QIBT hotel has performed quite well since the opening; however there are some issues related to training, soft skills and performance evaluation with the front desk team due to which various situations leading to customer dissatisfaction have appeared. This report will highlight the issues and will use your raise from the service industry to provide recommendations on improving and eradicating the issues in order to reinstate the level of customer satisfaction as desired for the growth of the service organization.
2. Key Problems and Issues
Customer satisfaction is an important factor for success in the service industry, and this is only possible when the provided services meet or exceed customer expectations. If the employees are not satisfied with the feedback mechanism and if there is a lack of clarity in role, which is handled, there are chances of inappropriate behaviour from the service team. Simon, had shown dedication towards his work however there was lack of application of service management tactics due to which despite various efforts, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction could not be achieved.
The first and the most glaring issue were related to training, which is the backbone of service organisations. It was evident that, the front desk associates were not provided adequate classroom training along with a dedicated mentor due to which incorrect behaviour was observed by the new candidates at the same was replicated during their on-floor performance.
There was also a lack of performance evaluation system, due to which Simon consistently provided feedback as and when required and there was a lot of dissatisfaction in the employees that reflected in their conversations with the customer. There were no one-on-one discussions between managers and team members due to which there was a lack of clarity in terms of the expectations from the employees. Since there was no feedback mechanism, Simon seemed to be very rigid with his policies and expectations as there was no clarity of what he was trying to achieve.
Soft skills were clearly lacking in the employees and this is one of the major areas of concern in the service industry and therefore there were various verbal and non-verbal communication areas where the team showed a completely unacceptable behaviour.
In this report service quality, customer satisfaction will be the primary issues that will be addressed and recommendations will be based on the same.
3.0 Literature Review
All businesses should endeavor to meet their customers’ expectations so as to maintain their loyalty. This can only be done through analysis of customer satisfaction by the businesses. The service industry and service related firms should also seek to do the same. However this information is not readily available and some of the firms do not place emphasis on understanding customer satisfaction. This is because most of the businesses want to focus on activities that increase their revenue and consider analysis of customer satisfaction an extra cost. What most businesses do not understand is that customer satisfaction plays a key role in success of the business. Hence businesses need to ensure that they conduct analyses of customer satisfaction levels to ensure their success in business. The literature discussed in this section is on data available on the research topic and objectives of the research stated in the case study. The literature covers concepts, models and theories on the research topic that have been developed from previous researches.
Banwet and Datta (2002) mentioned that there is an interrelationship between service quality and customer satisfaction and the relationship can be defined as a direct proportionality which means that higher the service quality higher with be the customer satisfaction. Considering this equation it can be inferred that in case if there is an attempt in order to increase the level of service quality and enhancement of customer satisfaction would be the result that could be achieved. It has been agreed upon by various researchers that there is no set criteria under which the service quality of service sector can be defined hence it means that there is no standard scale available to measure the level of service quality. Since, there is no skill available to measure the level of service quality on standard basis in service organizations; it may also be difficult to find the exact factors that could result in an improved service quality. The SERVQUAL model is a five dimensional system that has been developed in order to provide assessment of the level of service quality as perceived. This model suggests that service quality can be broken up into five different areas that can be assessed on the basis of customer responses and these areas are reliability, responsiveness, tangibles, assurance and empathy.
Relationships are an important aspect of service delivery in hospitality firms, Sharma and Patterson (1999) in their model showed the determinants of relationship
• Communication effectiveness
• Functional quality
• Technical quality
All the factors are affected by the trust in the relationship which leads to relationship
Commitments are illustrated in the figure 0.1. Sharma and Patterson (1999) define
Trust as a belief that the service provider is reliable and to behave in the long term interests of the buyer. It is about the reliability and confidence which is Involved. The more the trust, the stronger the relationship commitment will be. Trust has been studied by many authors and has been reported an important ingredient for the development of a satisfied customer and long term relationship. A trust booster for any firms is Customer’s satisfaction with past exchanges within the companies. Service quality is divided into two main parts – technical and functional quality. Technical quality is about the core services and outcomes perceived by the company’s customer, it’s the service promised to the customer. It focuses on ‘what’ is delivered to the customer. Sharma and Patterson (1999) further explain that the technical quality is the competency of the professionals in making sure the best return with acceptable risks on the investments of the customers.
