The hospitality industry is notoriously a difficult industry to step in. Focusing on customers will provide one of the best chances for success. Customers are considered the heart of industry which interprets that it is important to rely on quality of services to serve them the best. Customer service policies help in ensuring that such quality is maintained with assurance.
In the present hospitality dissertation report, the customer service policy persisting in the hotel is highlighted. The report covers the customer service policies which clients aspire. Moreover, it makes detailed discussions on how different type of communication be used for meeting the needs of customer's.
Customer service is an act of meeting the needs and desire of a customer by delivering professionalized, high-qualitative and great assistance before, during and after the customer requirements is fulfilled (Brady and Cronin, 2001).
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The key characteristics of a good customer service are-
- Promptness in delivering services or products on time
- Politeness in terms of exhibiting good manners by the staff.
- Act of professionalism must be highlighted and expected competence or skill must be met.
- Personalization of services is required to meet the varied need and perception of the customer demands.
Since, the hotel is located in the center of town it is able to attract both domestic and tourists. The expectation of guest with the hotel staff is high and they presume that it holds courteous, helpful and friendly approach towards them (Karimi, Somers and Gupta, 2001). Apathy and complacence are prime motivators for guests to enhance the image of their business. The staff is considered to be the face of guests and it will often be the reason for reflection of the image of hotel.
Most of the hotel has their customer service policy which guides their strategy for sensing their customers wants. These policies will reflect the organizational values for its customers. The main aim of establishing such policies is to ensure customer satisfaction and value that it will want to return.
The example of customer service policy in the following hospitality business are-
Customer Service Policy
The policy is intended to meet the requirements of customer and is applied to employee, volunteers, agents and contractors dealing with third part on behalf of Huron Lodge.
The general guideline on these policies reflects that customers must be greeted in a timely manner. The order must be taken and placed quickly and they must be not kept waiting. Regular suggestions and feedback must be taken.
Reasons for using customer service policy-
Customer service policies are drafted to communicate with its customers and know what it can expect exactly in terms of services from its business. These policies are very important to retain its customers (Parasuraman, 2002). Retained and referral customers are very important for a business to grow and sustain in a competitive business environment.
It has been seen that in the hotel there are two complaints which is prominently reflecting a bad image of them. These complaints are-
- Poor quality of housekeeping services.
- Unprofessional behavior of staff.
The feedback and complaints are widely addressed by adopting following customer service policy:
- Complaint Policies- The adoption of CSP has helped in addressing the complaints and resolving issues arising among the customer immediately.
- Privacy Policies- It is of prime importance for the hotel to establish and maintain privacy policies. This will help in sustaining customer faith and trust in the hotel.
- Food and safety policies- High quality of food and ensuring the contents used in them are safe to be consumed by customers.
- Disability policy- special privileges must be given to the disabled customers.
- Booking and reservation policy- Clear terms and condition must be specified before confirming the booking and reservation of customers (Dasu and Chase, 2013).
- Corporate Social responsibility policy- Saving energy consumption and reduction in environmental damages will help the company in creating awareness among the customer's.
Manner of conducting customer service policy
How customers are directed?
Listing our customer needs
Complaints are addressed
Responding customer problem within 48hrs
“Contact our help desk”
Visit website or pick feedback form from reception and hand it over to the front office desk.
a) Customer needs for different types of customers
It has been seen that there are different type customers identified in a hotel (like bed & breakfast) or restaurant (like fine dining) or bar or casinos. Various types of customer are-
6.Old Age Pensioners
A human need is a state of self deprivation which is shaped by culture or individual personalities. They expect to be treated with respect, receive timely and professional assistance. L It also seeks to have a enjoyable experience during their visit at the hotel (Schmitt, 2011).
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In a hotel business customer visit for satisfying their following needs-
1.Conference room for business meetings
2.Group booking for stay
5.Refreshment like coffee, meals, taxi, car hiring.
In a restaurant, customer's needs can be to enjoy meal on a table of 4 person or more, expect playful are for children to enjoy and high chairs for babies or kids.
b) Drafting a customer survey questionnaires
The questionnaire shall fulfill the several Attributes (reflecting service qualities) which are as follows:
Customer Survey questionnaire shall be:-
1.Are you happy with our services?
2.What do you think about are services?
3.How long have you been waiting?
- ½ hour
- 1 hour
- 3 hour
- more than 3 hours
4.Is the staff from reception being helpful to you?
5.Did you feel safe during your stay at the hotel?
6.Did you feel safe while sharing your card details?
7.Did you enjoy eating your breakfast?
8.Was the information served to you was correct?
9.How did you find our new swimming pool?
10.Did you find the bed enough comfortable?
c) Methods of collecting qualitative and quantitative method of customer research data
There are generally two key methods of collecting information-
1.Qualitative data- Such mode reflect more detailed information and with the help of this data one can evaluate the answers for questions on why, when and how. It focuses on depth, meaning and detailing of the data (Wilson and et. al., 2012). Adjective like rich, deep etc are often used in explanation of qualitative data. It helps in deep searching about the topic and evaluating ground theory on it.
2.Quantitative data- These are based on number and don’t provide answers on why, when and how. It provides data than can be counted and measured significantly. These data are quantifiable and verified and is susceptible to statistical manipulations (Maxwell, Watson and Quail, 2004.). Such data are specific and can be copied by other.
