A Study On The Role Of Front Office In The Management Of Customers Expectation (A Study Of Grandus Hotel, Aba Abia State)

Project and Seminar Material for Tourism and Hospitality

A Study On The Role Of Front Office In The Management Of Customers Expectation (A Study Of Grandus Hotel, Aba Abia State)


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the role of front office in the management of customers expectation in Grandus hotel, Aba, Abia state. The hotels have become second home for leisure travelers and second office for business travelers. With rising acts of terrorism on board, the tourists and travelers have become skeptical about security issues within the hotel premises and often safety quotient of the property. The current issue looks into the safety-security issues haunting the thought process of guests and the modern options and approach that hotels have to gain the confidence of their guests.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Candidate’s Declaration
  • Supervisor’s Declaration
  • Acknowledgments
  • Dedication
  • Abstract

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.6 Scope Of The Study
  • 1.7 Definition Of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Hotel Information
  • 2.2 The Roles And Qualifications Of Front Office Staff
  • 2.3 Service Quality
  • 2.4 Customers Satisfaction
  • 2.5 Customers Expectation
  • 2.6 Theoretical Review
  • 2.6.1 Disconfirmation Theory
  • 2.7 Empirical Review Of Previous Studies

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Participants
  • 3.3 Research Instrument
  • 3.4 Procedures
  • 3.5 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Implications Of The Study
  • 5.3 Limitations Of The Study
  • 5.4 Recommendations For Further Studies
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

The front office has traditionally been thought of as a check-in, check-out point by the guest. Secondly it is seen as a source of infinite information, and third, a problem-solving center. Working as a front line manager, situations developed which created a definite ‘gap’ between management’s expectations when defining the role of the front office personnel and how the front office employees perceived these expectations as they were related to their guest service responsibilities. Management credit policy was a necessity in certain circumstances, the awkwardness of many situations could have been avoided by simply allowing the front office agent to assume some of the responsibility. By using his or her own judgment and utilizing management only when they felt uncomfortable, a friendly, compatible first impression would have been the result.

Customer expectationsare beliefs about service delivery that serve as standards or reference points against which performance is judged. Because customers compare their perceptions of performance with these reference points when evaluating service quality, thorough knowledge about customer expectations is critical to services marketers. Knowing what the customer expects is the first and possibly most critical step in delivering good quality service. Being wrong about what customers want can mean losing a customer’s business when another company hits the target exactly. Being wrong can also mean expending money, time and other resources on things that do not count to the customer. Being wrong can even mean not surviving in a fiercely competitive market.

Among the aspects of expectations that need to be explored and understood for successful services marketing are the following: what types of expectation standards do customers hold about services? What factors most influence the formation of these expectations? What role do these factors play in changing expectations? How can a service company meet or exceed customer expectations?
Therefore, it is in view of the above question that this research intends to get its basics.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Customer expectations play such a critical role in the management of front office in the hospitality industry. Customer evaluation of services, the management need and want to understand the factors that shape them. The front office manager would also like to have control over these factors as well, but many of the forces that influence customer expectations are uncontrollable. When consumers are interested in purchasing services, they are likely to seek or take in information from several different sources.

However, due to the increasing competition of service business and the high demand of the customers, the front office need to render quality service that will beat the customer expectations. Service quality is the fundamental factor to measure customers satisfaction at the hotel.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are:

  1. To assess customers& expectation and perception level towards service quality of the front office staff in five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.
  2. To analyze the discrepancy gap between customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the level of customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff?
  2. What is the discrepancy gap between customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be as a practical guideline for the hotel management, especially the front office department. The outcome of this study will develop the service quality of the front office staff in order to meet with the customers& needs and their satisfaction. If the result showed the high score, the hotel owner would be happy with the service. In contrast, if the result showed the low score, the hotel owner would improve the service and arrange training program.


