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Service quality of front-line staff in the South African hotel industry

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dc.contributor.author Pan, Ji-Ping
dc.contributor.other Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-16T08:50:55Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-16T08:50:55Z
dc.date.issued 1998
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/974
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract The hotel industry is a developing, dynamic, diverse and complex industry. As competition becomes tougher, service quality becomes an increasingly important issue for hoteliers. It is perceived to be the means by which a hotel can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, differentiate itself from competitors, retain existing customers and attract new ones. The overall goal of the study is to investigate the factors that influence the quality of service rendered by front-line staff in the Free State and Northem Cape hotels. The population for this survey includes all graded hotels, motels, guesthouses and guest farms within the central tourist region (Free State and Northern Cape). A sampling frame was selected with the assistance of SATOUR and a detailed address list of fifty-six graded hotels was obtained from SATOUR. A postal survey was completed by means of a questionnaire that was mailed to each one of the fifty-six hotels. The response rate was 51 .98%. The service performance of the front-line staff in the hotel industry is the key factor when assessing their customers' perception of quality. Hotel managers should stress that everyone is part of a team and that the success of the hotel depends on the performance of everyone involved. Effective performances are influenced by work opportunities, motivation and the working environment. The key to competitive advantage in the hotel industry is largely a superior plan that must fit the particular circumstances of front-line departments and prevent the occurrence of poor service quality. Otherwise the service will lack direction and the quality of performance will vary considerably both between hotels and also between individual staff members within hotels. Dimensions of service quality can be quantified by obtaining measures of expectations and perceptions of service standards. Analysing different perspectives of the measurement will be conducive to the improvement of service quality. The control of service quality is a management function to ensure that the hotel's goals and standards are met. Both dimensions and control of service quality can guarantee standardised service performance. In-service training can be a key instrument in maintaining optimal level of performance in a hotel. Staff cannot be expected to render high-quality service unless they know what is expected of them. Training programs should be designed to enable all the staff members to perform their service well, and fully develop their capability. The training must be interesting, detailed, and frequently reinforced. The training methods should be unique and effective in producing results under different circumstances. Continuous improvement of service quality is a vital task for both hotel managers and staff. Market competition means that innovation is always required in all of the hotel's activities, and all the components of service operations must be taken into consideration to achieve this improvement. The vast majority of the respondents indicated that personal service, and not material service, is the most important aspect in the hotel industry. Managers and front-line staff see a positive attitude towards customers as the most important service quality factor. From the survey it is clear that managers prefer their front-line staff to "tackle difficult situations", while also caring for the basic characteristics, such as "accuracy". The managers of the participating hotels see promotion to a higher position and money as the most important methods to motivate their staff. Helping staff to become aware of their goals and letting the staff know where they fit in best are the most important motivation factors, according to the front-line staff. Cleanliness, value for money and comfort are key elements in measuring service quality in participating hotels. The main techniques to assess service quality are cleanliness check-lists and customer comment forms. Hotel managers and front-line staff indicated that on-the-job training is the most important training method used in the participating hotels. It is also clear that front-line staff need more formal training courses to improve their knowledge and skills. According to the respondents, improved staff performance and productivity are the most important results of effective training. Service quality is one of the key issues for survival in the hotel industry, and is a major factor for achieving commercial success. Faced with rapidly increasing competition, the South African hotel industry simply has no choice but to improve quality through a well-designed training program. en_US
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject Hotel front desk personnel en_US
dc.subject Employees - Rating of en_US
dc.subject Hotel management en_US
dc.subject Hotel management - Study and teaching en_US
dc.title Service quality of front-line staff in the South African hotel industry en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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