The role of service-profit chain in the hotel, resorts, and spa industry is to provide the management with a platform of establishing a relationship between customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, profitability, and productivity. Growth and profits in the industry are associated with customer satisfaction, which is often determined by the level of customer loyalty (Antony & Antony 2004, p. 382). The level of customer satisfaction is often dependent on the value of services offered. This value is a creation of productive, loyal, and satisfied employees. Employee satisfaction is a product of the availability of high quality support services and sound policies, which provide the employees with an environment that enhances their ability to deliver quality results to the targeted customers. Employees, therefore, play a crucial role in the determination of the level of customer satisfaction in the hotel, resort, and spa industry (Grove and Fisk 2008, p. 100).
The main objective of this essay is to engage in a critical assessment of the role employees play in the determination of the level of customer service and productivity. This will be through an in-depth analysis of the role of employee behavior in creating a satisfactory employee- customer relations, and the role of employee satisfaction in the creation of an employee – customer relationship.
According to this approach, the creation of an effective employee-customer relationship is critical in enhancing customer satisfaction in the hotel and spa industry (Antony & Antony 2004, p. 383). This makes it important to determine the employee behavior that influence the perception of customers concerning the quality and types of services offered in the industry. Customer preference for a specific hotel and spa is highly dependent on the ability of employees to deliver services in accordance with customer demands. This means that it is the responsibility of the management through the employees to develop an understanding of customer expectations, and develop structures aimed at satisfying these interests (Jham & Sandeep 2014, p. 66).
This assertion may result in the development of a conclusion that customer satisfaction, service quality, which is an integral element in service-profit chain in the hotel and spa industry, is considerably dependent on employee behavior. This is irrespective of the level of employee satisfaction. According to the theory of customer relationship management, the main objective of any organization is to ensure that it retains its customers in a highly competitive market (Baker 1998, p. 48). This is often considered possible through the establishment of a collaborative and cooperative relationship between organizations and their customers. The collaborative and cooperative initiatives are often integrated with long-term company objectives. One way through which companies can ensure the establishment of such a relationship, with reference to the hotel and spa industry, is by establishing an effective organizational culture that will be used in the determination of the expected employee behavior towards customers (Baran et al 2008, p. 103).
The expression of the most effective behavior is often exhibited through face-to-face encounters between service employees and customers. This is considered critical because it is possible to develop successful customers-employee relationship, which is essential in ensuring a continuation of a mutual relationship hence high profit levels to the industry (Antony & Antony 2004, p. 385).
In the hotel industry, there is often a high level of interaction between customers and employees. This is based on the assumption that the hotel industry spends financial and time resources in different marketing and promotional initiatives, which are aimed at attracting more customers and retaining existing ones (Grove and Fisk 2008, p. 109). For the existing customers, this is often a way of maintaining high-level loyalty by improving the quality of services or by introducing new services. Employee behavior is critical in the establishment on an effective customer-employee relationship because customers encounter employees whenever they access spa or hotel services. It is possible for employees to easily determine the impression of customers on service establishment (Grove and Fisk 2008, p. 110). This is because according to the customer relationship management theory, customers often associate the service provider with the service being provided. This is therefore an indication that the behavior of employees and the perceptions of customers regarding employees affect the nature of the relationship formed between the customers and the service establishment (Baker 1998, p. 49). From this perception, it is possible to develop an argument that the level of customer satisfaction in any establishment is determined by his or her satisfaction with the behavior of the employees contacted (Jham & Sandeep 2014, p. 69).
The level of customer satisfaction with the behavior of employees affects their perceptions and level of satisfaction with an establishment. This may, in turn, result in display of positive behavior towards the establishment if the employees also displayed positive behavior in the process of delivering services to the customers (Baran et al 2008, p. 108). In the hotel industry, employees are trained to display different behaviors and emotional orientations towards the customers. For example in hotel md spa industry, employees are expected to display the behavior of care and concern for customer needs. This includes provision of attention and an attitude of listening to the demands of the customer (Riscinto-Kozub 2008, p. 19). For effective behavior to be developed among employees towards the customers, it is critical for the management to train employees in determining the type of behavior that is significant in creation of a strong and positive relationship with the customers. This must also be accompanied by an understanding of the type of behavior, which enhances the development of a negative relation between the establishment and the customers (O’Fallon & Denney 2011, p. 56).
The hotel industry in Trinidad and Tobago has been successful due to its ability to train employees to develop an understanding of expected behavior when dealing with customers. This is an indication that there are factors, which when defined direct employees to exhibit specific behavior in delivery of services (O’Fallon & Denney 2011, p. 49). For example, when customers visit hotel and spa establishments for holidays or vacations, it is the responsibility of the employees in contact with them to allow them relax by avoiding discussions on matters related to work (O’Fallon & Denney 2011, p. 50). In such situations, it is the responsibility of the employees to maintain a positive reputation of the hotel and spa establishments by displaying positive behavior, modest clothing, and expressive positive emotional and aesthetic attitudes. This is an indication that unless employees treat customers in an honest manner, it is possible for the latter to perceive the hotel and spa environment as controlled, inauthentic, and sterile (Woodside &Drew 2008, p. 18).
According to the disconfirmation theory of customer satisfaction, satisfaction is related to the size and direction of the experience of disconfirmation, which occurs because of comparing service performance against customer expectations. When accessing services in hotel and spa establishments, customers often operate on expectation of the nature of services (Chi et al 2008, p. 624). Satisfaction is derived from the ability of the services to meet the expectations of customers. A positive confirmation exists when the perceived performance of service delivery is greater than the expected performance. In such a situation, customers are satisfied and are more likely to develop some form of loyalty towards the establishments. This, in most cases, is due to the ability of employees to ensure the development of a positive relationship by exhibiting expected employee behavior in service delivery. In order for the employees to exhibit such behavior, it is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the former are empowered on organizational and customer expectations (Antony & Antony 2004, p. 385).