Type of Qualitative data:
1.In-depth Interviews- These can be conducted from 30mins to several hours. It is a more in-depth investigation than a typical questionnaire-based interviews. It usually follows a informal structure. The key feature of this interview are:
- The matter of subject is specific and small
- Information gathered is complex
- Explanatory form
- Verbal response is gathered
- Checklist is preferred that formal list of questions
2.Focus Groups- This is similar to In-depth interviews but is usually conducted among 6-15 members. There is a facilitator than an interviewer who guides the discussion. There is deep interaction between different subjects that take place (Lo, 2009).
3.Ethnography- This is a systematic study of the people and their cultures. It has been designed in a manner to explore the cultural phenomenon whereby the researcher observes the people point of view on the subject of the study.
4.Biographical method- This method focuses on collection and analysis of an intensive account of whole or part reflecting an in-depth unstructured interview. This method may be reinforced by way of semi-structured interviewing. This method emphasizes on the placement of individual within a nexus of social connections.
Type of Quantitative Data:
1.Experimental research- It is a collection of research design which can be used for manipulation and collection of data where one variable is manipulated and others are kept constant. It is a systematic and scientific way of calculation which helps in determining a casual relationship between them. Herein this research correlation and magnitude of such relationship is ascertained (Hwang and Wen, 2009).
2.Surveys- This is the most important area of measurement which is applied in social research. The broad area of survey research encompasses a fixed, stable quantitative designing. The collection of such specific data is quantifiable and comparatively involves a larger sample than qualitative studies. It represents as a base for wider generalization.
3.Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)- Here in, the behavior involving in a procedure is significantly defined by establishing a functional relationship between the behavior and environmental variables (Gemkow, 2011). Here the behavioral principles are defined in terms of equations.
4.Longitudinal Method- This method is a correlation research study which involves the repeated observation of same variables over an extended time.
d) Choosing 3 policies from research and identifying changes required for implementation of the policies
The 3 policies that needs reviewing and a deeper discussion are-
1.Complaint Policy- It has been seen that the complaints are not adequately recorded. Customer’s discontentment with the hotel could not be eradicated as their complaints were not reached till the management. The changes that can be inserted in customer policies are-
- The feedback form must be made more comprehensive and readily be made available to the customers.
- Proper systematic channel must be installed to address the complaints.
2.Disability Policy- it was observed that there were no arrangements for special privileged customers. It is important for the hotel to install different assistive technologies providing ease in their stay (Swan and et.al., 2002). Special handicapped parking must be reserved for such disabled persons.
3.Corporate social responsibility policies- The policies set to conserve energy and water consumption was not adequately met. There must be installation of solar panel for generation of electricity and rain water must also be saved. There must be clear guidelines provided to customers for securing limited energy and water consumption.
a) Identifying different communication types
Communication holds special importance in any field of business organization. Communicating with the customers is helpful in development of effective customer services. There are mainly three types of communication Verbal, Non-verbal and Visual communication.
Verbal communication state the use of sound and language which help in imparting of information by an individual and sorting out the problems in order to satisfy them (Cesarotti and Spada, 2009). However, it serves as a tool to explicit ideas, desires and thoughts in order to resolve out the key problems arising. It entails the use of words to impart information, opinions and thoughts among people by way of speech, writing or signs.
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The two major form of verbal communication are written or oral communication.
The effectiveness in quality is reflected through writing styles, grammar, vocabulary and clarity.
The staff should have clarity in speech, polite and subtle tone towards its customers
Non-Verbal Communication is anything besides words. They reflect the use of gestures, actions, facial expressions, body language, eye contact and other aspects of physical appearances.
Quality criteria- The gesture of staff must be appealing and confident personality. There must be no ego symbols and always welcoming their customers with a smile.
Visual communication is use of signs, drawing, designing, colors and electronic resources.
Quality criteria- The online sites must be appealing and reservation and booking through them must be easier for customers to choose (Ford, Sturman and Heaton, 2011). The pictures and signs used in their premises must be not unethical.
To enhance the communication system following technologies can be installed by hotel-
1.EPOS (Electronic point of sale)- it is a self contained computerized equipment which perform tasks like payments by bank or credit card, transaction verification, complete sales reporting and several other services which is normally provided by employees.
2.Message boards flashing and highlighting different messages
3.Touch screen systems
4.pagers & many more.
b) Self-assessment questionnaire
1.Whether you have accomplished any task other than the typical responsibilities?
2.Do the training and development activities helped in improvement of your performance?
3.Do you still feel there are areas for improvement as regard to you current job responsibilities?
4.Are there any growth opportunities that you are specifically looking for?
5.If yes, what are these opportunities__________?
It can be concluded from the above dissertation help report that customer service policies are crucial aspect which help hotel in meeting their benchmarks for providing quality service to its customers. It has been seen that quantitative method showcases more descriptive information than quantitative method. Furthermore, the verbal, non-verbal and visual communication method has assisted the staff of hotel to exhibit more quality services.
Books and Journals
- Bergman, B. and Klefsjö, B., 2010. Quality from customer needs to customer satisfaction. Studentlitteratur.
- Brady, M. K. and Cronin, J. J., 2001. Customer orientation effects on customer service perceptions and outcome behaviors. Journal of service Research.
- Cesarotti, V. and Spada, C., 2009. A systemic approach to achieve operational excellence in hotel services. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences.
- Consoli, D., 2005. Technological cooperation and product substitution in UK retail banking: the case of customer services. Information Economics and Policy.
- Dasu, S. and Chase, R., 2013. The customer service solution: Managing emotions, trust, and control to win your customer’s business. McGraw Hill Professional.
- Importance of Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry - The WOW. 2014. [Online]. Available through <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140610192244-310017619-importance-of-customer-service-in-the-hospitality-industry-the-wow>.