The service standards of a hotel are an essential means for constructing the business and expanding the sales of the hotel. With the rising competition in the hospitality industry, it has become the sole mission of every hotel to focus on the customer needs and their level of satisfaction with the services they are providing (Kozak and Arslan 2015). The level of services and hospitality provided to the customer determines the position of the hotel in the fiercely competitive market. The Russell Hotel in Sydney, Australia has been facing an increased number of complaints from the guests who visited the hotel recently. Most of the complaints deal with the subject of long waiting hours and queue during check-in and check-out times in the hotel. The hotel is situated at a walking distance from the opera house of Sydney on the buzzy George Street (The Russell Hotel 2018). The prime location of this heritage hotel attracts many customers, though the recent decline in the quality of services of the hotel has affected the flow of customers in the hotel.
Top hotels in the world like Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Park Hyatt Sydney in New South Wales, Australia takes special care of their guests' requirement (The Telegraph 2016).The hotel staffs do not leave a single opportunity for the visitors to complain about any of their services.They prioritize their guests over everything to satisfy the visitors with each every hotel services on time and gain a positive feedback from them.Top hotels believe that in the hospitality industry, waiting for the desired services creates a negative impact on many guests visiting the hotel. The provider of the services in the hotel gets directly affected by the negative experiences of the visitors when there is lack of management of the waiting time (Berezina et al. 2016).
The Russell Hotel in Sydney faced many such scenarios where visitors have left the hotel after seeing the long queue in check-in lines. This is hampering the business of the hotel since many guests prefer to leave the long check-in queue and visit other hotels nearby. Guests may never return to the hotel for further services and this effect makes the hotel lose both its revenue and its customer. Some of the noteworthy factors causing long wait at check-ins and checkouts in the hotel are:
Lack of the adequate number of front desk agents: The number of staffs working on the front office of The Russell Hotel in Sydney is comparatively less in number. The workers get stressed with loads and pressures when lots of visitor’s check-in and check-out from the hotel at the same time. The low number of front desk counters in the reception areas results in the formation of long queue. In the peak seasons, the front office employees often fail to deliver effective speeded services to the guest of the hotel (Cheong et al. 2017).
Lack of trained professional: Many employees in the hotel, especially the temporary employees are not trained to handle clients and meet up their necessities. The guests visiting the hotel thus faces issues and wait for services due to the lack of trained professionals.
Old computers at the front desk: The Russell Hotel in Sydney was originally built in 1887.Though the rooms and the services provided during the stay was upgraded throughout the time, many systems in the front desk have not been updated. Customers are still provided with manual bills some time. The computer used at the front desk often hangs causing further delay in services (El-Sherie and Ghanem 2016).
Slow process: Due to lack of trained staffs at the hotel, the entire process of check-in and check-out for the visitors takes a lot of time (Jani and Han 2014). The staffs of the hotel are non-cooperative and lack effective communication skills.
Exchange of currency: Many foreign visitors come to stay at this heritage hotel. The absence of a separate counter for the exchange of currencies results in long waiting for the visitors.
Lack of space in the entrance: The Russell Hotel in Sydney has the shortage of space in the reception area. Often visitors are requested to enter through the back door of the hotel. This creates a negative impact on the visitors to the hotel. The shortage of space creates a lot of crowds when too many guests are checking-in and checking-out at the same time (Cantallops and Salvi 2014).
Lack of employees in the maintenance section: The rooms of the hotel need to be maintained and cleaned properly in time. Often the guests have to wait down in the lobby since the rooms have not yet been cleaned. Lack of workers in the room service department often results in the visitors to wait.
Lack of self-check-in options: In the modern days, people hate to stand in the queue and wait for hours to check-in. Many hotels provide self-check-in options where visitors can check-in without facing any hassle. This hotel does not provide this facility. Customers had to wait till their turn comes.
The delay in services is perceived as a negative experience for the guests and the hotel thus tend to lose many of its loyal customers when the customer's complaints about unsatisfactory services of the hotel (Cheong et al. 2017). Losing visitors in the hotel results in loss and decline in the revenue of the hotel that affects the reputation and profit margin of The Russell Hotel in Sydney. Often guests lose trust in the hotel services due to the long waiting sessions and switch to other hotels.Thus it is the responsibility of the managers and employees of The Russell Hotel, to find some ways to minimize the waiting hours and encourage the guests to participate in different activities inside the hotel premises to make their experiences of waiting for a pleasurable and entertaining one.
