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Best Western International always has the customer as its top priority. One of the keys to effective customer engagement and a memorable customer experience at Best Western is delivering personalized, relevant content.
Tammy Lucas, VP, Advertising & Marketing, Best Western International talked to Loyalty360 about this and other customer-centric themes.
How has Best Western’s brand & digital marketing/advertising changed in recent years from a customer engagement/customer experience factor?
With the ongoing emerging popularity with social channels like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to name a few, we continue to optimize our advertising spend to ensure that we take a holistic approach to marketing to customers effectively. We continue to focus on ensuring that we are delivering the right messages, to the right customers, at the right time, on the right channels. Customers want more engaging content that’s relevant to them, more authentic, transparent, and appealing throughout their journey with us, and this is what we aim to deliver for them.
What would you say are some of the current and/or future trends surrounding these themes?
One of the trends that we continue to see emerge is personalization and the use of data to empower brands to deliver the experience that our customers expect from us. It’s a delicate balance, though, and we are always focused on respecting our customers’ privacy first. While there is so much technology out there to help profile customers, it can be easily misused as well. We are still very focused on the personal connection in our interactions with our guests, as delivering on superior customer care is still our priority.
Mobile seems to be taking off now at a faster rate than the past few years combined. How is Best Western coping with this mobile customer engagement explosion?
We have made a number of enhancements to our mobile apps, our desktop, and mobile experiences over the past few years and will continue to do so. Enhancing our customer experience on mobile and making it as frictionless and as simple as possible, this will continue to be an ongoing focus for us as a brand as technology and customer expectations continue to rise. It’s a different world today and tomorrow is coming faster than ever. We as brands need to be prepared and ready to deliver optimal experiences for our customers.
I know customer feedback is taken very seriously at Best Western. How does Best Western leverage these customer insights to provide an overall better customer experience?
We truly believe in the value of the VOC (voice of the customer), and it is something that Best Western will continue to focus on. Feedback is our No. 1 retention tool as it is always better for brands and more cost effective to retain their existing customers. There are so many outlets that our customers are using to communicate with us, what with Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Google, our call center, our website, and Medallia, which is our post-stay survey, which empowers us even further. We monitor all of these channels 24/7 so that we are able to respond to our customers promptly, which we have seen great success with. We also pro-actively solicit feedback from our Best Western Rewards Elite Members through our Recognition Guaranteed ® program. The more feedback we receive from our customers, the better we can be as a brand, which ultimately turns into happier customers and a strong retention program.
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