• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : HC2112
  • University :
  • Subject Name : Service Marketing

Individual Report

Executive Summary

This report aims to highlight the importance of the front-stage and back-stage operation in the service organization. Moreover, it also explains the significance of the service encounter in the organization. Along with this, it includes the managerial implications. For this report, the selected service organization is the Marriot Hotel which provides excellent services to its customers as well as interacts between employee and customers.

Introduction

Background of the service organization

 Marriot Hotels and Resorts are famous in the world for its full-service hotels and resorts.  This service organization is based in Washington DC and operates its operation in 60 countries. Marriot hotel group is the best example of a service provider with excellence.  In addition to this, various times Forbes and Time Magazines have named Marriot as the best companies against its competitor. The hotel provides personal interaction between customers and hotel management staff.  Though, Marriot Hotels is the international leader in the hospitality and service industry. The guest of the hotel experiences the great hotel services which determine the guest satisfaction with the hotel services and facilities.  The Marriot vision state that –“To be the world’s leading provider of hospitality services” (Santos-Vijande et al. 2018). Marriot services are carried out between the hotel staff and customers. Therefore, the hotel is successful with the effective organizational culture and operations which help to develop the service-driven model.

Furthermore, this report will focus on the Marriot Hotels and Resorts which is the real-life example of the service organization. This report focuses on the backstage and front stage flowchart operation of the Marriot hotel and resorts.  Along with this, by using both flowchart backstage and front stage,  this report will explain the importance of the service encounter as well as the managerial implications in the Marriot hotel.  

Backstage and Frontstage flowchart

Typically, services organization is divided into two parts; front stage and backstage. The front stage includes all the activities and process which is used to communicate and interact with the guests.  In the context of front stage, employee work within the organization along with some skills for delivering the services seamlessly (Kensbock et al. 2016).  On the other hand, in the context of backstage employees deal with the process and services which are not directly associated with the customers. 

Marriot’s front stage and  backstage functions  

Following is the Marriot's flowchart of front stage and backstage functions-

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Figure 1: Frontstage & Backstage functions

 The flowchart of Marriot hotel supports to carry out the major stages of the Marriot Hotel services between the guest and hotel staff.  It undertakes both the operation; front stage and backstage.  

  • Front stage Function:   It has been analyzed that front stage operation of the hotel starts with the key customer's activities and visible staff activities. The key operation is associated with the front desk which includes greeting the guest with the positive gesture, resolving the customer query and inquires, etc. All these kinds of activities are implementing in the frontline of the hotel which leads to interaction between hotel staff and guest (Katzan  2015). Every procedure at front stage operation generates the physical proof so that guest can and will impact on their perceptions. Front stage operations need a particular degree of empowerment in the sector of employees so that they can adjust their services generations as per the particular condition and situation.  At Marriot operation are usually associated with the extra work-intensive as the hotel staff needs to be multitasked and manage employees effectively. 

  • Backstage Functions: In Hotel Marriot, the backstage functions undertake the support departments. The backstage operations are the predecessor to the front stage functions in the context of service generation cycle. The operations of the backstage are not visible or not seen by the hotel customers.  The hotel staffs who are engaged in the backstage operations generally do not communicate or interact with the hotel guest directly.  In Marriott hotel, it also includes operations like sales, marketing, HR, finance, kitchen, housekeeping, and hotel security, etc.(Szende and Dalton 2015). Therefore, the hotel guest does not experience any kind of operations at face to face level.  In Marriot, all the backstage operations are considered as the critical operations in support to front stage operations. For example, excellent housekeeping and complete cleanliness are important to enhance the customer’s satisfaction in the hotel. On the other hand,  sales and marketing is also a significant part of the hotel operations because it is important for the right customers ( Lovelock, Patterson, and  Wirtz  2011). However, the backstage operation of Marriot is very much essential because the brand value of the hotel depending on its day to day operations in order to accomplish effectiveness. 

