used by housekeepers and maintenance workers, makes it possible to facilitate their conversations, to find out what's missing, what needs to be purchased for each room. This makes it possible to work more quickly, to talk more rapidly. It helped improve the cleanliness of rooms. This idea came from iDAY - the day for innovation. Another tool: 40,000 surveys received to learn about our guests' stays, a questionnaire is sent by SMS 48h after their departure. This allows us to see who answers "no" to the question "Did you have a good stay?" and to learn why their stay was not good.
Digital is never an end in and of itself, above all it must remain at the service of service
One of our major challenges is to increase the work our staff does in front of guests, our managers spend a lot of time working with staff and on tools, but it is important to be in direct contact with guests: if the client doesn't see the club's director then they have the impression their vacation was bad, we try to eliminate tasks that have little added value in order to allow our staff to spend time in contact with clients. The manager should be seen smiling at the client not at screens.
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