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A REPORT ON HOTEL CORAL REEF AND ITS SERVICES
In a constantly changing world of today, where past is replaced by dynamic present and the dynamic present is being replaced by more challenging future, the old ways of doing things is no longer valid. Change is permanent and a reality. Those who are not able to keep pace with the changes are destined to lose the race. Tourism is emerging as a leading global economic driver for the 21st century. It has enormous potential as a catalyst for future economic and social development. Bangladesh’s resource base for tourism is phenomenal. Tourism, however, has become a fiercely competitive business for tourism destinations the world over. Competitive advantage is no longer natural, but increasingly man-made, driven by science, technology information and innovation. As such it is not simply the stock of natural resources of Bangladesh that will determine her share in the tourism market, but rather how these resources are managed and integrated with other competences to create a competitive advantage. The importance of a High Quality Hospitality Service Provider Organization arises at this point as it can shape and present the tourism of a country in the most desirable means.
1.2 Statement of the research Issue
To ensure that the benefits from increasing globalization are shared, all countries need to ensure that they have the necessary level of competitiveness in today’s globalized village. Hence the importance of a High Quality Hospitality Service Provider Organization lies in the real term as it can facilitate, organize and manage resources to attract more and more tourists. Thus my study problem could be stated as:
How do reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles increase the customer service performance of a hospitality service provider organization, particularly Hotel Coral Reef?
1.3 Rationale of the study
Today’s world is very much service oriented in every sector. Those who are giving much more services than others are giving; he will be well ahead of competition because of getting better competitive advantages rather than other competitors. Most of the people have some management & marketing knowledge but do not want to execute this sort of knowledge into their own fields of business and services. The customers always think negatively towards marketing. Sometimes they do not want to realize the power and strength of modern marketing forces in the service oriented business. Tourism services are intangible. The rationale of the study lies in the fact as the provision of high quality service aids in meeting several requirements such as customer satisfaction and its consequent loyalty and market share, soliciting new customers, improved productivity, financial performance and profitability (Collet, Lancier, & Olliver, 1990; Julian & Ramaseshan, 1994; Lewis, 1989, 1993; Llosa, Chandon, & Orsingher, 1998). It has also become an important research topic because of its important relationship to corporate marketing and financial performance. In the current study I will try to find out the customer service performance of Hotel Coral Reef.
2.1 Data type
The objective of this study is to find the service quality of Hotel Coral Reef considering reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. Thus the data are collected from the valued clients asking on various services of the organizations and according to their answer the services quality was given a point depending on five scales of Likert’s model.
2.2 Data source
The data of this research is of primary type. The researcher himself collected the data by investigating the clients of the Hotel Coral Reef.
2.3 Data Collection
The study was conducted on the basis of both the primary and secondary sources of information.
Under primary Source the data were collected from the respondents through a structured questionnaire, interview schedule and by observation.
Internet, visiting different websites on related issues and an in-depth literary review.
The data were collected throughout August 2011, from Hotel Coral Reef located in the Cox’s Bazar as well as from different visits with the customers of Hotel Coral Reef during the study period.
2.6 Sample Size
For time constraints and other limitation of the study I could able to collect data on only 30 customers among who visited the organization during the study period.
2.7 Software Used
For summarization Microsoft Word 2007 has been used for report writing and for data visualization Microsoft Excel 2007 has been used extensively.
2.8 Data Analysis
Data analysis involves the function of editing, coding, classifying, tabulating and percentage using. Editing will involve a careful scrutiny of the completed schedules. And this will be done to ensure that the data are accurate, consistent with other facts gathered, uniformly entered, as completed as possible and well arranged to facilitate coding and tabulation. Coding will be done to ensure the process of assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses can be put into a limited number of classes or categories. Classification will help to tied up the homogeneous groups to get meaningful relationships. Tabulation works will be carried out in order to conserve space and reduce explanatory and descriptive statements to a minimum, to facilitate the process of comparison and to provide a basis for various statistical computations. Lastly, percentage will be used in relevant cases as it simplify numbers by reducing them within a range.
3.1 Hotel Coral Reef in brief
Coral Reef is a fully furnished international beach hotel, opened recently in order to cater the requirements of customers of the 21st century. It has been equipped with the diversified needs of today’s guests. Comprising of suits, twin bed & couple bedded rooms. The hotel ensures an exclusive homely atmosphere and extensive facilities for business travelers and leisure seekers. It is a place where quite efficient and ever-present yet unobtrusive service anticipates every need logistics.