Significance of service encounter

In simple words, service encounters are transactional interactions or communication where one individual such as hotel service, vendor, etc. offer the services to another individual. However, service encounter communicates activities involve various actions such as greeting, request, and offer.   For the service organization, it is important to understand the significance of service encounter so that the organization can perform suitability (Larivière et al. 2017).  In the context of hotel service encounter suggests a sharp distinction among the customers and service providers which is considered as the part of the service encounter and other actions.  In front stage operation, the service encounter represents the communications between the customers and the service provider. On the other hand,  in backstage operations service encounter is the part of the services value chain where the consumer can see the evidence of services directly. Service encounters the important instants of truth in where the hotel customers generally create the permanent impression of a service organization.  The individual’s positive service encounters are very much important for hotel success (Collier et al. 2018).  In the hotel service encounter is associated with the quality encounter, hotel check-inn service system, quality of information exchange, etc. Moreover, in the hotel service encounter is very much crucial for the managers to hold a keen observation on the service encounters procedures and models to make sure it is delivered up to the expectation of the customers. Moreover, ineffective service encounter can generate significant cost to the hotel because the hotel staff will perform the service again which will be forced to compensate the customers for poor service performance or it can lead to losing the potential hotel customers for future.  Therefore, Marriot Hotel manager thoroughly needs to ensure about the service encounter among the hotel staff and hotel guests so that the services are generated up to the mark as well as generate the satisfaction to the customers’ expectations. Moreover, the manager needs to concern about the negative situation which may increase in the service delivery procedure and they also need to make sure that they have sufficient service recovery measures at hotel place (Dabholkar 2015).To get the positive service encounter in Marriot hotel the managers need to concentrate on the three service areas; guest interactions, staff management, and hotel service operations. In the hotel, if the situation emerges where the guest is not satisfied with the services interaction or employee communication.  It is very important to take instant actions to recover the trust of the hotel guest to enhance the viewpoint towards the hotel. The first step for the employee is to admit the mistake as well as apologize immediately. Moreover, it is  also significant to enhance the procedure which leads to an increase in the negative condition in the hotel.  For the hotel, it is very important to recover the dissatisfy guest. Along with this, there is one more strategy associated with the combination of both the strategies that is the management of employee in an effective way.  Therefore, the hotel manager and hotel training department need to do the training regularly so that the employee can change or modify the negative situation as well as handle the behavioral traits. Overall, it has been depicted that effective services model is needed to acknowledge the customer complaint and take the positive steps to consider suitable actions, procedure analysis, and employee communication management.

Managerial Implications

In the context of Marriot hotel guest satisfaction is very much important aspects for the success of a hotel.  Marriot operates its services are international level and therefore, it is important to control and maintain the international standard for customers satisfaction. Therefore, it is important for the hotel manager to focus on the key determinants of satisfaction and dissatisfaction for the Marriot Hotel (Zhao et al. 2018). Following are the major points that need to be highlighted by the hotel managers- 

  • Repeat guest business – It is important for the manager to increase the repetition of the guests which is considered as the direct determination of customer satisfaction. In case guest are choosing to stay in the Marriot hotel and selecting the brand Marriot during their travel it indicates that they are satisfied with the hotel services as well as with the service delivery.

  • Customer Feedback-  For hotel services customers feedback is also considered as the direct factor for customer satisfaction and service encounter because it determines the customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction level with the hotel services. If manager found the higher level of complaint in the back or front stage operations then it may generate the red flag for the hotel and need to be dealing with it instantly which may affect the business of the hotel (Söderlund 2017).

  • Customer’s referrals- Due to the positive encounter customers suggest the hotel and hotel services to their friends and family whenever they feel satisfied. If the hotel gets a higher level of referrals it confirms that a higher level of satisfaction.  

In addition to this, for enhancing the service and service operations in the hotel, the manager can adopt the RATER model which is used to assess the quality of services which are rendered.  It is a kind of tool which helps to highlight the major areas where the hotel needs to concentrate to offer better service experience to the customers. The major component of the RATER model is as follow-

  • Reliability- It measures the capability to offer the services according to promise.  