The business of hospitality runs on the assumption that the reputation of the hotel is related directly to the feedbacks and experiences of its customers. Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi experiences endless numbers of visitors and guests even though it is one of the most expensive hotel worldwide(The Telegraph 2016).This is because guests prefer top quality services even if its pricy. The Russell Hotel in Sydney should start focusing on making an enjoyable staying experience for the visitors of the hotel to attract new customers and survive in the competitive market. The experience of the visitors during the waiting hours is one of the essential factors that decide the rate of success of the hospitality business. When the customer loses trust in the quality of the services provided in the hotel, he will never come back to the hotel in most of the cases. The cost for the hotel is unlimited in this case (Zhou et al. 2014). The above-discussed factors to the complaints regarding long waits at check-ins and checkouts directly influences the satisfaction level of the customers. Customers get a negative experience regarding the delay in getting services by the hotel (Levy, Boo and Duan 2016).
The issue of complaints from the guests regarding the long queue and waiting hours can be managed when the waiting experiences of the guests are well. The Russell Hotel should follow the strategy to control the perceptions of the customers. El-Sherie and Ghanem (2016) examined two studies in this context. The first study is shifting of the demand. It encourages the guests and the customers to enjoy the lip smashing foods and the exotic view from the lobby of the hotel. The employees in the front office may also suggest the customers have some experience in the newly launched Thai spa and poolside amenities inside the hotel (The Russell Hotel 2018). The second is online check-in. In this fast-evolving era, it is important for The Russell Hotel to cope up with all the modern facilities that other hotels are providing. One of them is the hassle-free self-web check-in and check-outs. Customers can plan their desired check-in times just after landing at the airport via the mobile app. Guest traveling for long hours may face jet lags and further waiting in queue for getting the services may result in a negative impression about the hotel and its services (Kandampully, Zhang and Bilgihan 2015).
The Russell Hotel in Australia should target on customer satisfaction level and focus to make the unavoidable waiting hours of the visitors an enjoyable and satisfying experience. The hotel must recruit new employees and provide them with job training so that they can provide high-quality services to the customers (Kozak and Arslan 2015). More workers for room services and speedy cleansing of the toilets and floor mats are required on an urgent basis since the guests often complain that they get untidy rooms. New and updated computers need to be installed in the front office for speedy work during peak hours. Visitors tend to be in a hurry during the checkouts since most of the time they have a flight to catch. The slow process of the hotel services creates a hassle for the visitors as they get the tension of missing their flights.
The satisfaction of the visitors is critical for an effective service assessment. The overall quality of the services in the hotel are rated less than the satisfactory mark when the visitors feel that they are being kept waiting for a service they are paying (Levy, Boo and Duan 2016). Top hotels in Australia like Park Hyatt Sydney always give special attention to the services that are provided to their guests since they believe that delay in the services may lead to poor ratings of the hotel in the feedback forms or in the online surveys conducted (Berezina et al. 2016). In most of the cases, The Russell Hotel noticed that even if the guests are provided with the impressive quality of services, the long waiting hours affects the ultimate outcome of the experiences (The Russell Hotel 2018). It is thus the duty of the managers to anticipate the number of visitors beforehand and plan the working schedule of the employees in the hotel accordingly. The early planning would help the managers to allocate employees effectively and meet the customer needs during the peak sessions (Radojevic, Stanisic and Stanic 2015). Waiting occurs when the hotel’s service providers fail to manage the service timings, thus creating hassles and discomfort for the guest. Hence recovery strategies must be used by The Russell Hotel to compensate customers for waiting.
Visitors mainly seek for enjoyment and new experiences when they visit a new place to make their time spend in that place memorable. In the hospitality industry, visitors pay for their desired services and products to gain experience for enhancing their desires. Their experiences are often affected negatively by waiting hours for the services and so they complain. The Russell Hotel in Sydney of Australia has been in this hospitality industry for long and recently has been facing complaints and negative feedback from its guests who had to wait in long queue in the time of checking in and checking out from the hotel. Several internal and external factors contribute to the reason for the complaints received. The hotel thus needs to plan some strategies as discussed above to resolve the issues immediately since guest satisfaction can only be achieved by providing good quality services in time. The reputation and the feedback from the guests are the most important factors that determine the revenue, profit margin and the position of the hotel in the competitive hospitality market
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