Noha Abdalla

Inside Choice Hotel’s Customer-Focused Data Strategy


A company as large as Choice Hotels, with more than 7,000 locations worldwide, is bound to have a huge amount of data. But how do you ensure data is used to improve and bolster the customer experience?

Noha Abdalla, Chief Marketing Officer at Choice Hotels International, Inc, says data is the cornerstone of the brand’s customer experience. Choice Hotels is recognized for knowing its customers incredibly well and providing a consistent guest experience, which comes from having reliable data.

But Noha understands that customer data is continually evolving. A strong data strategy is one of the company’s best tools for tracking trends and adjusting the experience to meet customers’ evolving needs. She says the company prides itself on being close to the customer’s needs and ensuring they deliver experiences that align with those needs. 

To have a complete view of customer data, Choice Hotels uses a variety of channels to get feedback, ranging from public channels like Google reviews to more private channels like a post-stay survey on the phone or through social media. Customers often talk to Choice Hotels while they are still on their trip and expect a quick response or resolution.

Noha says the goal is to put all that data together and look at it to see if there are trends, insights, and takeaways they’re hearing from guests. That data is then broken down by property to find trends in how customers view certain properties or hotel brands and is also broken down by type of customer. A business traveler may have different feedback than a leisure or millennial traveler.

The feedback also highlights moments of delight and moments that Choice Hotels could improve.

With so many streams of data and feedback, Noha says the goal is to always stay on top of data to ensure the company continues learning and improving the experience. She told me this: “We take the feedback we get from our guests who stay at our hotels very seriously, not just to address and make sure that we respond to the feedback that they’re giving about their particular stay, but we’re also looking at trends and themes for ways we can continue to learn from that feedback and improve the overall guest experience.”

One example of paying attention to data and trends came a few years ago when Choice Hotels saw the rising trend of reshoring American manufacturing and how its extended-stay hotels were one of its fastest-growing areas. Seeing a need for more short-term housing in America, Choice Hotels invested heavily in extended-stay properties by acquiring brands and building new hotels. Paying attention to trends and customer data helped the company prepare for an influx of workers needing a place to stay and paid off in the long run. 

In the competitive hospitality industry, staying close to customers and being adaptable is crucial. Developing a customer-centric data strategy is foundational to success.


Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the bestselling author of The Customer of the FutureFor regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here

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