Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction of Front Office in Chinese 5 Star Hotels

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CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND Overview The main aim of the research is to assess the efficiency of the service quality and customer satisfaction of five of the largest and widely recognised hotels in China namely Hilton Hotel in Beijing, Kunlun Hotel, Sheraton Tiajin, Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la. These hotel groups are chosen because of the stiff competition in existence between the five. The researcher aims to look into the perceptions of the hotelrestaurants’ customers, staff and managers towards the values underpinning service quality. Based on the existing literature, we need to justify if the hotel service standards of the five aforementioned hotel groups are adequate and if there is a need for revision in their criteria for service quality. Background and Rationale Quality generally means “a fulfilment of an expectation” ( 1997). In hotels, or in any other service industries, “service quality relates to a customer’s subjective

interpretation of his or her experience, different criteria are used by different customer groups to evaluate service, and these vary depending on the situation and the circumstances” (1997). The five dimensions of service quality are: tangibles; reliability; responsiveness; assurance; and empathy. (2001) explained that the tangible aspects of service quality comprise all that the client can see, touch, hear, and smell when the services are delivered. It includes not only the physical output of the service, but also the physical facilities, the equipment, and the appearance of personnel. Firms should consider facilities design and promote a positive employee image to current and prospective clients. Thus, tangibles basically involve physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of employees (1998). On the other hand, reliability means the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately; while responsiveness refers to the willingness to help customers and to provide a prompt service. Assurance is the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence. Finally, empathy means the caring and attention provided to customers ( 1990). Hotel Service Quality (2004) found in their investigation of the service quality of Hilton Hotels that quality service depends heavily on employees, particularly those at the front-line of customer contact. (2004) further stated: “…quality service is related to the behaviour of staff mainly with guests but also with each other to create – directly and indirectly – the right type of organisational culture that will encourage appropriate employee/guest

exchanges. Quality means providing the customers with an exceptional product by exceptional staff in terms of service and flexibility”. The relationship between management and employees, and how the manager use resources is also cited in literatures as an important factor to provide service quality in hotels. For instance, (2004) recommended the following to improve service quality in hotels: management need to have more interaction with the hotel guests to understand their needs and expectations; management need to delegate more responsibility to the staff across the hotels so that they can make sensible decisions with the guests; staff need formal training in service quality to deal with different types of guests and their needs; and complaints and compliments must be circulated among the hotels so that staff are aware of problems and merits. The problem with service quality may perhaps be related with gaps, or the differences of perception of service quality among managers of the hotel and the customers (2000). Within service quality, (2000) stated the some of the following factors that could be affected by gaps: comfortable and welcome feeling; neat appearance of staff; professionalism of staff; staff with multi-lingual skills; friendliness and courtesy of staff; special attention given by staff; availability of staff to provide service; performing the services right the first time; easily accessible reservation system; quick check-in and check-out; cleanliness; quietness; security; room service; and high quality of food in restaurants. Similarly, (2001) identified those service attributes as important to service quality. Some of the other service quality attributes they identified include: guest room values (comfort of bed pillows, atmosphere, room size, complimentary items, etc.); and

front office services (courtesy of employees,

handling of complaints, thoughtful

consideration of a repeat guest, reasonable price, hotel tour guides, flexibility of hotel policy, and efficiency of business centre, etc.). Featured hotels in this study are five-star hotels. Five star hotels have aboveaverage responsibilities to service quality. According to (2003), five star hotels should have: “Spacious, luxurious establishments offering the highest international standards of accommodation, facilities, services and cuisine”. Furthermore, they should also have flawless guest services, giving guests the impression of being very well cared for by professional attentive staff ( 2003). Customer Service

Normally, great amount of time is consumed in the mere planning of the purchase orders of a particular business company. And since most of the time the transactions involve not only a single client or customer, especially in the case of huge product and service providers, business establishments’ deal with sub-suppliers with several forwarders from which a number of consolidations are exchanged. The workload and time that the inventory managers handle defines the proceeding business processes that follow and thus, predict and maintain the success and profit of the whole business organization. That is why, efficiency counts!

employee satisfaction and profit growth are some of the main advantages of this business practice. The importance of quality in customer service has been recognized by companies worldwide. The values and skills of the employees on the other hand. The commitment. the involvement of both company management and the employees must be present. must be prioritized as well. several businesses have implemented different strategies that will enhance their respective customer services. loyalty. In order to integrate quality in service provision.The provision of quality customer service is a multi-faceted concept as a number of factors must be met by the business in order to achieve it. it is important that the organization has the right skills. Consumer studies. it has been made clear that training alone is not sufficient for service quality. . Customer satisfaction. As quality customer service is influenced by various factors. They must be given enough empowerment to contribute effectively towards customer satisfaction. resources and values. In this paper. In order to cope with the present business challenges. trainings and application of information technology are some examples of the most commonly used strategies for customer services. leadership and adaptability of the management towards change are also important for quality service. resulting to positive business outcome. Several major companies have applied prioritized quality in customer services.

g. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la. To establish the characteristics of the service quality standards of Hilton Hotel in Beijing. Research Objectives The researcher finds it necessary to conduct a study that will tackle the service quality standards of three of the largest and widely recognised hotel operators in the world namely Hilton Hotel in Beijing. this study will try to address the following objectives: 1. Sheraton Tiajin. heterogeneity. simultaneity. . universities. Kunlun Hotel. intangibility. or lawyers' offices) ( 1990).. motels. and perishability) often require customers to be actively involved in helping to create the service value -. Sheraton Tiajin. Characteristics of services (e.either by serving themselves (as in getting food in a buffet restaurant line or by pumping their own gas) or by cooperating and often working collaboratively with service personnel (as in settings such as hair salons. The general objective of the project is to compare the service standards of the 5 hotel-restaurants and assess the adequacy and efficiency of these standards. Specifically.Service delivery is an interactive and dynamic process that from the consumer's point of view is much more than a passive exchange of money for a particular service. To examine the assumptions behind service quality as applied in the hospitality industry in China. Kunlun Hotel. 2.