For any hotel and spa establishment to experience high-level customer satisfaction and loyalty, it has the responsibility of developing structures that provide for employee satisfaction. This is integral in shaping employee behavior in an organizational context (Chi et al 2008, p. 626). Employee behavior revolves around the ability of employees to decode and understand the needs of customers and ensure the satisfaction of the needs through delivery of the most appropriate services in accordance with the expectations of the customer. For organizations to ensure that employee behavior is in accordance with organizational culture, it would be crucial to ensure that the structures developed towards employee needs enhance the possibility of developing employee loyalty (Perrewe et al 2015, p. 88). This is essential in realization of customer satisfaction because it provides a way through which hotel and spa establishments can retain great service people in their position hence the delivery of high quality service to customers (Rai 2013, p. 444).
Employee satisfaction is essential in the determination of the level of customer satisfaction because customers have the ability to perceive the positive energy, which defines the level of willingness among satisfied employees to deliver high quality services. This makes it easier for customers to become loyal and satisfied with the services provided (Hennig-Thurau & Ursula 2000, p. 12). Some of the variables that define the link between customer and employee satisfaction include trust and employee attitude. This is based on the understating that it is not possible to make happy customers with unhappy employees. This explains why satisfied employees become loyal to an organization giving better return on any investment that the company makes. These investments are often in areas, such as pay rises, recruitments, training, and a package of benefits (Chi et al 2008, p. 626). High return rates often stem from prolonged use of company strategies, which may be lost when employees leave an organization. In addition, high return rates also emanate from a high level of trust that customers put on a hotel and spa establishment if it is represented with a high qualified and stable staff (Phillips and Stanley 2013, p. 116).
Service-profit chain framework provides a platform of understanding the relationship between employee and customer variables in enhancing the profits of an organization. Employee variable are inclusive of the perception of internal service quality, which organizations provide to ensure employee satisfaction and loyalty (Chi et al 2008, p. 627). Customer variables are inclusive of the perception of customers conserving the role of employees in delivering high quality services to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. From the service-profit chain, it is possible to argue that growth and profit are inspired by the level of customer loyalty. However, for such loyalty to be realized, the employees in charge of delivery of service must be provided with structures that ensure their satisfaction in terms of their working environment and availability of essential variables, such as just salaries and wages and proper work-life balance (Grigoroudis et al 2010, p. 56).
Customer-profit model is a marketing module in service-profit chain. This model focuses on quality perception, customer loyalty, and satisfaction, which are explicitly linked to variables that define the relationship between customer and employee satisfaction. According to this model, the perception of the relationship value is a direct determinant of customer satisfaction and is indirectly associated with the profitability of an organization (Grove &Fisk 2008, p. 111). The success of these variables hinges on the level of trust, which exist the service provider, represented by the employees, and the customers. In addition, the perception of the quality of service is determined by the understanding and perceptions of employees and customers (Phillips and Stanley 2013, p. 126). Although employees can be trained on how to develop desirable behavior, such as politeness and care, there exists a probability that the level of employee satisfaction can be reflected on the nature of the relationship between customers and employees. Employees that reveal high level of enthusiasm in ensuring the satisfaction of customer needs are an indication of highly satisfied employees (Eid 2012, p.14).
In the process of ensuring high-level employee satisfaction, it is the responsibility of the management to consider the development of perception of how such satisfaction increases the possibility of consumer loyalty and satisfaction. This is based on the realization that customer satisfaction is an essential determinant of repeat purchasing behavior hence an important component in the development of a sustainable competitive advantage in the hotel industry (Chi et al 2008, p. 630).
The variables that define employee-profit model can be related to the attitudes that are developed by customers towards the service provider. Employee satisfaction in the context of an organization is directly determined by job attributes (Eid 2012, p.18). Elements that make a job more attractive may be co-determined by other individual in the market, such as colleagues and customers. For instance, upon evaluation, there is a high likelihood that the level of customer appreciation, especially if they have the ability of communicating their level of satisfaction directly to the employees, can be instrumental in the determination of employee satisfaction. Rewards also play an instrumental role in the determination of the level of employee satisfaction (Eid 2012, p.18). These are often in the form of financial and financial rewards, which communicate to employees the quality that they are delivering from the perspective of managers, colleagues, and customers, who are the final recipients and judges of the quality of service. For organizations in the hotel industry to deliver quality services, it is the responsibility of the management to develop cost efficient measures focused on employee satisfaction. This will be a way of influencing organizational profitability. This is based on the understanding that employee satisfaction has the ability to mold employee behavior according to organizational culture hence catalyzing the ability of employees to deliver satisfaction to the customers (Grigoroudis et al 2010, p. 34).
Customer preference for a specific hotel and spa is highly dependent on the ability of employees to deliver services in accordance with customer demands. The level of customer satisfaction with the behavior of employees affects their perceptions and level of satisfaction with an establishment, and this may, in turn, result in display of positive behavior towards the establishment if the employees also displayed positive behavior in the process of delivering services to customers. Employees that reveal high level of enthusiasm in ensuring the satisfaction of customer needs are an indication of highly satisfied employees.
Employee satisfaction is therefore essential in determining an effective service –profit chain framework in the context of the hotel and spa establishments. This is because satisfied employees will demonstrate high-level determination in executing their responsibilities in accordance with their job description. Employee satisfaction influences employee behavior in terms of the nature of the relationship they develop with customers. In addition, through positive employee behavior, it is easier for customers to identify with the organization hence improving on customer-organization relationship and customer satisfaction (Phillips & Stanley 2013, p. 100).
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