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Analytics Tool Aids Choice Hotels to Manage Thousands of Text-Based Customer Comments

Choice Hotels International, Inc. has initiated the deployment of the Clarabridge Content Mining Platform to enhance guest satisfaction rates and increase efficiency for its franchisees. Clarabridge is a provider of text analytics software used by many Fortune 1000 companies to improve customer experience management (CEM).

The Customer Relations group for Choice Hotels Customer Care and Reservations (CC&R) Department collects and processes close to one million text-based customer comments annually from hotel guests providing commentary in guest relations case notes, emails, guest satisfaction surveys and other channels. The insight is used proactively by franchisees to make property improvements on a timely basis, by customer relations teams in coaching underperforming properties, and by marketing teams to understand the effectiveness of advertising and promotional campaigns, partner programs and overall brand health.

Previous analytic efforts
"Previously, we attempted to analyze this data manually, but despite our best efforts, we struggled with the manpower needed to analyze such data," says Mark Weiner, vice president of customer care and reservations at Choice Hotels International. "Clarabridge allows us to aggregate data across multiple internal and external customer listening posts within minutes so we can more fully understand what our customers say about individual properties, improve their likelihood to recommend, and provide better reporting analysis and service to our franchisees."

In March, Choice Hotels conducted a pilot program in which its customer relations team used Clarabridge to analyze positive and negative guest comments from satisfaction surveys and other sources. The goal of the project was to provide faster and more accurate root-cause analysis reporting to internal executives and franchise owners, reduce the amount of manual cleansing of the data and identify emerging customer trends buried in its own manual system of analysis.

Under its previous system, it would take Choice Hotels customer relations team 15 minutes to read just five comments. With the use of Clarabridge, Choice Hotels is able to analyze thousands of comments about an individual property from the past 18 months and create an action plan to improve that same property all within just 30 minutes. In addition, hotel operators, brand operations, and marketing and support departments all have access to the reports, giving managers the ability to make decisions based on their individual departments. The company also found that Clarabridge lowered the average handle time of the data and reduced the number of internal calls from franchisees and customers.

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