Customers always look for service providers who can offer high quality services and surpass their expectations. Service providing organizations have a responsibility of conducting comprehensive researches on customer needs over a period. Service gaps occur whenever there is a difference between customer needs and the services provided by a company. It may also occur as a result of a difference between service perception of customers and service delivery standards set within an established company.
The hospitality industry is one of the major businesses where quality gaps are experienced. My choice organization of analysis in this assignment is Hotel America. Hotel America is a middle class hotel chain in United States of America. The hotel has been facing some challenges with service quality since 2001. The management noticed that the occupancy of the hotel was declining through the years at an alarming rate. Thus, the management has been working on various progressive strategies to address these challenges. The gap analysis of service quality model has been quite helpful to Hotel America chain of hotels. There are various competitors within this field and Hotel America is focusing on becoming the leading middle class Hotel in the whole nation.
The gap analysis of service quality model focuses on five gaps that relate to both the customers and service providers. The first gap occurs when the customers’ expectations and the management expectations fall within a significant range of dissimilarity. This is common when there is a misunderstanding on what the customer needs are. The second gap relates to management expectations and actual services provided to the customer who visit the hotel. Investigations show that this occurs when there is lack of proper specification of service standards. The third gap sets in with inappropriate presentation of the service standards. Managers may need to interact with the customers as way of auditing the customer experience in comparison to set standards of service delivery. The forth gap entails identifying areas of poor communication and unfulfilled assurances. Hotel America’s management has been making effort to find out the areas that have been exaggerated to attract customers but in reality, it is difficult to attain the standards communicated publicly. The fifth gap touches on how to handle various unsatisfied customers. Customers come to a service provider with basic information on what the service provider can deliver. The hotel decided to come up with a feedback form that an unsatisfied customer may fill in to communicate their recommendations to the management. Thus, service quality is a topic of concern to the management of Hotel America.
The hotel pointed various areas that contribute to the overall low service score indicated by customers. These include the staff, the location of the hotel, the parking space, the washrooms, the social amenities, the kitchen services, and communication facilities. The management realized that the top five hardest gaps to fulfill were related to the location, parking space, the social amenities, and communication facilities. These issues involve huge sums of capital investments and they require time to address the improvement of services offered under these areas. I would then recommend to the management to start with improvements at a smaller scale. The management needs to deal with the quality of staff, the washrooms, and the kitchen amenities as the first areas of reforming the image of the brand hotel.
The current situation of staff within the hotel may be wanting according to the customer surveys. The management needs to take time on the recruitment process. Qualified personnel ought to be brought on board to assist in bridging the gap experienced in staffing issues. The hotel staff can also be exposed to professional training and workshops in order to improve on their hospitality skills to attract and maintain customers. The washroom setup of the hotel is done in the old-fashioned way because the hotel has been in existence for many years. The management needs to upgrade the washrooms facilities available to customers. The washrooms may need new bathtubs and toilet bowls. The surroundings should also be kept neat by tiling all surfaces in the washroom. A mirror and personal effects cabinet may also be fitted in the washrooms. The customers also pointed out that the kitchenettes in the rooms are very helpful. The management requires to come up with ways in which the kitchenettes can be maintained in good condition so that customers can enjoy the food eaten within the hotel premises. If Hotel America can improve on these minor challenges, the customers’ satisfaction level will increase and the chain of hotels can maintain regular customers within their reach.
Hotel America is experiencing many service gaps. I would recommend a well-formulated order to address these gaps. I would start with the staffing challenge by recruiting qualified staff and exposing the staff to technical trainings and workshops to enhance their capacity to offer quality services. Secondly, I would address renovation of the washrooms by fitting in modern bathtubs and toilet bowls. The washrooms surfaces would also be tiled and kept constantly cleaned. The kitchenettes would also be fitted with cabinets, electric cookers, and small refrigerators. I would then move to address major changes that require major capital investments. I would relocate major chains of the hotel to accessible areas. This may be near the cities or airports where there are constant activities. This would assist in improving the customer’s regular occupancy to the hotel. With relocation, the hotel may have more parking spaces for the safety of customers’ cars. In addition, there will be more space for construction of other social amenities for instance swimming pools, sports fields and indoor rooms for board games. I would also install spas and beauty parlors. Consequently, the customers would have enough amenities to help them relax and unwind when they visit the hotel. Lastly, I would recommend to the management to set aside custom made rooms with telephone lines. The communication charges can be passed down to the customers who require communication facilities. With implementing these changes, Hotel America will have the capacity of attracting new customers and retaining regular customers due to high quality services that the hotel will be offering.
In conclusion, the hotel will have benefitted from the gap analysis undertaken to improve service quality. This will result in higher profitability index for the chain of hotels. In addition, the hotel will maintain a competitive edge that the other players in the fields will work hard to attain. Thus, it is important to note that customers have expectation and the hospitality industry need to strive to learn about these expectations and device ways of fulfilling them. The management also needs to implement the recommendations the customers suggest on a regular basis.