Appointments & Promotions

Best Western Appoints Michael Muir VP of North American Development

PHOENIX - March 18, 2014 - Best Western International has announced the appointment of Michael Muir as Vice President of North American Development. An industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Muir will bring his expertise in strategic growth and development to the Best Western brand.

"We are delighted to welcome Mike to Best Western," said David Kong, CEO and President of Best Western International. "His extensive experience and knowledge of our industry will be integral in helping us to continue to grow our brand presence in North America."

Having worked with such brands as Holiday Inn®, Hawthorn Suites® and Microtel Inn & Suites®, Muir's proven track record of growing new and established brands in the midscale market, including extended stay products, will be a tremendous asset to Best Western. Muir's experience and leadership will be a great addition as Best Western continues to develop its Best Western PLUS and Best Western PREMIER hotel products as well as its new extended stay offering, the Best Western PLUS Executive Residency.

"Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with some of the great leaders in the hospitality industry. To now have the opportunity to join the iconic Best Western brand and to work with David Kong and his team, is an opportunity I could not pass up. Over the last several years, Best Western has orchestrated a renaissance of the brand, elevating it in both the eyes of developers and consumers. I am proud to be joining Best Western and I look forward to leading the development team," said Muir.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* Best Western®, Best Western PLUS®, Best WesternPREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 68 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 20 million travelers are members of the brand's award-winning loyalty program 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, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2013, Best Western earned our highest level of brand recognition, including our fifth AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year award, second Compuware Best of the Web Gold award, fourth No. 1 ranking in Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index for midscale hotels and seventh TTG Asia Best Mid-range Hotel Brand. Forty-one percent of Best Western hotels worldwide won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for customer satisfaction. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

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Feature Focus
Guest Service: Customer Service is a Key Business Differentiator
In today's hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace, customer experience has assumed a major role as a key business differentiator. There is a growing understanding that competition based on products or price alone is no longer a viable strategy. Since feature or function advantages can be quickly duplicated and/or enhanced, product innovation is no longer the differentiator it once was. And competition based on price impairs profitability. On the other hand, research indicates that 86 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience. To protect both market share and margins, hotel companies must provide customers with consistent, compelling experiences - before, during, and after their purchases - across all major channels. There are many things organizations can do to deliver a superior customer experience. Management must align everything a company does with the customer service experience in mind. They must assign high value to anticipation of customers' real needs and desires, and they must incentivize and reward personal initiative in the pursuit of customer satisfaction. They must respond quickly to customer requests. They must ensure that customer interactions are highly personalized, and they must deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. And perhaps most importantly, upper management must create a culture where customer service is valued and esteemed, taught and rewarded. Customer experience leaders who can drive this kind of cultural change will radically affect their companies? competitive position and business performance. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.