In the present era, various factors contribute to successful customer services which lead to higher level of customer satisfaction. It helps organization to achieve desired goals and objectives and to achieve success. The aim of this research is to identify and explore the key factors that contribute in delivering successful customer services of hotel industry (Spencer, 2008). The high level of customer services helps to provide satisfaction to guests, which assists in gaining their loyalty.
Moreover, it is also useful in the development of a positive corporate image in the mind of customers and achieving competitive advantage over rivals. Nowadays, many organizations in the hotel industry provide effective customer services in order to provide satisfaction to their customers and to gain their commitment. It helps in the development of healthy relationships with the customers and to increase profitability (Robbins, 2003). Organizations provide training to their staff in order to improve their skills and abilities so that they can successfully provide high quality services to their customers, which eventually results in guest's satisfaction.
Customer relationship management also plays a significant role in successful customer services. Organizations use this system as this aids them to gain loyalty of their buyers by meeting their expectations. In addition to this, employee motivation is also essential in order to deliver high quality services and to achieve desired goals and objectives (Kumar, 2005). Companies in hotel industry are highly careful about quality of services as it helps them to attract new customers and to retain existing ones. In this regard, present research is carried out to analyze the factors that contribute in delivering successful customer services and for this Marriott Kensington has been chosen as the organizational backdrop as it is the prominent hotel in hospitality industry of London (Golafshani, 2003).
Marriott Hotel Kensington has great connectivity with the Heathrow Airport and Central London and it is the most stylish hotel in Kensington. It is situated in close proximity to the Natural History Museum, High Street Kensington shopping and Royal Albert Hall. It is regarded as the most contemporary hotel in the London as it delivers combination of vibrant facilities, superb and modern designs with a spectacular seven-story atrium lobby (Robson, 2006). They provide coffee shop/cafe, 24-hours room service, modern rooms, restaurant, bar and complementary wireless internet access in order to provide satisfaction to customers. The hotel has been carefully designed keeping the needs and expectations of the modern global business travelers in mind. It is a 4-star hotel that offers a great location and it is an ideal place for families staying in London.
In the present era, there is high competition in the hotel industry and to successfully survive in this business environment, Marriott Kensington is required to serve with exclusivity. They are required to keep their reputation stable in such challenging conditions. In addition to this, change in the mind of customers regarding products and services also creates problem (McBurney and White, 2009). Organization needs to change their style of services in order to meet expectations of customers. In the period of recession, hotel industry as well other industries faces tough time. Nowadays, organizations in this sector all over the world are providing innovative products and services in order to achieve customer satisfaction and to attain desired goals and objectives.
There are various challenges that have been faced by Marriott Kensington in order to maintain quality of services. There is high cultural diversity as they employ people from different cultures which create difficulty to provide quality services to customers. They are required to develop healthy relationships among employees and to facilitate cultural diversity at workplace as it will help them o provide effective services to customers (Crowther and Lancaster, 2012).
In addition to this, employee turnover is another threat for the hotel in order to deliver successful customer services. They are required to provide training to their staff so that they can improve their skills and can work for long periods as it will be helpful to them in maintaining quality of their services. They can also use different motivational techniques in order to gain loyalty of employees and to remove the problem of staff turnover (Amos and et.al. 2009). The reason behind employee turnover is inadequate salary structure within Marriott Kensington than its competitors. In addition to this, language barrier is another problem in the hotel due to cultural diversity. Further communication also creates problem in delivery of successful customer services. Hotel needs to use effective two way communication system in order to gain commitment of staff and remove employee turnover problem. This will assist them in attainment of desired goals and objectives and to achieve success over a period of time (Clark, 2002).
The present research will mainly give consideration to the identification of key factors that will contribute in successful customer services of Marriott Kensington hotel. The study will help to discover the key fundamentals of customer services that will assist hotel to add more values to their existing performance (Easterby-Smith, Thrope, Jackson and Lowe, 2008). This will help them in identification of different ways that will provide satisfaction to their employees and will maintain service quality.