Only being 3Km from Cox’s bazar airport and 1 Km. from the central bus terminal, hotel coral reef is centrally located at Kolatoli sea beach, 300 meters away from the bustling heart of cox’s bazar sandy beach. More overall shopping complexes are within easy walking distance making its location very convenient for the customers, enjoying an unrevealed location overlooking the Bay of Bengal, only 300 meters away from the bustling heart of Cox’s Bazar sandy beach and sitting in the laps of hills, Hotel Coral Reef offers deluxe accommodation in 59 well appointed rooms. The panoramic view of the ocean, the majestic hills and the natural beauty of the tamarisk are all wonderfully complemented by Bangladeshi hospitality. Local sightseeing and visits to the surrounding Iceland can be organized by the travel desk personnel. The hotel is a delight infusion of North-South duo. The dilated craftsmanship furnishing brings out the ultimate of prestige and elegance of the hotel.
Hotel Coral Reef offers a large exotic food. All these serve variety of delectable dishes to an authentic formula, which are nothing short of superb experience. Honeymooners will find romance in the elegance, tranquility and privacy of the hotel.
Hotel Coral Reef brings only 3 kilometers from Cox’s Bazar Airport and 1 kilometer from Central Bus Terminal. Hotel Coral Reef is centrally located at Kolatoli Sea Beach. Moreover all business and shopping complexes are within easy walking distance making its location very convenient for the tourists.
The hotel also has a slogan and that is:
3.2 SERVICES AND FACILITIES
Hotel Coral Reef offers a dynamic pool of distinguished services and facilities for its customers. A brief detail is provided below:
Ø Six storied hotel building having 59 well furnished A/C Rooms (Connecting and Individual)
Ø 24 Hours Room Service
Ø Individual mini fridge with mini bar
Ø Round the clock restaurant open
Ø Bar-b-q at roof top sea-view restaurant
Ø Conference hall (Theater type)
Ø Stand-by generator service
Ø Running hot and cold water supply
Ø Color TV with satellite connection
Ø Intercom facility direct from rooms
Ø Business center open for 24 hours
Ø Laundry services(Same day delivery)
Ø Coffee shop and juice bar in the loby
Ø Non-stop tours and travels solution
Ø Safe and wide parking area
Ø Doctors on call
3.3 COMPLIMENTARY SERVICES
Ø Welcome drinks on arrival
Ø Complimentary breakfast
Ø Safe deposit box
Ø Air-port Pick-up and drop(Conditional)
3.4 OTHER OFFERS
Ø Free Parking: The hotel offers free use of its car parking space
Ø Package tours: Hotel Coral reef have an own resort in the Saint Martin’s Island near the sea. It also offers various packages in Cox’s Bazar and Saint Martin’s Island, also sightseeing tours are operated by experienced guides.
3.5 ROOM TARIFF
|Category of room
|BDT 6000 only
|BDT 4800 only
|BDT 3000 only
|BDT 2500 only
|Plus 10% service charge & 15% VAT applicable.
4.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
4.1 Customer Service
In the competitive environment of tourism and hospitality sector there is constant pressure to innovate and develop new ways to improve customer service. In the context of tourism and hospitality, customer service is “the long-term person-to-person relationship between a financial institution, its distributors and its customer” (Wong & Perry, 1991). Customer service is considered as an important factor if a retail bank is to achieve a competitive advantage (Kelley, 1990; Javalgi, 1992). The term “customer service” is used today in the field of service management to describe a host of different but critically interrelated activities. Some authors view customer service as all activities which bind a corporation and its customers together to further a sales relationship (Hopkins & Bailey 1970; Christopher & Wills, 1974). Other authors view customer service as a package of measurable activities which provide utility to customers (Perreault, 1973) or optimum levels of service (LaLonde & Zinszer, 1976).
Lewis (1989) stated that in the financial services industry, the marketing key is now “customer service”. In brief, good customer service is the key to a successful organization and customer retention. Furthermore, good customer service fosters growth because each satisfied customer will tell at least five other people about the business, some of whom will become customers (Seller, 1989).