To identify the opinions of hotel customers. as well as the opinions of employees and their managers working in the hotel-restaurants studied for this project towards values underpinning service quality. To draw conclusions about the adequacy and efficiency of service quality standards of the five hotel-restaurants. Sheraton Tiajin.3. That is. Information or material objects flow through a series of tasks or activities based on a set of rules or decision points. In this lieu. Research Design This research requires an organised data gathering to answer the objectives. a process is viewed as a series of boxes (processing elements) connected by inputs and outputs. Hilton Hotel in Beijing. the research will use the descriptive approach employing a both qualitative and quantitative research method. (1997) Flow . Questionnaires will be developed with questions based on service quality attributes and values. a primary research will be carried out in the three hotel-restaurants (i.e. employees and managers towards values underpinning service quality. Kunlun Hotel. 4. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la) to assess the opinions of the hotel-restaurants’ customers. In the IPO model. Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework that will be used in the study is the Input-ProcessOutput Model.

(2001) Figure 1. what causes the change is the process.1 Input – Process – Output Model OUTPUT INPUT PROCESS .charts and process diagrams are often used to represent the process. what comes out is the output.1 illustrates the basic IPO model: Figure 1. ( 1997) What goes in is the input.

Substituting the variables of this study on the IPO model.2 Conceptual Framework · Clarification regarding the the the service quality of the five hotels in China . the researcher came up with the following: Figure 1.The IPO model will provide the general structure and guide for the direction of the study.

PROCESS INPUT OUTPUT · Literature reviews on service quality and customer satisfaction · Quantitative Data: Perspective of the hotel managers. . staff and hotel customers.· Conclusion and Recommendations on the objectives of the study.

.Assessment and analysis of acquired data through observation and interpretation.


on the other hand. Guests.Scope and Limitation The study only scopes within China. This study will be purely descriptive and will only try to survey out the current service quality issues on the restaurants of those hotels. managers and staffs from the three hotels will be surveyed. the scope of the study is both local and foreign literatures. In terms of literature. on the other hand. Kunlun Hotel. will be considered as secondary data to fill up for the study. Sheraton Tiajin. The study will only be limited to survey and literature review. will be based on purposive sampling which will be conducted on the three hotels. the responses of the respondents will be limited only to what the questionnaire asks. The respondents will be strictly and should be from the hotels mentioned above: Hilton Hotel in Beijing. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la The scope of the sample. The issues scoped within the study include service quality and hotel service. Furthermore. Significance of the Study . Interviews with managers.

it is hoped that the nature. It will also help employee management as it may pinpoint barriers on quality service. which could mostly be related with the service delivery of employees. this study will deal specifically with hotel and not on the general hotel service. Suffice to say. By doing so. As mentioned. will define how the research was carried out. The third chapter. The survey of the study will help determine what five-star hotel restaurant customers prefer in their service experience. This may contribute to the understanding of a specific hotel service and may provide recommendations for the improvement of that service. will present the concepts and assumptions behind the concept of service quality. The succeeding chapter. Chapter 2. with special emphasis on its application in the hotel and restaurant industry.The study will be significant to the service industry as it will contribute to further understanding of important service quality attributes in five star hotels. meanwhile. It will outline the research strategies applied in this study and why they were chosen. specifically five star hotels. this chapter will present a review of the related literatures and studies. advantages and disadvantages this management concept will be highlighted. Structure This management report will be divided into five chapters with related goals. This study will also be significant to hotels. These .

Sheraton Tiajin. On the other hand. Finally. it is in this fourth chapter that the research objectives of this study will be addressed directly. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la.e. . and the discussion in this lieu will be presented in the fourth chapter. these companies’ service standards will be compared among each other. this chapter will wrap up with a projected time frame for the completion of the project. Basically. In particular.strategies include who and how the respondents of the study were selected. i. the fifth chapter will present a summary of the findings of this study. the data collection methods and the data analysis techniques applied in this research. as mentioned previously. Finally. The study will wrap up with several recommendations from the researcher. the researcher will try to determine the efficiency of service standards in the hotel restaurants studied for this project. trustworthiness and validity will also be given in this chapter as well as the ethical issues that will be considered upon the implementation of this research project. Hilton Hotel in Beijing. as well as the conclusions derived from the findings. Kunlun Hotel. Issues of evidence.

a literature review will still prove useful as it will establish what . A discussion on service quality will be done so that the nature. concepts and assumptions behind the concept of service quality. advantages and disadvantages this management concept will be highlighted.CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction As mentioned in the previous chapter. even though a researcher may already possess good deal of knowledge about his/her research area. with special emphasis on its application in the hotel and restaurant industry. will be provided in this chapter. This is particularly important because enhancing one’s knowledge on the intended subject for investigation helps in the further clarification of one’s research question/s (2003). this literature review on the said concept will be done so that the researcher’s knowledge on the subject will be further enhanced. Further. In particular.

