Service quality generally refers to the comparison of expected performance with the perceived performance of the service provider (Sighn, 2013). The role of service quality cannot be ignored in the hotel management, it becomes the most vital factor in creating a sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors. The effectiveness of service quality leads to the creation of customer satisfaction and customer’s trust over the service provider (Al-Ababneh, 2017). The amount of customer satisfaction and customer trustworthiness leads to competitive differentiation for the industry.
Service quality includes five factors namely assurance, trustworthiness, responsiveness, tangibility and compassion. (Rau, 2019). Customer satisfaction is an individual’s internal feeling which can be both negative or positive which helps in assessment of service provided by the hotel management.
The aim of the report and detailed assessment of the case study is to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of management practices and models, managerial issues, and understanding of its solutions and effectiveness of various managerial theories for implementing effective service to the customers. The objective of the report is to bring an understanding of the working of the hospitality industry and the list is challenges faced and how to overcome those challenges.
Kristen Adams has been recently transferred to the Excelsior hotel to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hotel staff. During her first day of joining, she witnesses various deviations in the working of the hotel staff. She witnesses a long queue of the customer with slow service in the allocation of room. There she meets Mr. Bill Foster, a customer of Excelsior hotel where he explained all the difficulties he faced while staying in the hotel with his family.
Kristen noted that the family had to face a lack of check-in facilities at the airport even after advertising about the same. The family had to face delayed service in the allocation of the room for which they had to wait for more than 20 minutes and was found wrongly allocated to them when they managed to carry their luggage to the room far away from the reception. After complaining about the grievance to the desk manager, he offered not only late service but he managed to offer an apology after ten minutes of settling in their room.
1. Gaps in Service Quality
There were five gaps that MR Foster experienced during his stay. These were gap expectation between the perception of management and the expectation of the client, perception of management and service quality specification of the client, the gap between the specification of quality and delivery of the service, the gap between delivery of service and communication with customers, and lastly gap between expected service and perceived service of the customer (Ferreira, Azevedo, Oliveira & Marques, 2016).
The gap between the perception of client and management team explains a lack of knowledge of expectations of customers towards the service and what management perceives (Yarimoglu, 2014). In this case, the Excelsior hotel management team failed to understand Mr. Foster’s expectations of the hotel. The hotel staff failed to deliver services at the following customer touchpoints. These were at the airport, at reception, in the lobby, and after in the room. These lead to the loss of customer satisfaction
The gap between the perception of management and service quality explains the unsuccessful execution of laying the service quality for the customers (Ferreira, Azevedo, Oliveira & Marques, 2016).Even after knowing the basic expectations of Mr. Foster the hotel failed to provide prompt service. The management not only failed to offer to check in service at the airport but they even failed to provide the correct room for the family.
The gap between the specification of quality and delivery of the service illustrates that even when the management specifies the efficient delivery of the service, the management fails to deliver it correctly (Silvestri, Aquilani & Ruggieri,2017). In this case, the Excelsior hotel promises its customer to offer check-in services to secure their room bookings. But when the couple arrived, they were informed that the service was unavailable for that particular day, which leads to inconvenience.
The gap between the delivery of service and communication with customers explains that even when hotel staff is skilled and can deliver the specified quality service, it fails to deliver (Priporas, Stylos, Vedanthachari & Santiwatana, 2017). Here in this case the staff was skilled enough to offer a smooth check-in facility and accommodation facility to their customer yet they failed to deliver it when being asked by Mr. Foster to help them in carrying their luggage towards their room.
The gap between expected service and perceived service defines the difference between the quality of service expected from the staff and the quality of service being received from them (Priporas, Stylos, Vedanthachari & Santiwatana, 2017). In this case, Mr. Foster expected smooth check-in and check-out facility and delightful treatment to their family. Lack of management and consideration lead to inconvenience to the customers of Excelsior hotel.
2. Service Failures and Action Strategies for Achieving Service Quality
There were several instances where Miss Adam witnessed a gap in the service being offered by the hotel management. These were lack of willingness of employees to meet Mr. Foster’s demand regarding escorting them towards their room, delayed services when they arrived for check-in and when they demanded new room for accompaniment, manual -booking system, inconsiderate and rushing services when the front desk manager double-booked the room, inability to create customer- employee relationship and structural gap within the hotel.
Till then there were no recovery strategies applied to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hotel management staff and thus leading to an increase in customer dissatisfaction. A few actions Miss Adam can implement to improve customer satisfaction are to start hiring more employees to fill in the gaps of lack of sufficiency of staff to perform the task effectively and efficiently. The hotel should opt for technological advancement in managing human resources.
Software such as opera by oracle which will help the managers to run check-in check-out services faster, manage the house back end services, management of customer data and revenues, and help in running IT operations. Ezbook will help the managers to allocate responsibility to their line managers, make a reservation of room by customers, and help in the management of resources. The software such as the fourth hospitality will help the managers to keep a check on hotel operations, timely payment to its employees, and records the revenues and expenditures of the hotel (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
Other than that Ms. Adam can plan to create training programs at frequent intervals for a different level of staff to improve the communication technique, customer and complaint management, problem-solving technique, and customer relationship.
3. Analysis on Failed Expectations of Mr. Foster
Customer dissatisfaction is related to the amount of quality service being received to the customer is lower than the expected services (Hoffman & Bateson, 2013). Through the detailed analysis of the case study and throughout solving the case study we managed to understand the gap in services being offered by the hotel staff and the list of service failures. When a customer gets dissatisfied, he communicates with wider audiences to inform about their experiences as opposed to when they are extremely satisfied, they tend to inform their experiences with few people (Berger,2014).
When Mr. Foster chooses to book a room in the Excelsior hotel he expected a welcoming environment from the staff. Whenever any customer looks for hotel booking, he/she looks for hassle-free checking, attentive staff for any request, easy accommodation, airport shuttle service, and personalized experience from the staff members. All these basic amenities were expected by Mr. Bill Foster. Even after allocating the occupied room hotel staff could have given them a more upgraded room for correcting their mistake.
By neglecting these small customer touch points the hotel staff not only fail to provide quality service to the customers but also failed to achieve customer satisfaction which can lead to a high dropout rate of the customer for booking the room.
Service quality can be concluded as detailed assessment of amount of quality service being received by the customer as compared to expected services. It is the most crucial factor for attaining sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors in an industry. Service quality is an important factor in a hospitality industry as it gives an opportunity to establish customer loyalty, contribution in business image, happy environment and customer satisfaction.
Through this case study the scholar gets to learn about the management concepts required for smooth running of the business, need for management in tourism and hospitality industry as well. The assessment lead to practical investigation into real life problem of Excelsior hotel which lead to brainstorming and creating of various ideas which may lead towards customer satisfaction. The study lead to broaden the horizon for detailed study in factors for customer satisfaction and achieve it. There are various factors for customer satisfaction and this need another detailed assessment for entering into tourism industry.
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