Best Western Introduces New Cleaning Technologies For Hotels
Program Empowers Best Western's Housekeeping To Set New Standard For Customer Care With The Use of UV Wands, Black Lights And Clean Remotes
PHOENIX (May 31, 2012) – As part of its continued dedication to lead the hospitality industry in customer care, Best Western International is rolling out its “I Care Clean” program throughout 2012 that will bring advanced cleaning technologies used in hospitals, such as UV wands and black lights, to the more than 2,100 Best Western hotels in North America.
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As part of this I Care Clean program roll-out, housekeeping staff at Best Western hotels in North America will be empowered to exceed customer expectations in an entirely new way using the following tools to clean guest rooms and common areas:
• Ultra violet (UV) sterilization wands– Wands from Purelight are used to sterilize “high touch points” in the hotel such as telephones, clocks, light switches, door handles, bathroom fixtures and common areas.
• UV inspection black lights – These black lights are used as part of the housekeeper inspection process to detect any biological matter, food particles, and more, that the human eye cannot see.
• Clean remotes or wraps for the remote control device – These unique, seamless remote controls are designed specifically to make it easy to clean and disinfect before each guest stay.
• Pillow and blanket wraps – Extra pillows, blankets and towels are wrapped in 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable single use wraps to ensure guests know that these products have been cleaned just for them.
“A clean hotel is a basic expectation for guests and rightly so,” said Ron Pohl, Best Western senior vice president brand management & member services. “We are unlocking the potential of the housekeeping profession by providing new tools and training to help ensure customer satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately trust. We believe this program will help us do just that.”
Best Western originated this new cleaning initiative after partnering with innovation and design firm, IDEO, whose research identified a lack of consumer confidence regarding hotel cleanliness within the mid-scale hotel market. This was supported by additional research conducted by Booz and Company, which discovered that the importance of a clean and well-maintained hotel has become the number one priority for guests—surpassing customer service.
“Through our consumer research, we found that no one hotel chain in the midscale category was recognized by consumers as being cleaner than others,” said Pohl. “This intrigued us, as we saw a real opportunity to lead the industry with advanced cleaning practices and recognized products. This program is our way of re-engineering housekeeping efforts to provide superior customer care to each and every one of our guests night in and night out.”
Prior to the comprehensive program roll-out in 2012, Best Western implemented a pilot program to test the new cleaning tools at select properties across North America. Guest satisfaction scores at properties trained to use the new tools increased substantially, including a 13.3 percent increase in “overall experience,” a 12 percent increase in “cleanliness of room,” and a 12.4 percent jump in “intent to recommend.”
In addition to implementing the cleaning program, Best Western is also exploring a “collaborative service” program for housekeeping to better serve its guests and their unique needs. Best Western-led research showed that its guests at times perceive housekeeping as an inconvenience during their stay. Given this, the brand is building a “collaborative service” process so guests can choose the time they want their room cleaned (morning or afternoon) and the level of service they would like performed.
“We’ve seen that thorough cleaning between stays and then putting customers in charge of their housekeeping options during their stays results in a higher level of guest satisfaction,” said Pohl.
ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,100* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 14 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.
*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.