This study was carried out to examine the assessment of guests satisfaction of service quality in the hotel industry in Uyo Local Government, Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, the study examined the relationship of service quality and guest satisfaction in selected hotels in Uyo Local Government, Akwa Ibom State. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 80 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the three factor theory. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that higher customer satisfaction, greater competitive advantage and profitability to the hotels concerned was the relationship of service quality and guest satisfaction. The study recommend service quality in hotels to be improved as this leads to customer retention, increase in customer base and higher customer satisfaction. More so, hotels should give priority to their guests, and work on the data received through personal suggestions, enquiry from guests and the use of questionnaire to work on its improvement.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Quality customer service means different things to different people. We can not assume everyone of employee understands how to provide “quality” customer service the way trainer or executives or human resource intend it to be. It is their responsibility to teach front-line staffs and all customer service providers your company’s quality customer service’s standards. (Haneborg, 1998)
It is important to invest in continuous quality customer service training for everyone. Organization should provide all employees with continuous education on customer service. Don’t stop with one session. If customer service is important to company in the market, company has to be sure staff members attend annual refresher or advance courses, whatever it takes to ensure consistency and quality.
In hospitality industry, achieving outstanding customer service requires much time, energy and money in the customer service training and call center performance and service enhancement areas. (Kelley, 1999) Professional and courteous customer service does not just happen. It requires a company commitment with training extended to all departments and all levels of the company. Training must be an ongoing commitment. Regular and comprehensive measurement of performance and customer attitudes is central to maintaining the commitment.
Customer service and worst customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. She stated that the hotel industry scored 71 out of 100 points in the industry’s best-known customer satisfaction survey, compared with drop from 75 points in 1994 when lodging companies were struggling to pull themselves out of a recession. The year of 1998’s score was the lowest since Andersen began its American customer satisfaction index five years ago. The survey found that guests don’t believe hotels are providing services that justify the rising room costs, giving the hotels a score of 73 in this category, the lowest in five years. Nearly one-quarter of the consumers surveyed said that hotel guests had voiced complaints over such things as sloppy housekeeping, time-consuming check-outs and tardy room service. As time progresses, hotel’s room rate continued to increase but customer service is still more and more poor.
In this highly competitive lodging industry, each company must analyze and consider their training program. Good training will benefit the entire organization. Training reduces tensions, turnover, and cost and improves product and quality of service. (Shriver, 1988 & Tanke, 1990) Customer count is certainly going to improve the company image and the bottom line. Now many companies in the hospitality recognize training and have developed systematic training program. However not everyone in this industry sees training as an investment. Many managers of small operations consider training an exercise in futility because they believe it takes more time than it is worth, employee do not stay long enough for it to pay, people are not interested in being trained, and the like. Also people in entry-level service jobs tend to think, they should be able to do these jobs without training. So in fact, it is hard to convince these people that training is worth investment. It is difficult to measure and prove the difference training makes because there are always many variables in every situation. One way to reassure whether training pays off is to compare individual operations where the training is good with those that do little or no training. The differences will be obvious in “atmosphere,” in “smoothness of operation,” in “customer’s satisfaction in improved quality of service.” (Miller, 1998)
Davidoff (1994) stated that once an educated person gets into the workforce, there is little training in service available. Even though service companies provide a training program, most of the training concentrates on the technical aspects of the job. They neglect the significant real intangible service training. What separates one hotel from another is the quality of service. It is what people remember. (Rowe, 1998)
Davidoff suggested one of the things it takes for service to succeed is training system and education. He said the major reason why service is so bad today involved the lack of proper education and training. To make matters worse, most of businesses are not well prepared to provide the necessary training when a potentially good employee comes out of the education system. American companies must remember that a few days and dollars of training will more than pay for itself in the long run. Education and training are an essential part of the modern organization’s efforts to support customer-contact personnel in hospitality industry.
Without general education on customer service, employees can not possibly be equipped to handle the rigorous regular interchange with customers. Without specific training on the processes involved with a particular company and its products, even the most talented service provider will sometimes fall flat on their face. As more and more organization realizes this, the service standard in the hospitality industry will rise. (Davidoff, 1994).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The purpose of this study was to assess and examine hotel guests’ perception of service quality in relation to hospitality training program. This study investigated how to improve service quality through the perception of hotel guests who stay at the hotel and determined what a trainer has to train hotel employees to improve service quality in the hotel. A questionnaire was given to hotel guest staying at particular hotel. The questionnaire focused on five dimensions which were reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy according to SERVQUAL scale of Berry, Parasuraman, (1990) and attitude of employees.
Therefore, the project intends to solve the following problems;
- non-cordial relationship in rendering service and guest satisfaction
- Inadequate training of staff in rendering quality service
- To review the perception of customers on service quality
- providing data that would be useful to management in designing and developing training program in the hotel through assessment of service quality of the hotel
1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The three major objectives of this study were:
- To understand the relationship of service quality and guest satisfaction
- To assess the perception of service quality of the hotel
- To provide data that would be useful to management in designing and developing training program in the hotel through assessment of service quality of the hotel
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the relationship between service quality and guest satisfaction?
- What perception do guests have on service quality of the hotel?
- How would data be provided that would be useful to management in designing and developing training program in the hotel through assessment of service quality of the hotel?
1.5 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work is significant to the hotel industry because it focused on service quality and guest satisfaction. When staff and management of hotel can render quality services, then the guests are satisfied. When the guests are satisfied, it will lead to more patronage which will in turn affect the profitability of the hotel.
Again, the government will be of benefits because when organization makes more profit it result to increase in taxes. Hence the government will generate more revenue.
Finally, the work is also, beneficial to other organizations as service quality and customer satisfaction cannot be underestimated in any business.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on an assessment of guests satisfaction of service quality in the hotel industry. Also, this study will look to understand the relationship of service quality and guest satisfaction. The study will assess the perception of service quality of the hotel and it will further provide data that would be useful to management in designing and developing. The findings of this study will be limited to Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Some selected hotels in Uyo Metropolis, Akwa Ibom State serve as the enrolled participants for this study.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major limitation to the study are insufficient fund to involve many respondents to this research and carry out other logistics required in this study. Also, time factor was another constraint where the researcher had to share available time with academic work and conducting of this research within the given time frame.
Inadequate materials needed for the success of this study was another factor that limited this study. The sources for literatures and conducting of interviews in order to validate this research posed a barrier to the researcher.
Furthermore, limiting this study to only to Uyo metropolis in Akwa Ibom State, instead of involving all the 36 states in Nigeria was another limitation of this study.
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