1.6 Scope of the study

Customer satisfaction relied on customer expectation and customer perception towards 5 service quality dimensions of front office staff. The sampling group was 60 customers who stayed at the Grandus Hotel in Aba, Abia state between September 1-15, 2009.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Service Quality

Means the difference between the customer&s expectation of service and their perceived service. In this study, the assessment standards of Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry (1990) will be used, which consist of five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

Servqual

Is an instrument for measuring service quality, in terms of the discrepancy between customers& expectation regarding service offered and the perception of the service received; Respondents are required to answer questions about both their expectation and their perception.

Customer Expectation

Means uncontrollable factors including past experience, personal needs, word of mouth, and external communication about hotel service.

Customer Perception

Means customer’s feelings of pleasure / displeasure or the reaction of the customers in relation to the performance of the hotel staff in satisfying / dissatisfying the services.


Chapter Five


Conclusion And Recommendation

This chapter presents the conclusion, implications of the study, limitations of the study, and recommendations for further studies.


5.1 Conclusion

Service businesses have been growing rapidly in recent decades, while customer demand for high quality service is increasing. This is certainly the case at the Grandus Hotel in Aba, Abia state. To remain competitive, the hotel needs to analyze customers expectation and perception towards the service quality of its front office staff.

In this research, the SERVQUAL instrument, developed by Parasuraman (1985), has been applied in designing the questionnaire by using five dimensions of service quality: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. Data collected from a questionnaire were distributed to 60 guests who stayed at the Grandus Hotel in Aba, Abia state between September 1 4 15, 2009. The questionnaire aimed to determine the level of customers expectation and perception towards the service quality of front office staff. The results revealed that the assurance dimension raised the highest level of expectation, whereas the 6tangibility dimension fulfilled the highest level of perception.

This study focused further on the gap between customers expectation and their perception of front office service quality. The results showed that the overall mean score of 40 perception was higher than expectation in all dimensions, yielding a positive SERVQUAL gap. Hence, customers were satisfied with all dimensions of service quality.

In this study, the findings showed that most respondents identified tangibility as the most important factor in determining satisfaction. Moreover, their perception of service exceeded their expectation. The findings of this study were in contrast with previous study of Juwaheer and Ross (2003) who studied service quality in Mauritian hotels. They found that by focusing on assurance and reliability, a hotel could achieve high levels of satisfaction and service quality.


5.2 Implications of the Study

This study had the following implications:

  1. Empathy was shown to be the weakest dimension of satisfaction. Therefore, hotel management should arrange special courses to improve effective communication.
  2. Tangibility was shown to be the strongest dimension of satisfaction. Therefore, hotel management should maintain the attributes of tangible service quality at the hotel.
  3. Human Resource management should arrange in-house training program to improve the main work of front office staff and to promote them in their careers.

5.3 Limitations of the Study

Some limitations are found in this study as follows:

  1. The respondents in this study included limitation 60 customers at the Grandus Hotel in Aba, Abia state. If the subjects were drawn more than 60 respondents from other hotels in Aba, Abia state, the result would be more generalized.
  2. This study only focused on measuring customer satisfaction with front office service quality. Other departments (e.g. food & beverages, housekeeping, sport & recreational facilities) are essential departments that were not included in the scope of the present research.
  3. When the questionnaires were distributed to the respondents, it was difficult to collect the data in time. Some customers refused to participate in this survey. Moreover, some did not return the questionnaires to the front desk in time. If the respondents were more willing to offer feedback, the results would have been useful for improving hotel service.

5.4 Recommendations for further studies

Further study should be undertaken to apply the results of this study. Firstly, research could be broadened to include other hotels in tourists locations. Secondly, it would be valuable to conduct further research concerning customers attitudes towards the quality of other service businesses such as restaurants, travel agencies and airlines. Further research in these areas would contribute to overall improvement of service standards throughout Nigeria.


A Study On The Role Of Front Office In The Management Of Customers Expectation (A Study Of Grandus Hotel, Aba Abia State)


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