  • Assurance- This factor evaluates the extent to which the hotel staff uses their knowledge and skills to launch the creditability with customers as well as using this capability to accomplish trust and confidence. 

  • Tangibles-It measures or indicates the physical factor of the services such as documents, employees and premises.

  • Empathy- It evaluates the degree of relationship among the hotel staff and customers.  

  • Responsiveness- It measures the responsiveness of the hotel staff to meet the changing requirement of the hotel customers. 

This model will help the hotel manager or any service manager to determine strong service quality as well as gaps in service quality. It supports the hotel to enhance the service delivery model as well as make sure to work on the continued success (Voorhees et al. 2017).  Moreover, in Marriot, it is important for a manager to decrease the service gap and work on the backstage and front stage service operations so that it will lead to increase in the quality of the service.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that Marriot is one of the leading hotels across the globe and it is known for the best services provider in the hotel industry. However, it has been found that services are completely based on the interaction between customers and hotel management. Along with this, it has been found that backstage and front stage flowchart is also the important part of any service organization especially hotel industry, Frontstage is directly associated with the customer's interaction on the other hand backstage operation are indirectly associated with the customers. Moreover, the services encounter is also a significant part of the hotel organization as it helps to determine the level of interaction between customers and employees. The service encounter provides a suitable direction for enhancing the services. It is essential for the Marriot hotel to gain positive service encounters because it leads towards the success of the hotel. If the service encounter is ineffective because it produces the significant cost of the hotel which will perform against the hotel service performance. Further, the hotel manager needs to focus on the enhancement of the service operation to increase the customer satisfaction as well as to reduce the service quality gap.

References

Collier, J.E., Barnes, D.C., Abney, A.K. and Pelletier, M.J., 2018. Idiosyncratic service experiences: When customers desire the extraordinary in a service encounter. Journal of Business Research, 84,150-161.

Dabholkar, P.A. 2015. How to improve perceived service quality by increasing customer participation. In Proceedings of the 1990 academy of marketing science (AMS) annual conference  483-487. Springer, Cham.

Katzan Jr, H. 2015. Design for service innovation. Journal of Service Science (JSS), 8.1.1-6.

Kensbock, S., Jennings, G., Bailey, J. and Patiar, A.2016. Performing: Hotel room attendants’ employment experiences. Annals of Tourism Research, 56, 112-127.

Larivière, B., Bowen, D., Andreassen, T.W., Kunz, W., Sirianni, N.J., Voss, C., Wünderlich, N.V. and De Keyser, A. 2017. “Service Encounter 2.0”: An investigation into the roles of technology, employees and customers. Journal of Business Research, 79,238-246.

Lovelock, C., Patterson, P. and  Wirtz, 2011. Services Marketing: An Asia-Pacific and Australian Perspective, 5/e, London: Pearson 

Santos-Vijande, M.L., López-Sánchez, J.Á. and Pascual-Fernandez, P. 2018. Co-creation with clients of hotel services: the moderating role of top management support. Current Issues in Tourism, 21.3.301-327. 

Söderlund, M. 2017. Employee display of burnout in the service encounter and its impact on customer satisfaction. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 37. 168-176.

Szende, P. and Dalton, A. 2015. Service blueprinting: Shifting from a storyboard to a scorecard. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 18.3.207-225.

Voorhees, C.M., Fombelle, P.W., Gregoire, Y., Bone, S., Gustafsson, A., Sousa, R. and Walkowiak, T. 2017. Service encounters, experiences and the customer journey: Defining the field and a call to expand our lens. Journal of Business Research, 79,269-280.

Zhao, Y., Yan, L. and Keh, H.T., 2018. The effects of employee behaviours on customer participation in the service encounter: The mediating role of customer emotions. European Journal of Marketing, 52.5/6.1203-1222.

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