discovering research approaches. police. utilities.research had already been done that may be related to one’s research area and will identify. mutual societies. transport. health.e. solicitors. social security. market research companies. Because of the dominance of service industry in the society (for instance in America. the military.e. research foundations. airlines. advertising agencies. as well. if there are other research currently in progress (2003). case studies. information. and art foundations) and for-profit services groups (i. data sources as well as previous and current views towards service quality and standards. architects. ranging the national and local government who offer education. and communications) ( 1994). charities. hotels. Now. retailers. and credit services. my literature review will focus on existing theories. entertainment. Defining Service Quality If we will look around. to the non-profit private services groups (i. insurance companies. Organisation and enterprises offering services are numerous. legal. since all three companies are enlisted among the service industry sector. and. we will realise that what dominates society are services. In this literature review. (1996) guides the researcher when they said that a literature review may help in: finding justification for research objectives. consultancy firms. strategies and techniques that may be appropriate to one’s own research. churches. restaurants. avoiding repeating works that has been already done. . gaining noteworthy insights into the aspects of one’s research objectives. banks.

the willingness of staff to provide . equipment. and consistently.almost 70% of employment is in the service sector). accurately. hear. (2001) supports this argument when he said that service quality can be reflected in both the manner and the location of the service delivery. In particular. the provider of the service) or the entire service organisation. Tangible aspects of service quality include all that the client can see. e. (1998) added that service quality refers to customers' appraisals of the service core (i. Meanwhile. the ability to perform the required service dependably. touch. responsiveness (i.e. solving customer’s problems. and appearance of employees (2001. clients often make inferences about service quality based upon tangible and intangible cues (i.e. Accordingly. 1998).e. An example of an intangible aspect of service quality is the service performance.e. it is the difference between expectations of service and perceptions of service actually received ( 2001). the intangible aspects of service quality comprise the manner by which services are delivered (2001). thus. the tangible and intangible aspects of the service quality) observed during interactions with the service firm ( 2001). accurate billing and record keeping). it basically involves physical facilities. So what is service quality? Service quality is generally viewed as the output of the service delivery system (1982). which describes all aspects of the delivery of services that include: reliability (i. many service enterprises and organisations compete for service quality (1994). and smell upon the delivery of the services.g.

However. heard. ensuring that clients feel secure and safe when they provide confidential and/or personal information and winning their trust). the quality of services is measured through .prompt and attentive service. where. assurance (i.e. being available to the client when needed. empathy (i. and because intangible aspects don’t involve any product. or smelled before they are bought. According to g (1998) service intangibility means that services cannot be seen. accordingly. Lastly. Some doctors charge patients for missed appointments because the service value existed only at that point and disappeared when the patient did not show up. providing convenient hours. and. Service quality tends to focus more on the intangible aspects.. it is important to make customers feel the immediacy of the management or the service employee in responding to what the customers need to know).e. the management or the service employee must see things from the vantage point of the client. service perishability constitutes the services that cannot be stored for later sale or use. when demand fluctuates. e. understanding specific client needs. service firms often have difficult problems ( 1998). and how they are provided. giving personal attention.g. and keeping the client’s best interests at heart) (2001). Meanwhile. tasted. service variability is the quality of services depends on whom provides them as well as when. felt. The perishability of services is not a problem when the demand is steady.

more knowledgeable. and enhanced customer loyalty (1979. 1990).the quality of the service experience will likely be enhanced for the customer and the organization (1990). There had been a number of strategies implemented by various companies in order to practice quality customer service. which may either create satisfaction or disappointment on the part of the customer. participative. Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality In high-contact systems customers can influence the time of demand. From customer studies to the application of information technology. enhanced operating efficiencies.1996).the way it is being delivered by the service employee. it is important to consider that quality customer service is not dependent on the quantity of trainings or seminars an organization undergoes but on the level of collaborative effort exerted.that is. positive word-of-mouth publicity. and the quality of service ( 1979). the exact nature of the service. While the benefits of quality customer service have already been recognized. several international businesses have confirmed that putting quality into customer service results to positive outcomes. or productive -. 1990. Customers who actively participate in organizational activities can directly increase their personal satisfaction and perceptions of service quality (1990. . reduced marketing expenses. If consumers somehow become better customers -. Organizations that capitalize on customers' active participation in organizational activities can gain competitive advantage through greater sales volume.

In turn. As discussed by (1990).Along with the changing business world. customers change as well. technology. This transition meant that organizations have to completely reformulate their conventional business aims and purposes from being process-focused to customercentered. it is a common mistake for most management to think that they are highly committed in servicing the customers with quality when in fact their commitment is only based on internal and technical viewpoints. becoming more demanding and knowledgeable than before. in order to bring out exceptional customer services within the company operations. Hence. the management should employ fine-tuned organizational restructuring. Moreover. The success of integrating quality in a company’s customer services depends heavily on the management. the environment as well as the success factors of people (2000). . some managerial factors would have to be used as well. company management had shifted their focus on their clients or customers so as to stay successfully in business. According to (2003). Rethinking and reformulating the organization on the other hand. entail the consideration of several factors such as various processes. employing proactive customer commitment involves the consideration on culture and infrastructure (1997). The level of commitment the management provides for instance has a direct impact to the quality of customer service the company provides. motivate and recognized their employees results to a significant effect on the quality of customer service they deliver. the manner to which management train. While some company management send their employees to training.