The investigation will be useful in identifying the service quality currently being provided by Marriott Kensington hotel and the satisfaction level of customers. The research will assist in determining possible ways that can be utilized to overcome problems in maintaining service quality and to achieve set quality standards (Blackmon and Maylor, 2005). The identification of key factors which contribute to successful customer services will help Marriott Kensington hotel to provide satisfaction to customers and to improve their performance and increase their brand value.
Aim: The aim of present research is to find out the key factors that contribute toward successful customer services of Marriott Kensington.
1.What are the key factors in delivering satisfactory customer services?
2.How challenges create barriers in services offering?
3.How customer services influences the performance of Marriott Kensington?
4.What are the ways that can be used by Marriott Kensington to provide effective customer services?
The literature review is one of the most essential chapters of the research as it finds out and discusses about the research works already done by other researchers and available to be reviewed. This will help to analyze the area of research which has been chosen for the present investigation (DuBrin, 2008). This assists the researcher to evaluate all information which will be useful in completion of research.
Customer is the receiver of goods and services provided by supplier or seller for a valuable consideration. They play a significant role in success of business organization. Moreover, service is a set of actions that are performed in order to provide consistent set of outcomes which represents such results. It is an art that helps to make customer happy and to meet their needs and expectations. The objective behind customer service is to make buyers happy and to achieve success. According to Heeks (2007), organizations are required to provide high quality services to their customers in order to achieve satisfaction. This helps to achieve desired goals and objectives and to create reputation in the market. Organizations need to provide training and development to their staff so that they can improve their skills and can provide high quality services to customers.
In the view of Goddard (2004), customer service refers to the series of activities that are designed to increase the customer satisfaction level. In addition to this, companies need to motivate their employees in order to attract new customers and to retain existing ones. This will also assist in development of healthy relationship with staff so that they can provide better services to customers which lead to high customer satisfaction (Johnson and Clark, 2006). This will aid the organization to generate revenue for business and to maintain growth in competitive business environment. Customer satisfaction through high quality services will help corporations to create reputation into market and to increase the growth of organization in context of market share. Customer service plays a significant role in ability of company to generate revenue.
In order to deliver successful customer service, all departments of the organization should work in a team. This will help to provide high quality services to customers and provide them satisfaction. In the view of Scandura (2000), there are different key factors that organization needs to consider in order to provide successful services to their customers.
Companies are required to clearly define the roles and responsibilities to their staff so that they can effectively perform the assigned duties. This will aids in improving quality of services. According to McGuinn (2009), clearly defined responsibilities to employees will be useful in removing ambiguity at workplace and in improving performance of employees which leads to attainment of desired level customer satisfaction.
This also contributes providing effective services to customers and achieving a structured work flow in the corporation. Flick (2011), stated that proper delegation of work and authority among employees will help to improve performance of staff as well as organization. This helps to coordinate activities of workers and to encourage them for higher level of customer services.
It plays a significant role in successful customer services. Organization should have clear communication with their staff as well as their customers as this will help to identify needs and expectations of customers and employees. In the view of Bakker (2008), effective communication helps to remove ambiguity of information and improve performance of employees at workplace. This helps to maintain good relationship with staff and to encourage them to provide high quality services to customers which lead to higher level of satisfaction.
According to Clark, (2002), motivated employees highly contribute in high quality services to customers. Organization can provide monetary and non monetary benefits to their staff as it helps to provide job satisfaction to them and to encourage them for higher level of performance. Employee motivation is useful in reducing staff turnover and in improving team work within company which assists in attainment of desired objectives.
Training and development
Organization can conduct training and development programs for their staff as it will help to improve skills and abilities of staff so that they can work hard to maintain the quality of services. In the view of Pecinova (2008), training and development helps to encourage staff to improve their performance and to satisfy needs and expectations of customers. Hence, employee training and development highly contributes in better customer services which leads to satisfaction.
Managing customer feedback
Apart from above factors, this factor is also considered by organizations in order to provide effective services to customers. According to Prince (2011), hotel can collect feedback from their customers as it will help them to identify their expectations as well as drawbacks in existing services of the corporation. This will assist them to take corrective actions and to improve their services so as to provide satisfaction to customers and to increase profitability (Work motivation overview, 2002).
Therefore, main key factors that contribute in successful customer services are employee motivation, training and development, effective communication, proper delegation of authority and managing customer feedback. These factors help to improve employee performance and to and to increase growth of organization.