4.2 Service Quality
Lehtinen and Lehtinen (1982) defined service quality in terms of physical quality, interactive quality and corporate (image) quality. Physical quality relates to the tangible aspects of the service. Interactive quality involves the interactive nature of services and refers to the two-way flow that occurs between the customer and the service provider, or his/her representative, including both automated and animated interactions. Corporate quality refers to the image attributed to a service provider by its current and potential customers, as well as other publics. Lewis and Booms’ (1983) definition clearly states that service quality is a measure of how well the service level delivered matches customer expectations and delivering quality service means conforming to customer expectation on a consistent basis. In some earlier studies, researchers define service quality as the extent to which a service meets customers’ needs or expectations (Lewis & Mitchell, 1990; Dotchin & Oakland, 1994; Asubonteng, McCleary, & Swan, 1996; Wisniewski & Donnelly, 1996). Zeithaml (1987) defined that service quality is the consumer’s judgment about an entity’s overall excellence or superiority. It is a form of attitude, and results from a comparison of expectations to perceptions of performance received. Zeithaml, Berry, and Parasuraman (1990) on the other hand, have chosen to define service quality “as the extent of the discrepancy between customers’ expectations or desires and their perceptions”. Service quality has been also defined as the consumers overall impression of the relative inferiority or superiority of the organization and services (Zeithaml et al., 1990; Taylor & Baker, 1994).
Christopher, Payne, and Ballantyne (1993) have defined service quality as the ability of the organization to meet or exceed customer expectations. Service quality is believed to depend on the gap between expected and perceived performance (Anderson, Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994). Gitlow, Oppenheim, and Oppenheim (1989) also stated that service quality is the extent to which the customer or users believe the service surpasses their needs and expectations.
Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1985) proposed that service quality is a function of the differences between expectation and performance along the quality dimensions. Service quality is also defined as a consumer attitude reflecting the perceived overall superiority and excellence in the process and outcome of a service provider (Parasuraman et al.,1988). Gronroos (2001) recently defined service quality as a mixture of three elements: quality of the consumption process itself, the quality of the outcome of the process; and image of the provider of the service.
Service quality has become an increasingly important factor for success and survival in the banking sector. Provision of high quality service aids in meeting several requirements such as customer satisfaction and its consequent loyalty and market share, soliciting new customers, improved productivity, financial performance and profitability (Collet et al., 1990; Julian & Ramaseshan, 1994; Lewis, 1989, 1993; Llosa et al., 1998). Bank Service quality has become an important factor in determining market shares and profitability (Andereson et al., 1994; Spathis, Kosmidou, & Doumpous, 2002).
4.3 Service Quality Dimensions
Since a conceptual model concerning perceived service quality was proposed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1985), service quality dimensions have become an area of interest in marketing research (Bolton & Drew, 1991b; Brown & Swartz, 1989; Carman, 1990; Cronin & Taylor, 1992, 1994; Parasuraman et al., 1988, 1994; Teas, 1993, 1994; Zeithaml et al., 1996). One of the important issues related to service quality is the dimensions of service quality, and the measurement tool, SERVQUAL developed by Parasuraman et al. (1988) has been the starting point of the controversy in this area.
Parasuraman et al. (1988) identified five quality dimensions that link specific service characteristics to consumer expectations of quality. These five basic dimensions are reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles.
Reliability is defined as the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately (Parasuraman et al., 1988). Reliability involves consistency of performance and dependability. It means that the firm performs the service right first time. It also means that the firm honors its promises. Specifically it involves accuracy in billing, keeping records correctly, and performing the service at the designated time. (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985).
Reliability refers to the extent to which the retail service provides what was promised when it was promised (Dabholkar, Thorpe, & Rentz, 1996). Zeithaml et al. (1990) defined reliability as the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. Reliability refers to an absence of errors, precision of filing, and precision in transactions (Spathis, Petridou, & Glaveli, 2004). Reliability is the ability to perform the promised service consistently, dependably, and accurately. Reliability has often been cited as the most important dimension in assessing the quality of service and is therefore a fundamental requirement for businesses to compete in the marketplace (Cook, Bowen, Chase, Dasu, Stewart, & Tansik, 2002).
Responsiveness is defined as the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service (Parasuraman et al., 1988). It concerns the willingness or readiness of employees to provide services. Responsiveness involves timeliness of service like posting a transaction slip immediately, returning a phone call quickly, giving prompt service, setting up appointments quickly. According to Zeithaml et al. (1990), responsiveness refers to the motivation to help (internal) customers and provide prompt service to them.
Parasuraman et al. (1988) defined assurance as the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence. Assurance involves trustworthiness, believability, honesty. It involves having the customer’s best interests at heart. Contributing to credibility includes company name; company reputation; personal characteristics of the contact personnel; how much a hard sell is employed in interactions with the customer (Parasuraman et al., 1985). According to Bahia and Nantel (2000), assurance represents the friendliness and courtesy of employees – personalized attention to the customer and the ability of employees to inspire confidence. Zeithaml et al. (1990) defined assurance as the awareness and good manners of the employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence to the customers.
