Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific’s Consumer Finance Department is comprised of more than 70 professionals based in the company’s regional corporate offices on the Gold Coast, Australia and in Clark, Philippines.
They oversee a portfolio of more than AU$350 million, managing consumer finance for over 18,000 owners who have bought timeshare using loans from Wyndham. The department is comprised of five teams: Contact Centre, Consumer Lending, Projects, Training and Operational Support.
Each year, the team on-boards more than 10,000 applications to Club Wyndham South Pacific and Club Wyndham Asia, and handles everything from payment processing and loan assessment to financial service enquiries and collections. In addition to the team’s high-performing operational staff, the department has strong support teams that handle training and development, project management, as well as operational and financial reporting.
The team contributed to the organisation’s financial goals by maintaining incredibly low default rates, developing innovative collections strategies to increase interest revenue collections and being flexible in staff resourcing.
The team generated 16.4 per cent revenue of the Asia Pacific business’ total revenue last year and maintained high finance currency rates of 98.3 per cent and low defaults at 0.16 per cent. The levies currency rate is at a record high level – 98 per cent for the combined portfolio. The team also reduced its “days to settlement”, or the day guests can start their ownership, by over two days in the last 12 months.
While financial results are fantastic, what matters most to the team is the people – customers and colleagues. Members of the team always prioritise their owners. Unlike most call centres, the team stopped focusing on Average Handle Time (AHT), or how quickly the issue can be resolved, and started focusing exclusively on the quality of conversations with owners. The team believes that this drive towards one call resolution is just one small way to make a difference to owners.
If the owners in question are experiencing some financial challenges, the team works with them to find relief under the Hardship Program, which is designed to alleviate financial pressure. The team goes above and beyond the typical expectations placed on a Consumer Finance team. Last year, the team was the driving force behind more than two dozen projects that improved the department’s service, results and retention. The team also developed and rolled out more than 15 new training programs for team members.
This year, the team focused on delivering excellent customer service, achieving excellent financial results and protecting the environment. One of the most notable innovations introduced and implemented is the Automated Credit Decision and Contracts platform (ACDC). This cutting edge technology, developed in-house and leveraging external technology, enabled customers to complete their purchases, apply for finance electronically, and receive a preliminary decision on the spot. Following owners’ feedback, the team also implemented a paperless solution for the department’s “Change of Ownership” requests. This change removed several arduous steps in the process and allowed customers to experience a seamless transaction with just a few clicks.
The department also implemented a system that helped the Contact Centre team reduce an average of 15 seconds from every call through technology that takes them to the exact date they need for the call, as opposed to having to scrolling through years of account history. They have also introduced a paperless billing solution. Before this project was implemented, the team produced 56,000 invoices that were mailed out to customers. The e-billing saved costs on paper and manpower, and supported WYNDGreen, the company’s environmental sustainability program. As a result of enhancements to database and processes, the team managed to dramatically decrease the number of days to resolve a hardship application from 21 days two years ago to six days today. All this was achieved while managing an increase in the volume of applications.
While financial results in the department are record-breaking, the greatest achievement for this team is the excellent service provided to colleagues and owners – where they act based on the company’s global service commitment of Hospitality with Heart.
Within the collections team, the focus is on re-engagement and support. The team stopped making assumptions about why people do not pay and started talking to them about their “why”. The team’s first step is to re-engage and remind owners why they bought the product in the first place. They ask about the holidays they’ve taken with the Club and the moments that made them the happiest. If their experience wasn’t great, the team works with them to fix the problem. They encourage owners to attend Owner Education classes so they can maximise their ownership and connect with a team who can help them book a holiday.