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EFFECTS OF QUALITY SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION (A CASE STUDY OF HILTON HOTEL IN CAMEROON)
Good service and customer satisfaction are very important for hotels for both small and big hotels. Today competition between hotels is growing all the time and that is why good service is becoming more and more important. When a hotel manages to serve its customers well enough and make them happy hotel can create long-term customer relationships and possibly get free voucher at the same time when satisfied customers tell about the good service they got. Satisfied customers have a positive impact on the market results and that is why it is important and interesting to investigate this impact. When measuring customer satisfaction it is possible to get useful information of the hotel customers and the results can be used to improve the hotel and its services. You get an exact idea what your customers want and you can start developing the services. Measuring customer satisfaction should be a continuous process that is carried out regularly, not just once: if it is done regularly the results will be more beneficial.
Customer satisfaction is a critical success factor in service organizations. Hotel industries in developing countries also have to compete with others and have to satisfy local and international customers, because, today's customers are more aware, educated and open to a lot of information through web sources, internet, bulletins, magazines, journals, articles, etc (Ogungbayi et al: 2019).
Customer satisfaction is a key to building lasting relationships with consumers. Satisfied customers repurchase the service, recommend and encourage others to use the service, develop positive word of mouth toward the service and the organization, pay less attention to competitive brands and advertising, are less sensitive to price and buy other services. A dissatisfied consumer, on the other hand, responds differently. As a satisfied customer tells people about a good service experience, dissatisfied customer complains to even more people than a satisfied customer does. In the hotel industry, service quality received much attention from both researchers and practitioners because of its positive impact on financial performance, customer satisfaction, and retention. Ultimately, quality enhancement is a key determinant for the success of an organization in today’s competitive market environment. Therefore, marketers’ in the service industry should pay close attention to the issue of service quality. By studying the overall interest and the decision making process of buyers, service delivering organizations might help consumers to go through it. Hence, this study will focus on hotels so as to identify basic service quality attributes, service delivery and customer satisfaction among hotels (Ogungbayi et al: 2019).
Customer satisfaction is a growing concern within the hotel industry and a number of studies have been carried out in the same context by different researchers. Customer satisfaction has become a significant performance indicator for the hospitality industry/business, as it indicates the strength of relationship between the customer and the service provider. With the change in the lifestyles of the Customers, a significant shift has been observed in the demands and expectations of the customers. From a number of years the hospitality industry has shown a significant growth in its growth and diversification. As hospitality industry is a service industry a direct interaction between the customer and service provider is very prominent. The rationale of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.For successful operation of the firm a customer takes the centre stage in the management policy. It is on this background that the effective approach to customer retention is to ensure high level of customer satisfaction which is expected to yield customer loyalty (Dil Pazir, 2019).
Samra (2018) stated that service quality has been documented as a major matter in the tourism and hospitality industry. In a progressively competitive market, providing extraordinary quality service is viewed as a critical factor for the triumph of tourism and hospitality businesses. Therefore, organizations concentratedon customers’ expectations and attempts to satisfy them by delivering superior quality of service that is a central issue to retain satisfied and loyal customers. Marketers have recently begun to consider and advance strategies to manage and measure service excellence to their personal advantage.
According to Eshetie, et. al., (2016) the hotel industry consists of many different services, including accommodation, restaurants, cafes and catering. Globally, there is an increasing demand for better quality products and services with hotel customers becoming much more discerning and demanding. Currently, hotels are experiencing the increased competitive pressures as a consequence of the combined effect of the globalization, economic-political integration tendencies, consolidation, and growing supply in emerging and mature tourist destinations.
Mercy Mueni (2018) states that over the decades, based on the studies of the hospitality industry, two significant areas have been introduced which are customer satisfaction andservice quality. Forozia further argues that in the hospitality business, both customer satisfaction and service quality have muscular collision on the presentation of the business and the treatments of customer. According to (Sukaisih & Hamid 2015) companies can start a good relationship by creating customer’s confidence and certainty and which showeda high commitment to provide high quality customer service can improve customer satisfaction. In 2017, Mohajerani argues that in order to encourage the potential customers to travel, it is necessary to make them satisfied which leads to repurchase intentions andpositive word-of-mouth. Therefore every business needs not only to retain its current customers but also to expand customer’s base significantly and it is possible only when target customer is fully satisfied from company on some parameters.