long-term profitability and “repurchase intentions” of both existing and potential customers then simply put. . and identification of customer value were identified by their respondent companies as either important or very important. early researchers (1984. customers perceive value that originates from the service act itself. Now. it has been noted that quality. customer satisfaction. although these variables could accordingly with circumstance. (1994) support this finding and argue that those companies that are perceived to have high quality of services and goods had higher market share. (1999) said that customer criteria determine the definition of quality and the variables that affect perceptions of quality. therefore affecting the competitiveness of the company. it is commonly assumed that service quality leads to satisfied customers ( 1994).Interestingly. Accordingly. long-term profitability and “repurchase intentions” of both existing and potential customers. and second. On the other hand. which they argued to be the degree of fit between customer’s expectations and perceptions of service. service quality certainly affects customer satisfaction (1994). 1985. In fact. and time. since service quality affects competitiveness of the company. the total perceived value of service comes from two sources: first. 1987) had emphasised the link of service quality with customer satisfaction. customers perceive value that originates from the quality of the service act ( 1999). experience. although there is no consensus in the research community about the causal relationship of quality and satisfaction. higher return on investment and asset turnover than companies with perceived low quality. In the survey of (1990).

(1998) share this same perspective. even the best service efforts they give are criticised because there are times that the customer's perceptions of the service are clouded by the customers’ present state of mind. they are typically asked if they are satisfied or not with the kind of service they received. it is typically assumed that the service was poor. one of which is the customers themselves (1998). the influence of service quality on customer satisfaction is affected by other factors. if their answer is a “no”. This is because it is difficult to measure the perception of the customers because of its intangible nature – and this complexity triggers the complexity of controlling or managing service quality. since evaluation of service quality tends to focus more on its intangible aspect as compared to the more tangible aspect. it is also noteworthy to consider direct service providers’ (e. Measuring Service Quality However. Therefore. this creates difficulty on the evaluators’ part because there isn’t any actual product involved and the quality of services is measured through the way it is being delivered by . before a customer leaves a restaurant or a hotel. even though “understanding customer expectations and meeting customer needs is the single most critical issue and determinant of service quality”. (1998) cited the case of customers leaving a restaurant or hotel. That is. defining service quality as a measure of excellence in terms of perceptions is not sufficient (1998).g. that is. However.. in practice. such as if they are in a bad mood or have had a disagreement with someone just before arriving at the restaurant ( 1998). To demonstrate this point. waitresses) recognition of the fact that at times.

The roots of the SERVQUAL can be traced back way back in 1978. 1985) had already deduced that measuring service quality is difficult because it involves too many intangible aspects that are complex to quantify. A gap analysis helps to identify the causes of service quality shortfalls in each or all of the dimensions. although expectations are important. responsiveness). two measurement models have been cited: the SERVQUAL model. when (1978) argued that service is a complex bundle of explicit and implicit attributes. a methodology that defines five dimensions of service quality (reliability. Customers build an expectation of the service to be received depending on four factors: word of mouth communications (obtained from friends and acquaintances). 1985. the SERVQUAL model of (1988) was developed. . The intangibility of services and the simultaneity of service production and consumption make it complicated for customers to evaluate the quality of the desired service before it is provided or rendered (1988). assurance. communications put out by the service company ( 1985). In addition. past experience.the service employee. which include the physical appearance of people and facilities. Nevertheless. and. comprising the substantive service (the essential function of the service) surrounded by a number of peripheral services. empathy. personal needs. In this lieu. tangibles. The SERVQUAL Model involves the Gap Analysis. many still believe that certain models can measure the amount of satisfaction that a customer need. Early researchers ( 1987. In the later years. it is actually the difference between perceptions of a service and expectations for that service that should be used as the measure of service quality ( 1988). . and. and the conjoint analysis method.

hierarchical conjoint procedures should be used. including service attributes and service dimensions (2000). there is perhaps a relationship between them. In this type of analysis “the respondents indicate their preference for a series of hypothetical multi-attribute alternatives which are displayed as list or profiles of attribute” (2000). In fact. Accordingly. it is an alternative measurement to service quality as it provides better measures to service attributes and can cover and measure large numbers of attributes depending on the type of conjoint analysis to be used ( 2000). consumers today are more willing to pay for quality (1990). . A company that answers to the customer’s demand acquires benefits such as: greater market share. Because quality is the main ingredient in a product that delights the customer by either meeting or exceeding expectations (1988). Because of this demand for quality. but otherwise. For large number of attributes. it is often that perceived quality is based on the perception of the customers. a standard should thus be set to prevent deviation from the quality that is needed globally. conjoint analysis is a method for measuring consumers’ trade-offs among product attributes. and highly motivated employees (1974). The responses will then be analysed to be able to estimate the relative importance of attributes and to be able to build positive models of consumer preference for new alternatives (2000). higher growth rate. the traditional conjoint analysis can be used (2000). loyal customers.On the other hand. premium price. Standards and Quality: Why Relate Standards with Service Quality? Although standards and quality are two different words.

