Quality Management in the Hospitality Industry
Service: Hospitality Industry’s Main Product
The hospitality industry is a service-oriented industry. The main offering to customers is service. Let us first discuss what a service is. By definition, services are intangible. The product that is a service or that component of the product that is a service cannot be seen, touched, or felt. As a deed, performance or action, a service is consumed as it is produced, such that the acts of production and consumption are inseparable. Services are perishable, in that they cannot be inventoried or produced and stored for later use. Nor can they be produced without some level of customer ...view middle of the document...
For example in a hotel, the quality of service provided by the front line staff such as the front desk personnel is a factor in customer satisfaction. The front desk personnel is part of the hospitality product.
Services are Perishable
Since services cannot be produced and stored for later use, as physical products can, services are said to be perishable products (John 2003). For example in a restaurant setting, a waiter’s time or unproductive when he is not serving a customer. A hotel’s reservations staff ready to handle customer enquiries is not producing a service unless there is a customer to serve. A vacant room perishes when a guest does not check-in within a given day. The factors of production such as labor, facilities, equipment, and billable time are the value-creating assets for the service provider.
Services vary from Production to Production
Service products as experiences vary form one experience to the next, form customer to customer, as well as for the same customer from one occasion to the next. When there are several steps in the service process where the customer interacts with several different personnel of the service provider, there could be variation from one interaction to another (John 2003).
Quality Systems within the Hospitality Industry
A Quality Management System constitutes a formal record of an organization’s method of managing the quality of its products or services. It enables the organization to demonstrate to itself, its customers that it has established an effective system for managing the quality of its products and services (Beckford 2002).
As a service-oriented industry, quality is defined by the level and excellence of service rendered by the provider to the customer. Customer service quality is the focus of quality management in the Hospitality industry. Beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the early 1990s, there was an upsurge of attention and interest in quality, primarily because of falling competitiveness of U. S. firms in the wake of Japan’s advances. Quality in the hospitality industry is judged according on how it meets customer expectations. The main goal of every hotel is customer loyalty. In order to achieve customer loyalty, it is imperative that firms create and deliver a quality product – as defined by the customer.
Service quality refers to the customers’ appraisals of the service core, the provider, or the entire service organization (Duffy and Ketchand 1998). In the hospitality industry, service quality is measured on how the provider meet customer needs, requirements and expectations (Lewis and Booms 1983). Parasumaran et al (1988) identify five main dimensions of service quality. The first dimension of service quality is “tangibles”. Examples of tangibles are the physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of employees. The second dimension of service quality is “reliability”, which is the...