According to Parasuraman et al. (1988), empathy is defined as caring and individualized attention provided to customers. Empathy refers to graciousness, respect, consideration and friendliness of contact personnel including receptionists, telephone operators, etc. It includes consideration for the consumers’ property, clean and neat appearance of the contact personnel.
Tangibles are the physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of personnel in services (Parasuraman et al., 1988). It includes all the physical evidence of the service like the facilities, appearance of personnel, tools or equipment used to provide the service, physical representations of the services (e.g. statements), and even other customers. Tangibles of service are the tangible facets of the service facility (equipment, signage, employee appearance, etc.) or the man-made physical environment, popularly known as the “servicescapes” (Sureshchandar, Rajendran, & Anantharaman, 2003). Bahia and Nantel (2000) stated that tangibles assessed the appearance and cleanliness of a bank’s physical facilities.
Study Results and Findings
Travel is as old as mankind on the earth. Man at the beginning of his existence roamed about the surface of the earth in search of food, shelter, security and better habitat. However, with the passage of time, such movements were transformed into wanderlust and to manage the situation tour operating businesses were evolved. Now-a-days such business is a prestigious service and crucial to the overall economy of a country, especially one enriched with tourism resources and potentiality like our Bangladesh.
My study in the Hotel Coral Reef was influenced by the motives to know about the customer service quality of the hotel or how well the organization meeting its promises as thought by the customers and to have a brief concept about a high quality hotel.
Here, in the report, in order to study the customer service quality I choose an opinion based research i.e., the questionnaire is designed with a five points Likert’s type scale and there are seventeen questions under the five dimensions of service quality i.e., Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibility. At this part of the report I would like to analyze each dimension separately and then end up with a generalized remark.
All the questions are structured with a positive overtone that’s why the strongly agree scale is designated or assigned with a score of 5 and strongly disagree scale with 1.
5.1 Perceptions on RELIABILITY
The responses generated from the sample respondents of 30 could be generalized as follows for the reliability dimensions:
Now let’s calculate the total score; here the extreme satisfaction level can be denoted by 600. The settlement of yardsticks is shown below:
- Most Favorable or Highly Satisfied
o = No. of Statements * No. of Respondents * Most Favorable Score
o = 4 * 30 * 5
o = 600
- Neutral Attitude or Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied
o = No. of Statements * No. of Respondents * Neutral Score
o = 4 * 30 * 3
o = 360
- Least Favorable or Highly Dissatisfied Scenario
o = No. of Statements * No. of Respondents * Least Favorable Score
o = 4 * 30 * 1
o = 120
The total score for reliability dimension is [(7*2) + (38*3) + (56*4) + (9*5)] 397; so the customers attitudes are impartial towards the reliability dimension. Or in another way the customers are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the service of Hotel Coral Reef and when it is all about the reliability issue. However, from the above table it is also evident that the only disagreement issue comes when there is a question of contact or communication, so Hotel Coral Reef needs to be more communicative and contact customer time to time, review customer database and inform the customers by sending mail or by using some other means of communications.
5.2 Perceptions on RESPONSIVENESS
The responses generated from the sample respondents could be generalized as follows for the responsiveness dimensions:
(5)The employees of the organization give you prompt service.-11316-The employees of the organization always willing to help you.–41511The employees of the organization are never too busy to respond to your request.-61212-
Here, the extreme level could be marked by a score total of 450 [3*30*5] and neutral attitude would count for 270. However, our total for this dimension is 328. So we can say in general that the employees of Hotel Coral Reef are responsive but they should be more proactive i.e., they must be one step forward so that the customers get surprised.
5.3 Perceptions on Assurance
The responses generated from the sample respondents could be generalized as follows for the assurance dimensions:
(5)The behavior of the employees of the organization inspires confidence in you.-514101The employees of the organization consistently courteous with you.-48162The employees of the organization have the knowledge to answer your questions.–61410
The total score under this dimension is 327 which resembles the employees are friendly and courteous to the guests and they can assure and convince the customers well. Nevertheless, customers agree with the fact that the employees of the organization have enough knowledge and they are skilled in this field. The employees should be in an equitable mental set up while treating with each guest.