1997). and it differs from a governmental regulation in that the use of.The standard serves as a guide to organisations on what the customers want because it provides rules that should be applied (1995). 1994. 1994). (2004) explained that the key elements in ISO’s definition include: that standard prescribes behaviour or characteristics of people or inanimate objects .e. even though there are several research that demonstrate ISO standards’ negative results (i. a standard is by definition not mandatory.yet. but it is more explicit than most social norms. The downside. 1993. however. 1991. it cannot guarantee efficacy and effectiveness in customer satisfaction. is that the effectiveness of ISO standards is still untested on many industries. or compliance with. excessive obedience to the documented procedures may discourage critical thinking.g. ISO 9000 and ISO 9000:2000) because these standards helps in the process control of the conduct through the documentation or “feedback” that it generates to keep the process in control ( 1995). there are also research on the ISO standards that enforced their beneficial sides (1993. a standard is an instrument of governance. Nevertheless. . that the implementation of the standards may result in the development of a static quality system. while in many cases process standardization acts as a barrier for processes improvement. and can be deteriorating if implemented badly) ( 1994. 1995. it does not in itself mandate compliance. which increases bureaucracy and reduces flexibility and innovation. An example of a standard that can influence quality is the ISO standards (e.

and enhanced customer loyalty ( 1979. several factors such as leanness. 1990).Further. or productive -. 1990. in such situations. Frameworks for Service Quality In high-contact systems customers can influence the time of demand. reduced marketing expenses. participative. flexibility. 1996). Organizations that capitalize on customers' active participation in organizational activities can gain competitive advantage through greater sales volume. more knowledgeable. Thus.that is. enhanced operating efficiencies. From customer studies to the application of . positive word-of-mouth publicity. There had been a number of strategies implemented by various companies in order to practice quality customer service. standard bodies (or those who regulate companies by applying standards) should accordingly use extreme caution and deal with specific problems that emerge daily and with increasing frequency in this constantly changing world (1999). and the quality of service ( 1979). adaptability and a capacity for differentiation are deemed necessary for business survival but companies are restricted by the need to conform by the sanctions of standards such as ISO standards (1999).the quality of the service experience will likely be enhanced for the customer and the organization (1990). the exact nature of the service. If consumers somehow become better customers -. during these times of continuous change and global competition. Customers who actively participate in organizational activities can directly increase their personal satisfaction and perceptions of service quality ( 1990.

entail the consideration of several factors such as various processes. This transition meant that organizations have to completely reformulate their conventional business aims and purposes from being process-focused to customercentered. Along with the changing business world. several international businesses have confirmed that putting quality into customer service results to positive outcomes. customers change as well. it is important to consider that quality customer service is not dependent on the quantity of trainings or seminars an organization undergoes but on the level of collaborative effort exerted. company management had shifted their focus on their clients or customers so as to stay successfully in business. The success of integrating quality in a company’s customer services depends heavily on the management. As discussed by . In turn. While the benefits of quality customer service have already been recognized. Hence. in order to bring out exceptional customer services within the company operations. Moreover.information technology. becoming more demanding and knowledgeable than before. the environment as well as the success factors of people ( 2000). employing proactive customer commitment involves the consideration on culture and infrastructure (1997). technology. some managerial factors would have to be used as well. While some company management send their employees to training. the management should employ fine-tuned organizational restructuring. Rethinking and reformulating the organization on the other hand.

The approach on CRM covers all business processes that an organization employs so as to determine. it is a common mistake for most management to think that they are highly committed in servicing the customers with quality when in fact their commitment is only based on internal and technical viewpoints. which enables companies to understand clients from a multifaceted perspective. In addition. The level of commitment the management provides for instance has a direct impact to the quality of customer service the company provides. In order to achieve customer satisfaction. obtain. two factors must be taken . companies are able to establish deeper and more profitable customer relations. Through this understanding. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been a common system applied by businesses to ensure quality customer service. customization is very important. According to (2000). technological solutions and advanced analysis. As every customer need is different from another. In applying customization.(1990). motivate and recognized their employees results to a significant effect on the quality of customer service they deliver. CRM is regarded as the integration of business processes. enhance and retain its customers. select. at present. the business should consider individual customer demands and needs. According to (2003). Nowadays. customer relationship management also helps the organization to respond in time and appropriately to their customers’ calls. the manner to which management train. Indeed. CRM aids the organization to stay abreast of its customers’ needs and concerns.

Some class of services does not only require a high level of customization but also needs customer contact personnel to deliver the services to the customers. employees in fact serve as a mediator between the clientele and the structure of the industry. Professional services of the hospitality industry as well as accounting. This is necessary as some service concepts are standardized while others are able to provide various alternatives and options (1980). This role is very much significant in obtaining the desired results of both the customers and the . This is one of the reasons why literature on service industry pertains to the interaction between the service provider and the customer as this relation determines the degree of customer satisfaction.into account. First. hospitality personnel must have a certain degree of availability towards the customers. Second. where the focus of control is transferred from the user to the provider. According to (1980). These knowledge industries need to have sufficient education and training so as to satisfy individual customer needs. law and architecture are included in this category. a substantial margin of initiative and a strong sense personal responsibility. In a tourist interaction. Hence. one must identify the amount of judgment that can be exercised by the customer contact personnel in defining the nature of service individual customers receive. hospitality professionals are dependent on the contact and the reception they receive from the customers. one must consider whether customization is possible based on the services’ characteristics and delivery systems. This type of service provision is also known as prescriptive. medicine. This in particular is applicable to the hospitality industry (1999).

hospitality and customer service programs. Six Sigma is defined by a number of organizations as a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. However. the smile or the warm greeting service employees provide will lead to minimal results. There is considerable evidence that clients appreciate actual interaction with people. In satisfying the wishes of the customers. Without these helpful systems. while few of them realize the complexity of business systems involve in it. while interpersonal skills are learned from. thus. customer satisfaction is an important element of the hospital industry that makes it different from manufactured products. Most people equate customer service with personal interaction. The generation of customer satisfaction should then be produced out of effort and good rapport. the effectiveness and the quality of service provided should go beyond eye contact and warm greetings (2001).business. the treatment clients should receive from service providers must be different from what they receive on daily routines. Meanwhile. Indeed. the ethical and psychological factors must also be involved among hospitality professionals. The program constitutes a collection of methods for analyzing complex cause-and-effect relationships which vary according to simplicity and sophistication so as to discover opportunities for improvement within the business .

