RCI® Company Updates

Special Virtual Edition Coffee & Selfie with Olivier Chavy, President, RCI Exchanges

Sheila Flatt, Director of Customer Care for RCI
April 2020


Olivier:
Before we get started, I wanted to ask about your previous work experience. It intrigues me… you were a cook? I always wanted to be a cook!
Sheila:
Yes, at my very first job, I started as a restaurant hostess and ending up being an assistant manager in the kitchen. That’s how I started cooking ─ because my training required me to learn all of the positions. I don’t cook professionally any more, just for my family!
O:
How are you staying connected with your teams right now under these circumstances?
S:
It can be difficult. It’s certainly a new world for us, working from home. We’re utilizing technology like chatter and sales force, and have started using Microsoft teams a lot. And of course Zoom meetings! We’re staying pretty well connected and are actually meeting more now day-to-day than we would if we were in the office.
O:
How do you feel the team has adapted?
S:
Very well, surprisingly! I think the reaction is a mix, for sure. I think many people are ready to go back to the office ─ but some want to do a combination of work in the office and from home. I’m proud that everyone has adapted very well, especially since we had to quickly transition to work from home.
O:
During the whole situation, what have you learned the most from our members during your interactions with them?
S:
I think what we have to consider is that this situation has not just impacted their travel experience, for some members it’s impacted their whole lives. We know they’re probably calling to cancel or reschedule a vacation, but their stories we’re hearing today are so different than what we heard at this time last year ─ and it’s just heartbreaking. We try to be very empathetic and more compassionate because people’s lives are so different now.
O:
Let’s talk about the empathy you mentioned ─ do you think we’re more empathetic with our members because we’re at home with our families and we’re all experiencing similar things, or do you think it’s the same as before?
S:
I do think we’ve all learned to be more empathetic through all of this. Not only because of our own personal experiences, but because of the stories we’re hearing as well. What I’ve also told my team, sometimes you just have to apologize and let people know that you care. Often times when we talk to members we go right into “let me take care of that for you” instead of first starting with that personal step to ensure they know we care about them and their vacations.
O:
Where are you most looking forward to vacationing once we’re able to travel?
S:
Somewhere with a beach and sun! We went straight from winter in Indiana to our new normal with social distancing at home ─ so I’m looking forward to getting outside, and going somewhere with sand and sun. Grand Cayman is my favorite or any beach in Mexico!
O:
What is your favorite RCI destination?
S:
Probably the Riviera Maya area in Mexico ─ a little more off the beaten path and has pretty beaches.
O:
If you’re stranded on a desert island for three months, what’s one item you would take?
S:
I would probably take my phone!
O:
What app, website, or brand can you not live without?
S:
Probably Facebook because my son is in the Navy and that’s how I stay connected with him. He is stationed in the Middle East right now on an aircraft carrier.
O:
Tell me something about yourself that nobody knows?
S:
I’m a really good pool player! O: LOL – next time I come to Indy you will have to teach me how to play!
O:
What is a song that would describe you or makes your day?
S:
I’m a big Dave Matthews fan and have seen him in concert many times ─ and my favorite song of his is Grey Street.
O:
What do you like the most about your job at RCI?
S:
That’s easy! Being able to turn members’ concerns around because that’s what we do in customer care. And I love the people!
O:
If you became CEO of RCI tomorrow, what is your first decision?
S:
My first decision would probably be to take our website down and rebuild it from the ground up.
O:
I agree – and we are on it! It’s one of our top priorities over the next 18 months!
O:
Do you have any questions for me?
S:
If you weren’t President of RCI, what position would you want to have in the company?
O:
That’s a good question ─ I would probably want to work somewhere in operations so I could have contact with the members. Anywhere in a big resort to have interaction with the affiliates and the members and being part of their vacations.
But if I had to create a new position for someone else ─ I would create a VP of Happiness to be solely focused on our customers and associates!