Essay

Reflective Essay

Introduction

The communication plays a central role in service based industries. The survival of service organizations relies on the dimensions of service marketing and its interactions with the customers to understand the needs and wants to deliver required services.

The quality of interactions in service encounters is an important determinant of customer experience and satisfaction from the business operation of the service organization. In a service industry like restaurants or hotels, interactions with customer guest are vital to provide a quality service. This reflective essay will elucidate the significance of service encounter and related managerial implication in service organization experience to ensure customer satisfaction.

To ensure good services in an organization, it is essential to coordinate the front and back end operations that are responsible for creating the whole service delivery experience (Karatepe, 2013). The essay studies the business operations and flowchart of the front and backstage activities of Hilton Hotel and the delivery of services to its customers. The essay also explains the significance of service encounter and its managerial implication for service business.

Front Stage Business operations at Hilton

The front stage operations in Hilton focus on the providing high standard of quality service, understanding and meeting guest requirements and achieve customer satisfaction (Benavides-Velasco et al., 2014). The operations include managing data and information related to guest’s customers, visitors, corporate meetings, etc., perform activities like check in, check out, reservations, receive and process online guest reservations, direct interactions to gather customer information and to identify general and specific needs.

This information then passed to the back stage operations personnel to deliver services as per guest expectations. The front operation staff also plans for waiting area, make arrangements for pick up and drop facilities. In my views, receiving guests, providing information to guests about hotel services management of rooms and reservations is the main front end activities.

In Hilton, the front line mangers take up supervisory role to manage the room operations and guests related activities. It can be noted that interpersonal skills are essential for front stage business operations in service organization as these operations require interacting with customers from online and offline modes for offering or providing hotel services.

Receive Guest online and offline request
Interact with customers
Making room reservations

 

Operating room for guest
Information sharing with back operation staff and specify any specific requirements

 

Planning of waiting area
 Receive payments
Process online guest request

 

Updating guests invoices for consumption of hotel services
Check-out services
Close request

 

Check-in services

Back Stage Business operations at Hilton

The back stage service operations in Hilton is to act according to the information provided from the front line executives or managers and thus, provide an additional hand to front service operations. The senior managers at Hilton develop process, set performance and quality standards, make service related decisions and review plans to achieve business goals.

In my view, the back stage operations in service organization are an important means to fulfill the service requirements. The backend operations are dependent on the skills of the staff in delivering quality services (Jaakkola et al., 2015). In my opinion, the bank end operations play an integral role in service value chain where the customers have little or no involvement to complete the entire process of service delivery for a better customer experience.

Receive instructions
Attending phone calls

 

Provide cleaning services

 

Operational services
Maintaining Records and files
Housekeeping
Update information to Front desk

 

Service Encounter at Hilton

Service encounter in hotel takes place at several occasions like in hotel reception when the guest arrives, self-service or automated hotel check-in services, making online enquires about room availability and tariff, online and offline reservations, guests with customer services, business executives with corporate clients, etc. therefore, quality of interactions between the hotel business manager or executives with guest customers or visitors is important to create value and positive image for the business.

I view service encounters in hotels as an important mechanism of exchange of information to deliver the expected services. It can be said that service encounters in the hospitality industry are vital to understanding the requirements of the guest, visitors and corporate clients to provide a better stay experience to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.

Service encounters hold much relevance for the senior managers to continuous improve the quality of customer interaction with business and high quality of service delivery as there is intense competition in the service industry. Through service encounters, the business can gain an insight into requirements and customers trends and preference to predict the demand for its services and to attract potential customers.

Service encounters allow the senior managers to take decisions related to service delivery, arrangements of resources, staff training requirements, re-defining roles and responsibilities of both front and back operations executive and managers to increase the staff performance and achieve operational efficiency (Dusek et al., 2014).

It is understood that interaction with customers is helpful to maintain the quality of service delivery in hotel services like room bookings, spa services, gym, etc. for generating higher returns (Legohérel et al., 2013). However, I feel that excessive demands or unreasonable requests by the guest customers as well as the unethical behavior of staff can lead to an issue in service delivery in a professional way.

Managerial Implications

The service encounters can be useful in managing the business operations and its performance to match the expectations of the guest customers in a hotel (Espino-Rodríguez and Gil-Padilla, 2015). This is useful to create a positive brand image of Hilton hotel.  In my views, active listening skills with visitors and guests can give a broader understanding of the perception of the hotel services, expectations from the hotel and identification of any specific services to enhance the value for its customers leading to an improved service experience.

Interacting with the customers the managers can ask for feedback and suggestions and can make an adjustment to the services to delight the hotel customers. This can further transform the customer perception towards the hotel services in a positive way and enhance the personal experience of making the customer feel valued by making few changes in services to match expectations.

The feedbacks given by the customers are also useful to find out the services that are not up to the standard and need improvements, and for which reasons the customers are satisfied or dissatisfied. Focused interactions with customers to create a positive experience can impact the choice of hotels, customer trust in the brand and affects the revenue of Hilton hotel (Sirianni et al., 2013).

Conclusion

It can be understood that both front and back operations in a service business contribute in making the overall customer service a positive experience. Service encounters in hotels hold relevance in developing positive image and perception of the guests, therefore, in Hilton hotel, the managers must focus on maximizing the effective interaction of business with its customers to delivery services that exceed expectations. Service encounters need to be managed in the most effective manner by the front line managers as to maintain the brand value of Hilton to achieve higher returns from its services.

References

Benavides-Velasco, C. A., Quintana-García, C. and Marchante-Lara, M. (2014) Total quality management, corporate social responsibility and performance in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, pp. 77-87.

Dusek, G. A., Ruppel, C. P., Yurova, Y. and Clarke, R. (2014) The role of employee service orientation in turnover in the US hotel industry. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 18(2), pp. 87.

Espino-Rodríguez, T. F. and Gil-Padilla, A. M. (2015) The structural and infrastructural decisions of operations management in the hotel sector and their impact on organizational performance. Tourism and Hospitality Research, 15(1), pp.3-18.

Jaakkola, E., Helkkula, A. and Aarikka-Stenroos, L. (2015) Service experience co-creation: conceptualization, implications, and future research directions. Journal of Service Management, 26(2), pp.182-205.

Karatepe, O. M. (2013) High-performance work practices and hotel employee performance: The mediation of work engagement. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 32, pp. 132-140.

Legohérel, P., Fyall, A., and Poutier, E. (Eds.). (2013) Revenue management for hospitality and tourism. Woodeaton: Goodfellow Publishers.

Sirianni, N. J., Bitner, M. J., Brown, S. W. and Mandel, N. (2013) Branded service encounters: Strategically aligning employee behavior with the brand positioning. Journal of Marketing, 77(6), pp. 108-123.

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