production. and others to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives (2000). geared to ensure that the organization to continuously attain or surpass customer requirements. Furthermore. It is a management philosophy that seeks to integrate all organizational functions such as marketing. customer service. Using the definition of quality in terms of value rather than in terms of defects. Total Quality Management is a philosophy of management that is driven by the constant attainment of customer satisfaction though the continuous improvement of all organizational processes (1998).organization. design. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a planned procedure for satisfying internal and external customers and suppliers by integrating the business environment. six sigma quality management programs involves a general approach and a search for ways to reduce muda in any environment (1999). and safeguarding the cycles while changing organizational culture. Customers have the ever-increasing demand on getting their hands into the products which can lead to . The main purpose of the program is to eliminate defects in any transaction process through the use of disciplined and data-driven approach and methodology used from manufacturing to transactional business processes and from product to service deals. engineering. finance. The best product and service providers continuously update and upgrade their service deliveries in order to answer the demands of their customers. Lastly. continuous improvement. TQM is an array of management system throughout the organization. and come through with advancement. growth.

and design a way of interacting that makes an indelible impression on customers. be it within the community or among neighboring countries. they carefully learn how to fulfill the needs of each kind of customer in their target markets. one that so utterly distinguishes them from others that it becomes a brand in itself . hospitality has been recognized as a desirable attitude in dealing with others. hospitality management has been . Every business person is determined to know what kind of work they would and would not do for their customers and. particularly in tourism. and marketed at the customer interface. the practice of being hospitable is not only applicable in entertaining others. Business firms invest on researches that will define their target customer groups that they believed they could serve best. It requires that companies create breakthroughs in how they interact with customers. serviced. (1996) emphasized the idea to take advantage of the competitive situation not just by being better in how that product gets sold. In most businesses and corporations.change in business establishment if expectations are not met. Hospitality Industry in China Also known as the value of receiving people wholeheartedly and treating them importantly. At present. in turn.

By 2012. At present. indicating the continuous growth of the hospitality industry. totaling to revenue generation of more than £64 billion. transportation and health care. While this industry enables the provision of vast services for the clients. the hospitality industry by itself is recognized as multi-billion dollar and still progressing industry (1998). work opportunities are also diverse. Hospitality industry is among the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. From these records.000 hospitality establishments. In the China seventy percent of the country’s gross national product is covered by service industries. hospitality industry is among the major economic forces in the UK as its enables growth and creation of job opportunities. the provisions of the industry for the customers are as unlimited as its opportunities for employees. Likewise. hospitality has indeed become one of the most competitive businesses in the world. In fact. Such trend is perhaps attributable to the common conception that the value of attracting potential clients is equal in keeping existing ones. retail. it is expected that this percentage will increase to ninety percent (2004). According to the (2002). Indeed.8 million workers who were distributed within 300. People are able to work is different areas of interest while still be in a job within the industry. about eight out of ten workers in China are in various sectors of the service industry including education. the business has employed over 1. . entertainment. In fact. more workers are employed in service provision than in manufacturing.a valuable means of maximizing the return on investment.

Historically speaking. Moreover. these advantages are valuable and essential to businesses. and intensifying business failure percentages (1999). However. External Analysis Several business and industries have adopted the trend of hospitality management primarily because corporate entertaining and hospitality is capable of effectively establishing networking opportunities. While. people are already traveling for leisure or work purposes. liquidity troubles. .The intense rivalry in the hotel industry is probable to carry on increasing ( 2000). competition could bring about excess capability in the market. the hospitality industry had started to grow and become more diversified. stern immediate. Consequently. Considering the accessibility and improvement hospitality services had undergone. long before the use of the term hospitality management. particularly on corporate reputation. This is because. This trend also enables businesses to create and strengthen business relationships. they are already going out to eat or shop. the industry indeed has opened itself to newer business areas and innovations (1998). Therefore. it is fundamental for executives to recognize where revenue is obtained from within their trade. the hospitality business is considered as one of the oldest industries there is. hotel managers are challenged with deterioration in leisure and business travel. as the world continues to change. an owner may find himself in the midst of disaster as corporate hospitality is capable of causing major damages as well. In this framework. continued existence and productivity are indispensable and the administration of revenue has developed into one manner to deal with this.

although different. and employ participatory management. Another is to supervise by fact. travel and tourism. the theory intends the company to have reverence for humanity. The third aspect is to make use of the plan--do--check-act (PDCA) sequence to reduce the disparity involving process performance (actual results) and targets.The hospitality industry involves businesses such as lodging. And lastly. All of these aspects. and utilize statistical techniques so as to acquire objective and precise results. and promotional conduits. (1988). Ishikawa’s quality control has a humanistic outlook of the employee. People always had the need for a place to stay when traveling to far places an individuals or groups often prefer eating outside than cooking at home. restaurant. Customer satisfaction and quality assurance are espoused throughout the instruments of total quality control. The first is to have knowledge of the customer orientation. (1988). organizing and controlling human and material resources within the business of providing an avenue of good reception and hospitality to customers (1998). methods. The subsequent process is the customer the theory intends the company to consider aspects of the industry in the eyes of the customer. The hospitality industry is said to be one of the oldest industries that ever existed. and recreation. . and (1985) identified four empirically derived doctrines of Japanese total quality control. The instruments of total quality control shape a mutually dependent system of ideas. are related to one another in the aspect of providing quality service to guests. Hospitality management involves a wide range of planning. specifically that employees can have a say to customer satisfaction and quality assurance if they are granted appropriate education and training.