There are various challenges which can create troubles for hospitality industry and can prevent them to deliver appropriate services to customers. The major issues are cultural issues as it is very clear that hospitality industry has huge role with respect to handling the people who belong to different culture and values. The differentiation in social and cultural aspects could be a major factor which can create differences among the customers and employees (Voigt, Lane, Turner and Marcum, 2010). It is to acknowledge that customers or visitors should feel comfortable while staying in any hotel and the most significant factor is when they get such environment and ambience which is familiar and pleasant to them. Thus it exonerates that providing this type of environment for different customers belonging to diverse background could be problematic for company.
Further language is also another factor which can create operational issues for any hotel. For any five star hotels it is clear that their customers will be internationally diverse and will belong to different countries. It has been cited by management experts that the role of language is very huge with respect to understanding the problems of customers (McBurney and White, 2009). The grievances and needs of customers can be handled very easily and most importantly the employees can make connections with visitors. If employees will be having command on different languages then it will be easy for them to win the trust of customers. Therefore, it can be concluded that language could be one barrier in providing effective services to customers.
Apart from this it is also clear that nowadays the contribution of technology is very huge in making the service delivery excellent and outstanding (Robson, 2006). The customers want such technological advancements which can ensure them luxury and comfort. For the same purpose the hotel has to make proper alignment with the continuous technological developments else the customers will not be satisfied very easily. It is the biggest challenge for hotels that they need to have such technologies which are cost efficient and must have the potential to deliver world class services (Hyken, 2008). Customer satisfaction level can be increased only if the hotel is able to ensure proper online services, better room services and IT enabled infrastructure etc. Effective customer services always revolve around the rapid technological advancement and if company does not adapt to the changes then it can turn out to be a huge challenge for them. Other than this the implementation cost for such facilities is also very immense which could lie under the category of issues for hotels (Clark, 2002).
The list of challenges includes the changes in customer demand and services. The need and want of customers are changing very rapidly and further it has been observed that their expectations are always increasing towards the service level of hotels. The perception of visitors is very big challenge which should be managed in very painstaking manner (Amos and et.al. 2009). The hotel has to get ready for the huge expectations of customers and have to meet out their demand as per their expectations and perception level. Hence these are some direct or indirect challenges which affect the functionality of hotels and can hamper the service quality.
According to Blackmon (2005), effective customer services help corporations to provide satisfaction to their customers and to gain their loyalty. It provides various benefits to the company as it helps to generate revenue through customer satisfaction. This also facilitates good publicity from customers as satisfied buyers recommend the service to their family and friends which leads to word of mouth publicity and generates more business. It will also help the hotel to increase their visibility and popularity around the services and products which they provide.
In the view of Collis (2009), effective customer services helps to satisfied shareholders. When customer of organization are happy than it will leads to more business and it will generate more profits. Hence, customer satisfaction results in revenue generation which satisfies shareholders of organization. In addition to this, effective customer services will help organization to build confidence of customers and also create reliability. Moreover, excellent customer services will eventually develop motivation and pride among employees. They will feel proud to be a part of organization when their customers will highly satisfy.
DuBrin (2008), stated that effective customer services will help companies to discover the ways to make more their operations more efficient in order to save money of training new employees and to develop different systems in order to provide better services to customers. If the employees of hotel have a feeling of pride and are motivated in their work then it will lead to reduction in staff turnover and absenteeism. This will assist them to increase employee retention and allow the workers to generate profits. Effective customer services will help organization to reduce waste of resources and to improve performance.
In the view of Flick (2011), effective customer services helps to create reputation into market as satisfied customer will create word of mouth publicity. It will assist in increased sales of organization which will generate revenue. This will help organization to gain customer loyalty and to successfully survive into competitive business environment. Effective customer services will help organization to gain loyalty of potential customers and to increase their profitability. In addition this, it helps to increase growth of company in context of market share. It aids to successfully survive into ever changing business environment and to create brand identity. This also assist in positioning of organization into market and to achieve their mission (About Employee Benefit, 2012). The effective customer services will helps to meet changing needs and expectations of customers and also aids in gaining their loyalty through satisfaction. This also creates motivation and pride among employees which reduce staff turnover and also decrease unnecessary cost of company (Smith, 2010).
