Best Western CMO Knows the Secret to Company’s Lofty Customer Satisfaction Reputation

Best Western Hotels and Resorts has earned quite a reputation for its stellar customer satisfaction levels. So why has the company excelled in this area year after year?
Dorothy Dowling, Senior VP and CMO of Best Western Hotels and Resorts, talked to Loyalty360 about the company’s perpetual prowess in this area.
“Best Western has enjoyed significant increases in guest satisfaction ratings in the past 10 years, with scores doubling since 2007,” Dowling explained. “We know why this is, because guest satisfaction was a major pillar of the brand refresh initiative. This success stems from multiple initiatives that have rolled out across all our hotel brands, designed to increase guest satisfaction in areas that are key differentiators for today’s travelers.
“Best Western launched the I Care Every Guest Every Time employee training program, which leverages virtual reality to transform communications between front desk staff and guests. The program saw tremendous results, as it led to the highest guest satisfaction scores in the history of Best Western Hotels and Resorts. We also introduced our ‘Build Your Own Breakfast’ program after analyzing more than 1.5 million guest surveys. We learned that we had an opportunity to enhance the guest experience at breakfast, understanding the impact this very important meal has on guest choice and satisfaction. Our new breakfast program offers the best in breakfast, complimentary at most locations, and received the top ranking from J.D. Power’s 2017 Guest Survey compared to our competitors.
“And our company implemented the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience to give guests an immersive 360-degree look into all our North American hotels. This innovation is reinventing how guests choose where to stay and helps set guest expectations during the booking process, as they are now able to view a virtual reality tour of nearly 2,000 properties. Changes like these continue to significantly raise guest satisfaction, as well as brand perception.”
After Best Western Hotels and Resorts launched a transformative brand refresh in 2015, the primary objective was to signal that Best Western is a contemporary and relevant brand, worthy of today’s travelers, Dowling noted.
“Now, with the introduction of the ‘Today’s Best Western’ campaign that will run throughout 2018, including a ‘Behind the Brands’ series, travelers are getting a look at the evolution of this powerhouse hospitality brand,” she said.
The past decade has seen a marked evolution for Best Western.
“We have worked incredibly hard to expand and enhance our portfolio of brands, clarify our offerings for travelers, and solidify our place as an industry innovator,” Dowling explained. “Over the past 10 years, Best Western has grown in both size and scale, penetrating diverse markets globally. Not only have we pushed design, technology innovation, guest satisfaction, and more as major pillars of our brand refresh, but we’ve also strived to create superior solutions never before accomplished in the hospitality industry. The results speak for themselves, as Best Western Rewards has achieved membership gains of 13 percent annually since the beginning of the refresh and earned a top five ranking in U.S. News and World Report's 2017-2018 Best Hotel Rewards Programs.
“We also have earned notable distinctions, including a Top Breakfast Ranking from J.D. Power's 2017 Guest Survey; Best Western Plus and Best Western No. 1 ranking in upper-mid-price and mid-price hotel brands by Business Travel News; 65 Adrian Awards for excellence in digital marketing, advertising and public relations; our ninth consecutive AAA/CAA Lodging Partner of the Year award; and a gold Recommend Readers’ Choice Award in the hotels/resorts category. The accolades are an indicator that we continue to be successful in meeting guests’ demands as they evolve, and that the definition of our product offerings through the brand refresh has made an impact.”

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