brainstorming and cause-and-effect figures. organizing directing and regulating human and material resources. The seven basic quality-control instruments takes account of flow charts. matrix data analysis. hospitality management is a process that involved planning. lodging. travel and tourism. bars. and stratification. the seven management instruments. check sheets and Pareto charts. Taguchi experiments. interrelationship diagraphs. and quality-control stories. advanced tools. It also offers an essential component . run graphs and control diagrams. scatter graphs. These activities are performed within the restaurant. The seven management instruments contain affinity charts. and foolproof engineering (1988. Internal Analysis In general. these sectors are actually related to hospitality industry as they all aim to provide generous and kind services to the customers (1998). systematic tables. process decision program chart (PDPC) study. fast food outlets. restaurants. recreational management. institutional management as well as in meeting and convention planning businesses. The hospitality industry basically involves hotels and other forms of accommodations. These diverse segments of the hospitality industry made the business grow and eventually into a highly competitive global business (2003) Hospitality management has been a highly significant priority as it involves all the elements needed in a company’s marketing mix. Though separated. and arrow figures. flag illustrations.The methods of quality control takes in the seven fundamental quality-control instruments. 1985). The advanced instruments contain design of experiments. 1988. retail stores. quality function deployment. matrixes. histograms.

Assessment and evaluation of the perception. attitude and behaviors of customers towards the products and services provided should be likewise examined. Innovate. A good corporate hospitality program is beneficial as it strengthens the relationship shared between the sponsor and its chief constituencies. and develop. Continues researches on how to improve the product and service to the customers by applying and exhausting the resources available to the company should be constantly considered. Hospitality management enables companies to spend time with them away from the stress and pressure of the business. The company’s deficiency on meeting the . The continuing transformation from the traditional industrial framework with its hierarchical companies to a worldwide. knowledge-founded financial system and intelligent corporations necessitates human resource purposes to realign and relocate itself. It should be realized that the direct relationship of quality to customer satisfaction is an accepted fact that can either make or break a particular business organization. and that is to attain the opportunity to get quality time with their clients and prospects. creating an environment that is conducive for business transaction (2004). improve.that corporate marketers are after. Considering alternatives and ideals on the relationship between and among employers and employees resulted to more adaptable pool of skilled staff members and efficient body of workforce.

how they will be analyzed. this research will cover the following: the research design and method. the data collection instrument. Specifically. This section is to justify the means in which the study was obtained and will help in giving it purpose and strength as it will then be truthful and analytical. All these will help in the processing of the data and the formulation of conclusions.quality requirements it promised to the customers will be very evident in the sales reports and feedbacks that the company will acquire in reviewing the firm’s performance to evaluate and assess the business operation and thus. and how the conclusion will be met. and the data analysis. the respondents or subjects to be studied (which will include the sampling method). interpreted. Chapter 3 Methods and Procedures This chapter will be dedicated to the description of the methods and procedures done in order to obtain the data. These will be presented below. . should be similarly understood.

or other facts collected will be explained or correlated with other data. thoughts. It is not unusual for a researcher to first think of his research undertaking by considering whether one should.Research Design The research design chosen both qualitative and quantitative research. such as feelings. and others (2000). the research process “onion” is used. there are important layers of the onion that need to be peeled away: the first layer raises the question of the research philosophy to adopt. This is because conducting a research is like peeling the back layers of an onion—in order to come to the central issue of how to collect the necessary data needed to answer the research questions and objectives. It is especially useful when conducting a study wherein the data are immeasurable. important layers should be first peeled away. thoughts on this question should belong to the centre of the research ‘onion’. (2003) That is. in order to come to the central issue of how to collect the data needed to answer one’s research questions. Furthermore. In order to come up with the most suitable research approaches and strategies for this study. which uses explanatory methods in describing the variables wherein the data. the study will be descriptive as it will focus on the conditions set and the nature that surrounds the data and does not focus on the correlation with other collected facts. administer a questionnaire or conduct interviews. With the said process. beliefs. situations. the researcher was able to create an outline on what measures are most appropriate to be applied in the study. for instance. the second considers the subject of research approach that flows from the research .

Hilton Hotel in Beijing. In this study. the subjects must be selected carefully with the intention of having subjects who each posses characteristics that. except a researcher cannot simply choose out of whim. the choosing of the subjects must be based on their characteristics. the third examines the research strategy most applicable. Such a task would have been easier. and the fifth layer is the data collection methods to be used. in choosing subjects or respondents for the topic at hand. The respondents will come from five different five star hotel in China (i.philosophy. the researcher must first divide the subjects into groups. Kunlun Hotel. will represent a community. To be able to use this. Sheraton Tiajin. The Respondents The researcher. stratified sampling will be used. which was done through . but the bigger whole or the whole population. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la). the fourth layer refers to the time horizon a researcher applies to his research.e. The characteristics which the researcher has chosen them for will determine which part of the community they belong and what part of the community they are representing. staff and hotel customers. It is not only themselves whom these subjects will represent. when put together. is usually thought of to have the power over who the respondents of the study will be. These hotels had criteria before they were chosen: they all implement service quality. it is necessary to collect information from hotel managers. For the sampling. Thus.

