Best Western Attributes Rise in Guest Satisfaction and Loyalty to VR Staff Training Program, Loyalty Program, Social Engagement
For more than 70 years, Best Western Hotels & Resorts has been a mainstay in the travel landscape. In recent years, the company has received industry praise for its transformative brand refresh, which included expanding from one brand to eleven, introducing new logos, investing over $2 billion in property improvements, and offering one of the richest hotel rewards programs to today’s travelers– Best Western Rewards® (BWR®). At the core of the brand’s efforts, however, has been its commitment to providing superior customer care, and it’s clear the company is doing just that. In fact, Best Western announced its Net Promoter Score (NPS), measuring both guest satisfaction and loyalty, reached a record high of 61.7, an increase of more than 100 percent since 2007. This is a testament to the company’s guest satisfaction efforts as well as its award winning loyalty program, BWR.
“Guest satisfaction was a major pillar of our brand refresh and remains one of our most important priorities as a brand today,” said David Kong, president and chief executive officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “We’re pleased to report that our guest satisfaction scores have steadily increased and have, in fact, doubled since 2007.”
A company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) looks at customer loyalty, measuring overall customer satisfaction and brand perception on a scale of -100 to +100. NPS considers both Promoters and Detractors of the brand. Best Western continues to increase brand promoters while detractors have declined substantially.
Best Western attributes the improvement to several things, including, in large part, its award-winning
I Care® Every Guest, Every Time hotel staff training program. As part of this initiative, individual hotel consultation and training are provided to staff to highlight tactical operational opportunities that drive guest satisfaction from the bottom up. This program, which uses groundbreaking virtual reality technology and avatars, was beta tested and later implemented brand-wide at all 2,000-plus North American hotels.
Best Western’s loyalty program has also played a role in its continually increasing guest satisfaction numbers. BWR provides members with some of the richest rewards in the industry – including a minimum 10 percent discount and points that never expire – two perks that deliver superior value to members. Celebrating a milestone anniversary of 30 years in 2018, BWR has more than 35 million members globally today and has been ranked a top Hotel Rewards Program by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.
With Best Western’s Design Excellence Program, a $2 billion investment went into updating properties with contemporary style and modern amenities. New logos and signage were introduced as part of the evolution, and with a dramatic year-over-year increase in guest satisfaction ratings, J.D. Power recognized one of the brand’s most beloved amenities, “Build Your Own Breakfast”, as the highest-rated in the midscale competitive set in 2017.
The company also listens to and values guest feedback, using it to steer and implement change across the brand. In doing so, Best Western has driven improvements across all properties in areas like cleanliness of rooms, a caring staff attitude and working order of room amenities.
Finally, with the rise of the fast-paced digital age and the customer’s need for instant gratification, Best Western is the first hotel brand to have fully embraced social engagement, which is driving rising satisfaction scores. By actively engaging online, the brand’s response percentages have improved across all scores, increasing 14 percent year over year, with response time dropping from eight days to less than two days. The total volume of favorable social media reviews has increased dramatically, with hoteliers responding to more reviews, outpacing and outperforming competitors. As a result, today’s Best Western ranks 30 percent higher on world-renowned travel sites than in previous years.
“Over the past 10 years, Best Western has launched initiatives designed to deliver industry-leading service and put our guests at center-stage,” said Ron Pohl, senior vice president and chief operations officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “The results of these initiatives speak for themselves, as we continue to see an increase in brand loyalty with our BWR membership realizing gains of 13 percent annually since the beginning of the refresh, and our guest satisfaction scores have reached record levels.”