On the other hand, the functional quality focuses on subjectivity, the interaction between the service provider and the service receiver, i.e. the customer. It deals with matter of ‘how’ the service is delivered. Trust plays an important role when it comes to what and how the quality of the service is delivered. The authors argue that greater the perceived technical quality, the stronger is the trust between the service provider and the customer. And similarly, the greater the perceived quality of the advisor, the stringer is the level of the trust in this relationship.
The formal and informal sharing in an empathetic manner of meaningful and timely information between the company and its customer is defined as Communication effectiveness by Sharma and Patterson (1999). Effective communication helps the customers build trust in the company where they are investing their money. The purpose is to have a well informed customer about their investment in the language that they understand. Consequently, the greater there is effective communication between the two, the stronger is the relationship commitment. Discussion focuses on the objective of the study which asks about relationship of service management, a standard has already been set for the relationship between the attitude towards the advertisement, attitude towards the brand and consumers purchase intention.
The service effectiveness plays a very important role in retaining a customer and making sure that the consumer sticks to the brand. The above mentioned three factors are discussed many times in advertising effectiveness. There is a direct relationship between customer’s attitude towards the advertisement and his purchasing attention or continuing to stick to the same brand. It is shown that these two variables have strong links. If the service influences the current or the potential customer, then they stick to the brand and in this way, the service quality is influencing both the attitude towards the brand, the willingness to go for it and the interest to sticking to it. So the service quality helps in retaining the customers.
Samantha: “Hi. Can I help you with Reservation?”
Mr Branson: “Yes, my name is Mr Branson.”
Samantha: “Welcome to QIBT Hotel Sir, I will check that for you.”, “How was your day, Sir?”
Still not looking at the guest with the smile, Samantha states:
Samantha: “I am afraid however; I couldn’t find a reservation with your last name.” “May I please take your full name, or if you can give me the conformation email, that would be great”
Mr Branson: “My assistant made the booking over two weeks ago, my name is George Branson”
Samantha: “Thanks, I will check that again, sorry for the inconvenience, Sir, I really cannot find a reservation however, I insist that you check-in, considering you had a log day and tomorrow we will be able to adjust the room as per your reservation.”
Samantha: “I have a room which I can offer you for $400, would that be fine?.”
Mr Branson: “ I must have a room but I’m not paying $400, when I made my reservation I was quoted $275.”
Samantha: “I am giving you a fresh booking at the moment, so you can chekin, tomorrow you can provide your booking confirmation and we will adjust the room prices accordingly Sir .”
Mr Branson: “Ok, Thanks.”
Samantha: “Please take a seat sir, I will send someone to escort you to your room.”
In order to improve the service quality to achieve better customer satisfaction, it is important to concentrate on the below mentioned areas.
Front Desk Administrators undertake a multitude of tasks to keep the wheels of the organization running smoothly. Therefore, a variety of training methods are used, including group discussion, syndicate work and skill practice.
- Introduction to the company, products and work culture.
- A brief introduction about the company so as to make sure of the employee’s knowledge about the company is up to date
- Training for data entry and to call up records
- Training for producing reports based on database information
- Training on preparation of memos and announcements and send them to all staff.
-Training for Booking appointments, planning conferences and informing the staff about the schedules
Switchboard management and telephone skills
- Training to improve the telephonic and presentation skills
- Brief discussion about the switchboard operation
- Perfection in the telephone operation job is attained by practicing. Applying extra efforts in remembering the extensions, codes and locations would help extensively in performing the task brilliantly.
Performance evaluation is an extremely important aspect of measurement of performance of an employee; it is really an important factor of evaluation of how the employer expects the performance and how it has been delivered. The below mentioned process discusses the five step technique that can be used for evaluation of performance of an employee that was hired according to the above case study.
- Develop an evaluation form - it is important to create a form which has been designed according to the key performance indicators that have been discussed with the employee.
- Identify performance measures - the key performance indicators must be converted into performance measures by adding relative targets according to the experience of the employee.
- Set guidelines for feedback - a specific date and procedure for feedback shall be designed which would be helpful to discuss the feedback, with a personal 1-on-1 interaction and also initiate performance improvement measures.
- Create disciplinary and termination procedures - after relative attempts of performance improvement plan, if there is no improvement then there must be a plan to initiate disciplinary action and termination process.
- Set an evaluation schedule -there must be a fortnightly or monthly review process where the above-mentioned evaluation was takes place and this must be shared with the employee in advance.
Soft skills training should be separately conducted to educate the employees about empathy, assurance, tangibility and responsiveness. There must be a strong emphasis on improving both verbal and non-verbal communication to reflect positive attitude to the customers at all times.
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