5.4 Perceptions on EMPATHY
The responses generated from the sample respondents could be generalized as follows for the empathy dimensions:
(5)The organization has employees who give you individual attention.-111162The organization has your best interests at heart.-31611-The employees in the organization understand your specific needs.-6177-
The total score under this dimension is 298 which is really a weak part and which need to be focused. The employees need to be cautious and proactive; they must treat all the customers in an equitable basis but with a passion which makes bound the customer think that he/she gets a customized treatment. Reading of the customer mind is important especially for services where business is carried forward based on perception.
5.5 Perceptions on TANGIBILITY
The responses generated from the sample respondents could be generalized as follows for the tangibility dimensions:
(5)The organization has modern-looking and hi-tech equipments.–21810The organization physical facilities are visually appealing.—1515The employees of the organization appear neat.-111126Materials associated with the service (such as signs or statements) are visually appealing at the organization.–10164
The total score under this dimension is 490 which are really impressive and indicative of a tangible existence upon the mind of the customer. This aspect is vital for image or brand building.
5.6 Generalized remarks
Of the thirty respondents, we found ten Bangladeshi and twenty foreigners i.e., 67% of the respondents are from abroad. Another interesting finding is that only 8 respondents are equal or less than 30 years old, so almost 73% of respondents are aged above 30. The inferences come from the statistics are that most of the domestic tourists do not choose or consult with a hospitality service provider organization and the young bloods do not want an organized mass tour rather they like freedom and want to discover them in new and challenging situation, they want to be the explorer or drifter type; might be for this reason the young respondents I found hesitating in giving their opinions.
The above chart clearly speaks about the whole results. Total possible response were 510[17 questions*30 respondents], so the highest level of customer service quality would require a total score of 2550 [510*5] and the neutral level require 1530 points. However, the aggregated total we get from the chart is 1870 which means that the customers have a favorable evaluation about the service quality of the Hotel Coral Reef.
Recommendations and Conclusion
In the findings part we have already made some recommendations besides interpreting the results, the initiative was so, in order to get an instant comeback of what to do in different situations. Now, we would like to make some recommendations based on my overall observation.
ü Hotel Coral Reef is a service-oriented organization. Its business profit depends on its service quality. That is why the authority always should be aware about their service quality and performance as service quality can lead to increased customer satisfaction, and thus can contribute significantly to performance. Moreover, the customer service quality is consequently indispensable in this aspect.
ü One of the most important factors to maintain service quality for a service organization is its ability to enhance customer feedback, both positive and negative. Effectively managed, customer feedback helps to create numerous opportunities for the development of interpersonal relationships between the customer and a firm’s employees. This close alignment with the customer will be of vital importance. It will provide regular and reliable customer feedback and, thereby, the opportunity to make the necessary proactive changes to improve services of Hotel Coral Reef. This will enable the organization not only to act quickly to satisfy the customer, but also to prevent similar problems in the future.
ü As Hotel Coral Reef is a service providing organization where the completion of one process depends on to another. Hence, lack of cooperation and cohesion should be minimized to provide prompt service. Different departments of the organization should work like a team to provide prompt and efficient services to the customers. Internal conflict among and within the departments should be removed or kept minimum in this aspect.
ü The behavior of the employees should be modified enough to maintain positive attitude toward their job. They should always think of the organization as it is a fully service oriented one in which their attitudes are vital and can change the direction of the business to a great extent. They should remember it almost every time in office or outside the office so that the right attitude can reflect in their behavior.
ü In order to improve customer service the hotel authority should “customer complain/recommendation box” in the front desk of the hotel.
ü In order to improve the customer service the hotel authority should keep the system of giving complimentary breakfast like the welcome drinks for the customer on arrival.
ü The hotel authority can improve their transportation system with rent a car or any transport system should keep for the customer on their pick up and drop in the hotel.
Modern hospitality service providing is an exciting one. The reward are modest, the penalties for bad looking are enormous. It has a vastly sobering and exacting responsibility. In the modern competitive environment, the pursuit of service quality is now considered to be an essential strategy. Offering a superior product is no longer sufficient, as firms in the 21st century economy compete on a much broader platform. In terms of the hospitality services, service quality has become an increasingly important factor for success and survival. From the analysis it is clear that the perception of service quality is a multifaceted and peculiar issue not corresponding to the theory as the customers’ responses on the SERVEQUAL dimensions are evident of the matter. Most of the customers of the organization ask for more quality service especially quick, accurate service and good behavior from employees as they think a tour operating firm should provide such quality sufficiently.
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8. The official website of Hotel Coral Reef: www.coralreefcoxsbazar.com
9. Brochures, Leaflets and other materials of Hotel Coral Reef.