Best Western is gearing up for the launch of a new culture of customer service called My Best customer care. (1/24/2007)
Rich Johnson, director customer care, Best Western International says My Best reinforces the importance of each owner, general manager and line-level employee in the Best Western International System and “how to bring our best with every guest we touch”.
“My Best will be launched during our annual spring meetings and will include an unprecedented focus on service leadership and motivating and recognising our thousands of line-level associates around the world,” said Johnson, one of the speakers during the CRM in Travel USA 2007 conference being held in San Francisco.
On company’s brand experience, during his presentation, he shared: “The brand promise is to actively create something special with every person we come in contact with from employees to guests to owners, I care.”
On delivering the same, he referred to creation of a culture of caring at each property, placing the line-level employee at the top, education/training/motivating ownership and management to focus on line-level employees, blended learning around customer care and rewarding ownership, management and employees.
Speaking to EyeforTravel.com’s Ritesh Gupta, Johnson said there are several ways to measure the service provided to the consumer.
“At the property-level, the continued enhancements of electronic guest satisfaction survey systems is probably the most effective, as you gain real-time information straight from the consumer. In addition, the performance metrics created provide each Best Western owner and manager with a specific performance scorecard of how they stack up against the Best Western system and local competition. We also continue our focus on matching training and reward systems for our line-level associates who day-in and day-out make the biggest impact on the service to our guests. Our field support staff continues to focus on overall service we provide by evaluating and consulting measures at each site,” said Johnson.
“The ultimate measure is how we performance against our competition in occupancy and RevPAR and we continue to show a strong correlation between sites that receive higher guest satisfaction scores than those who do not. It remains one of our primary focuses, as all of our competition is focusing on the same approach,” he added.
“We fully believe that Customer Experience Management is a direct evolution of CRM and we continue to work toward brining every Best Western consumer touchpoint in all of our information systems together. With the continuing evolution of IT systems all focused on the consumer experience, it is becoming easier and easier to make this happen. The primary foundation of our efforts is bringing all areas of our company together to discuss each division’s goals and identifying all of the opportunities to enhance CEM,” he says.
With studies showing that requests for personal information deter customers, on how can one obtain the greatest amount of CRM data from online customers, he said, “We continue to focus on the basics of consumer research, which is to ask direct questions in a manner that minimises the amount of time the customer has to spend to provide us with this information.”
“We continue to find that customers do not mind answering our questions, as long as they get to the point and remain aligned with tasking meaningful questions that affect their experience as consumers. In addition, we constantly look at all of our CRM data gathering approaches to ensure we engage the customer as little as possible, while obtaining the information that makes the biggest impact on our goals as a service provider,” said Johnson.