New appointment for Best Western

Rich Johnson has been named Director of Customer Care at Best Western International.  In this newly created position, Johnson will be responsible for leading and integrating customer care efforts at the brand’s 2,400 hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

As an industry veteran with more than 16 years of experience, Johnson has gained a wealth of hospitality and customer care knowledge while holding similar positions at other leading hotel companies.  Prior to joining the Best Western team, Johnson worked with Cendant Hotel Group, where he most recently supported all 10 brands as Senior Director of Quality Assurance.  As with his previous roles in Corporate Training, Design & Development and Field Marketing, Johnson was responsible for overseeing the organization’s customer care performance and measurement practices.

During his tenure with Cendant, Johnson led efforts to reengineer all aspects of the customer care experience.  He developed and implemented an electronic, real-time guest satisfaction survey and recovery system, service standards and measurement processes, as well as training and employee recognition programs.  Johnson was directly involved in the company initiative that led to Cendant’s Wingate Inns brand winning the 2004 J.D. Power Award for the North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM in the mid-scale limited service segment.

“We look forward to leveraging Rich’s experience, and enthusiasm, as we take our hotels’ customer service to the next level,” said Ric Leutwyler, senior vice president, Brand Quality and Member Services, for Best Western International.  “Best Western’s membership, and our corporate employees alike, will benefit from Rich’s creativity and motivating leadership skills.”

Johnson’s career accomplishments also include creating the first published hotel quality rating system in the franchising industry.  He is a member of AHLA’s Lodging Industry Rating Advisory Committee and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Services from Eastern Illinois University.