In his study, service quality and customer satisfaction in the hotel industry, (Urge, 2016) states that customer satisfaction is significant to build long-lasting relationships with consumers and hence a critical success factor in service oriented companies. As indicated by (Mubiri et. al., 2016) many researchers have argued that some customers may not appreciate some services as much as others would. Consequently, ethnic differences maylead the hotel to modify their services to fit the social and ethnic practices of specific consumers. Hotel businesses in developing countries also have to compete with each other and focus on satisfying both local and worldwide customers, because, today’s customers are more alert, educated and exposed to a lot of information through online sources , social media , magazines etc. (Urge, 2016).
1.1 Background of the Study
The goal of this study is to find out the company customers’ level of satisfaction and how satisfied the customers are with the service and the accommodation facilities. Another goal is to find out if customers are dissatisfied with something, why and what kind of improvement suggestions they have. Therefore the goal is to identify areas that still need to be improved so that those areas can be further developed. One goal is also to find out the areas to which customers find successful. The results are to be shown so that the company can use the results, for example, in their marketing in the future.
Customer satisfaction has become the key area in every business for the past years. The hotel business is experiencing an up rise with the coming up of new hotels in the industry. This brings in so many competitions thereby making each business trying to stand out from the rest. Hotel business is a service provider which makes it more important for all of them to look or search those elements that will make them better satisfy their customers. Customer’s satisfaction is the key for every business success. Being able to satisfy your customers may make them to be loyal to your company. Customer satisfaction has a positive influence on the profitability of a company. The more a company has serve customers, it may possibly lead to an increase in a company’s profit by having constant customers all the time.
An organisation realises that customer satisfaction is of great importance when there are no customers to consume their products, and therefore is no business. One unsatisfied consumer or customer can send more business away from an organisation than many satisfied customers. Thus the more an organisation focuses is on customer retention and customer support, the more long-term business an organisation will receive (Lalla et. al.,2018).The qualities of brand characteristics that are offered by a company determine the level of customer satisfaction (Khan & Afsheen, 2017). Customer satisfaction can be defined in terms of meeting the expectations of the customers and in terms of parameters associated with satisfaction (Malik & Ghaffor, 2012). Nomanga (2018) states that providing the services customers prefer is a starting point for providing customer satisfaction and in holding an essential role in creating value for customers, hence customersatisfaction having a direct and indirect impact on business results.
Customer satisfaction as a key marketing tactic in differentiating itself from its competitors and therefore a heightened understanding of a guest preference and total worth will enhance a guest experience and maximize hotel revenue (Kangogo & Manyasi, 2017).To survive in this dynamic and highly competitive business environment the hotel operators will be forced to critically acknowledge the importance of service improvement in order to gain competitive advantage (Waitiki, 2019).Customer satisfaction creates high loyalty intention and that begins with good corporate image (Sukaisih & Hamid, 2015) and attracts new customers and strengthens business relations.
1.2. Problem statement
High profile hotels in Cameroon face the problem of retaining their customers due to the intense competition in the industry. Competition gives customers many options which makes it hard for a hotel like Hilton Hotel Yaounde to hold on to their customers. As much as the hotel tries to meet the needs of its customers, their competitors offer many choices for the customers. Therefore, the hotel cannot be guaranteed to retain its customers since many customers need to explore other alternatives and experience the taste of different environments. This makes it hard for many hotels in Rwanda to retain their customers in the long run.
Nsobiari and Anyadighibe (2019) argues that the ability to satisfy consumers remains one of the greatest task for any firm to achieve as customer needs and expectation are changing at all time. Understanding customers’ expectation is crucial in service industry such as hospitality and therefore managers should endeavor to carry out initial market surveys to find out what the market needs which should also give an insight on the market characteristics (Kabuitu & Ngige, 2018). According to Waitiki, (2019) the management of organizations should seek to know the level at which the customers are satisfied with their services and the kind of service quality levels their customers would like in order to offer exactly what would be taken positively. This will lead us to the problems statement: does quality service affect customer satisfaction?
Forozia et. al., (2018) argues that customer satisfaction is the determinant and inevitable secret of success and therefore hotels are not able to compete with other competitors without fulfilling the satisfaction of their guests. Therefore, it is in the rapid growth of new hotels both local brands and international brands, there has been creation of a big gap in the hospitality industry as there is an emergence of great competition with thin the market.The emergence of competition has created a zest in creating sustainable loyal clientele which highly relies on the fact that customer satisfaction element be addressed in the hotels. Customer satisfaction and service quality are the key element of attaining competitive advantage in hospitality industry which will attract customers and maintain them and as a result, there is great demand for customer satisfaction so as to achieve repeat purchase and attract new customers (Forozia et. al., 2018).