8. . Data Collection Instrument In order to obtain the desired data. This is easier than other methods of data-collection (e. the researcher must have a data collection instrument to be presented to the respondents. Sheraton Tiajin. the researchers have chosen obtaining data through the questionnaire. the researcher did some random sampling which will satisfy the requirements by arbitrarily choosing such names to be done. 10. However. Because of standard service quality procedures. thus setting the target date forward a little. 9. Ten questionnaires were distributed each per hotel. which is to collect firsthand the data to be used for the outcome of the research. 9. Thus.. After choosing these people. Hilton Hotel in Beijing. Each hotel had the return rate of the following: 9.g. the researcher has chosen to use the primary research data. The questionnaire is administered by writing questions on a page and distributing it to the respondents. expecting them to return the paper with their answers on it. Thus. Kunlun Hotel. the list was finally released and from that list. In able to do this. 10. 10 and 10. interview. the total number of respondents is 90. 7. the researcher then has to present or distribute the questionnaires to the hotel managers and staff. The respondents were given some time before these questionnaires were collected. details and report about service quality and customer satisfaction results were not immediately obtained.e. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la. which makes up the 90%.classifying which hotel these respondents belonged to i. 8.

With regards to the standardized tests performance of urban and suburban schools in China. thus allowing smaller rate of errors. Sheraton Tiajin. the following hotels are surveyed: Hilton Hotel in Beijing. then the researcher will have no choice but to quickly switch to the interview method. Also. wherein the researcher will be allowed to interact with the respondent and ask the questions based on the prepared questionnaire. The advantage of using the questionnaires method is that the respondents have time to think of their answers.observation. Continental Grand Hotel and Shangri-la . etc. then the questionnaire will be rendered useless by the respondents as they may need interpreters for the questionnaires. Thus.) as particular details may be hard to talk about during interviews and cannot be drawn out from observation. in case such that unlikely event may happen. Kunlun Hotel. The disadvantage of the questionnaire method is when the respondents are unable to read or write. the respondents may feel more at ease when answering questionnaires as they are not required to speak with someone else in order to give information. concerning delicate matters.

It is important for the respondents to be open and honest in their responses.50 – 4.50 – 3. social status and society class.50 – 2.00 – 1. The questionnaire was designed to allow the collection of specific information about the participants to conduct statistical analysis.g. The respondents graded each statement in the survey-questionnaire using a Likert scale with a five-response scale wherein respondents were given five response choices.49 1.Instruments to be used To determine the perception of the respondents about the service quality and customer satisfaction. e. the researcher prepared a survey-questionnaire. The equivalent weights for the answers were: Range 4. age. .00 2. The use of the questionnaire provides the project owner with the ability to test the views and attitudes of the respondents. sex.49 0.49 Interpretation Strongly Agree Agree Uncertain Disagree Strongly Disagree The decision was made to use a questionnaire for the data collection for this project due to the sensitivity of the information being obtained.50 – 5.00 3.

Here. the researcher encouraged the interviewee to clarify vague statements and to further elaborate on brief comments. A review of the appropriate research literature. they have been reviewed. During the interviews participants will be asked about their perceptions on the challenges brought by the use of service quality in their perspective hotels. The questions being used during the interview have been based on the research questions for this project. 3. Both technical articles and “how to” articles were included in the review. This includes examining studies where customer satisfaction had been used either in a research or organizational setting. Data Collection Data shall be collected from multiple sources. One to one interview with the respondents. Interviews took between one and two hours. 2. The interviews shall focus on service quality in the chosen hotels. allowing different perspectives to be taken into consideration in the development of recommendations. The data sources that will be examined include: 1. The interviewer did not share his/her own beliefs and opinions. The researcher designed a semi-structured interview.In the interview. Focus group discussion with the management and staff of the five chosen five star hotels. open-ended questions were used to obtain as much information as possible about how the interviewee feels about the research topic. refined and approved by the project supervisor. .

then allowing them to be tabulated and analyzed through percentages. The method of data analysis then chosen for this study of correlation is through grouping the answers by category of by social-class. the factors that led to their decisions. Thus. simple statistics can be done and applied. it will attempt to show a simplified explanation on how the research took place as well as . A survey will be conducted with another set of respondents in order to investigate their satisfaction when using the services of the chosen five star hotels Data Analysis In order to correctly interpret the data in such a way that its result will reflect what the study originally intends to show then the researcher must employ the correct and accurate way of data analysis. Summary of Action This section is dedicated to the summarization of the entire chapter. Tables may be used to present these findings in order to show the raw data tabulations and the percentage of people per school classification has chosen to answer the same. and it will be easier to determine how school administrators and teacher reacted to standardized tests.4. and the effectiveness of standardized test to schools’ progress.

explain the different stages it underwent. Read more: http://ivythesis. First. These possible candidates were randomly chosen with 10 recipients being chosen per hotel to answer the questionnaire. The rate of return was high as 90% per hospital returned to the researcher answered. followed by obtaining the list of teachers who will respond to the survey questionnaire and hotel managers were interviewed. Once finished.html#ixzz13GX6jha4 .com/term_paper_topics/2009/10/service-quality-andcustomer-satisfaction-of-front-office-in-chinese-5-star-hotels. the researcher attempted to collate the data through simple data analysis.typepad. there was the choosing of ten schools where the research was to be conducted. which involved the grouping of respondents to the hotels and thus being able to compare their answers to those from different hotels.