Tourism and Hospitality Management
Hospitality management deals with the management of human and material resources, provided for tourism, food and lodging industries (The Ohio State of University at Lima, 2005). Thus, hospitality services can be considered either a sub-branch of tourism, or the service industry that sub-sets tourism, depending from a person’s perspective. For the purposes of this paper, hospitality management will be used as the management of hospitality services provided by the tourism industry.
This paper maintains that the Hospitality management also presents products (food, souvenirs) and service (travel, lodging, including comfort, relaxation, enjoyment given by facilities and employees) components of tourism. In the light of these, this paper argues that decision-making skills on the part of management in the hospitality industry is critical in order to match the policies, procedures and practices with the values with which the company operates.
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” When faced with a “go and no go” decision, it is important to make some quantified list to be able to rate factors. Rating makes decision-making easy. Once ratings are made, the choice is obvious. What are the ways to satisfy customers in the hospitality industry? The National Performance Review says that satisfying customers should be the leadership’s top priority. Pro-active leaders are those who view “concerns and complaints as opportunities for improvement, not as problems. World-class leaders make sure it is easy for customers to complain and just as easy for employees to solve problems.
” [June 11, 1996, Section 1]. Some companies are even marketing their customer complaints handling system as a means of encouraging customer feedback. They issue consumer service business cards, give discount coupons in exchange of feedback from customers, and disseminate information on their customer handling systems during formal meetings, in annual reports and various kinds of media. [National Performance Review, June 11, 1996, Section 5]. The purpose of customer feedback is to understand the customers and know their expectations in order to “delight them” [Ibid. ].
Along with eliciting customer feedback, service providers may also educate their customers on the services they provide, in order to minimize customer complaints. A survey conducted for the purpose reveals that 40% of customer complaints is due to inadequate knowledge of [products or] services. [Ibid. ]. There is another study by Reddy [July-Sept 2005, p. 1] which states that “customer satisfaction is the combination of both technical features and human behavioral aspects. ” It does not only depend on the quality of [product or] service but also on the behavior or attitude of the person giving the [product or] service [Ibid.].
In an equation, it can be represented as follows: customer satisfaction = performance features + behavioral features + price. Customer satisfaction can be attained thru responsiveness or readiness of employee to provide service; thru courtesy or respect and friendliness of contact personnel; thru timeliness or timely delivery and first contact complaint resolution; thru complete resolution or listening; thru communication (empathy) or speaking to the customers in the same language game; and thru credibility or ownership of complaints resolution.
[Ibid. ]. Based on another survey of lost customers by major companies in the United States, 68% who shifted to other companies was because of the poor service of their deserted service provider, or simply because of the service provider’ attitude [Ibid. ,p,2]. There are studies which conveys that a company can earn profit by “100% by retaining 15% more of their customer than their competitors retain” [Ibid. , p. 4].