Research can be defined as the investigation and enquiry upon subject matter. This involves collection and evaluation of data so that finding can be drawn in order to build framework and theories (Scandura and Williams, 2000). In this context, this part of research report will involve the discussion upon techniques and methods that will be utilized in present investigation so that successful results can be obtained from it.
It is the method through which better insight regarding collection, evaluation and analysis of data can be obtained in order to attain most efficient outcome. There are two types of philosophy i.e. positivism and interpretivism (Kumar, 2005). Positivism is a scientific method where researcher identifies answers through social reality observation. This gives opportunity to the investigator to find out answers of research questions through observation. On the other hand interpretivism is a humanist and subjective in order to study the problem (Crowther and Lancaster, 2012). Considering the nature of this research, interpretive philosophy will be implemented in order to attain most effective results. This will aids in conducting better evaluation and analysis of data. It will produce qualitative data and this will have low reliability but high validity.
There are two types research approach that can be taken into consideration while conducting research and these are deductive and inductive approach. Inductive approach can be defined as a practice in which data are being collected through different sources and are analyzed with the use of bird's eye approach in order to recognize the existing pattern (Bakker and Schaufeli, 2008). On the other hand, deductive approach is one in which theories are being focused in order to draw specific outcome. In the context of present report, inductive approach will be used in which data will be collected through different sources in order to gain fruitful results.
Research strategy aids in conducting effective investigation. Research design can be utilize in better evaluation of data. The research design is of three types such as descriptive, case study and experimental (Clark, 2002). Moreover, research strategy assist in formulation of basic plan which helps investigator to find out the ways in which research questions will be answered. In the context of present research, descriptive will be utilized in which key factors contributes in effective customer service will be described.
In the view of Goddard and Melville, (2004), data collection is essential to gain effective results. This helps in evaluation of subject matter. There are two types of data used in present research i.e. primaryand secondary. Primary data refers to the first hand data and these are the type of data which not available until the researcher conduct any method to collect it (Data collection, 2012). On the other hand secondary data makes the ground of study more strong. It refers to the information that is already exist in the market and collected by other researcher. In order to collect primary data, interview of top managers of Marriott Kensington hotel will be conducted. The secondary data will be gathered through hotel's website, annual reports, financial statement, internet, magazines, books, journals, research reports etc.
In the view of Blackmon (2005), sampling can be refers as the practice of selection of respondent from the entire population so as to progress with the research in efficient manner. There are two techniques of sampling i.e. probability and non probability. In current research, non probability will be utilized in order to draw effective results. The sample size will be 10 top managers of Marriott Kensington hotel.
There are two techniques of data analysis i.e. qualitative and quantitative. In quantitative technique graphical representation is used in which graph and pie charts are utilized and on the other hand in qualitative technique, thematic analysis are used in which themes are prepared by researcher (Primary and secondary sources, 2012). In the context of present research, qualitative method will be utilized in which thematic analysis will be used. In thematic analysis, various themes will be developed with a motive to attain results.
The researcher always needs to take into account the ethical consideration in any research. In the view of Heeks (2007), ethical consideration is related with research integrity. The research has not to disclose any information to the third party that will be gathered from organization. In addition this, researcher has avoided any personal biasness. The researcher will follow all the principles while conducting the investigation that are explained by different researcher. Here, in the investigation researcher has acquired prior approval of the respondent. The investigator has duly informed all manager of hotel about the minute details of the study undertaken. The researcher has maintained the anonymity and privacy of all the participants being involved in the present investigation.
The research analysis has been done only as per the secondary data and the information gathers from 10 participants. It is a small sample and results drawn from it cannot be generalized. This provides little insight about the subject matter. In addition to this, shortage of adequate time is another practical limitation of the current investigation. Moreover, limited money is yet another major constraint which impacts the effectual completion of the current study. Further, unavailability of secondary data also one of the practical limitation in the present report. In order to gaining the access to the research participants accessibility issues is also limitation in the present study. The managers are involved in their work life and generally they have no time for such research work which is another limitation of the report. The data which can be easily collected were very less and this could affect the reliability and integrity of report.