Choice Hotels hires Clarabridge to improve customer service

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Hospitality franchiser Choice Hotels has tasked text analytics software provider Clarabridge with collecting and processing nearly 1 million customer comments in order to improve service and customer lifetime value.

The hotel chain, which includes brands such as Comfort Inn, MainStay Suites and Econo Lodge, has renewed its emphasis on the quality of rooms across brands. Mark Weiner, VP of customer care and reservations at Choice Hotels, said he expects that initiative to result in better customer-retention rates.

“We get a lot of unstructured feedback from our guests, and increasingly we saw the need for detailed analytics in order to make sense of all of it,” he said.

The hotel franchiser began testing the software this summer.

“Clarabridge's Content Mining Platform allows our representatives to tailor the solution to an individual customer,” he said. “If the same hotel has had a number of room-cleanliness complaints, the rep can solve the problem for the guest right away, rather than referring them back to hotel staff.”

Based on initial testing of the software, the company may extend its use across other programs, including its preferred guest loyalty program. Weiner said that customer satisfaction went from 21% to 70% from this March to September, according to internal surveys, and call center times have decreased.

“We've gotten much faster at addressing customer complaints since our representatives can call up the relevant information that they need right away,” he said.

Choice Hotels selected Doner as its creative promotion agency, and Leo Burnett as its creative advertising agency, this summer.

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